A man who was jailed following rioting in Nottingham last year is planning to challenge his conviction in the European Court of Human Rights.

If the case goes ahead it could set a precedent for other cases that followed last summer’s riots.

Perry Atherton, 22, was jailed for three years in May for violent disorder, after events on 9 August.

His barrister, Usha Sood, said the conviction breached his human rights as he had been there for innocent reasons.

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HUCKNALL people staked a symbolic claim to show they are entitled to use the town’s Wigwam Lane playing fields, a public inquiry was told.

That was when 400 people marched through the town centre for a picnic on the playing fields on June 11 2006.

“If Notts County Council, as owners of the land, thought people were trespassing, why was nothing done to stop this huge event?” asked Usha Sood, a barrister representing the Wigwam Warriors action group.

Mrs Sood, a human-rights barrister and senior law lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, represented the Warriors free of charge during the eight-day inquiry.

The final day of the hearing, held at the Rolls-Royce Leisure Club in Hucknall, was devoted to closing speeches and legal arguments.

Developers Cofton Group and four building firms want to build more than 800 new homes on the Wigwam and the adjoining Grange Farm.

The Warriors have applied for the playing fields to be given village-green status, which would stop any building on the land.

To win their case, they have had to prove that the Wigwam has been used informally by the community ‘as of right’ for the last 20 years or more.

Mrs Sood challenged a claim by the county council’s barrister, Ross Crail, that a covenant on the playing fields, restricting the land to recreational use, was “not relevant” to the village-green application.

“The terms of the covenant are something the county council must have accepted when they acquired the land from Emily Ada Story in 1938,” said Mrs Sood.

However Miss Crail submitted that while the playing fields might have been continually used by the public, this was not ‘as of right’.

Morag Ellis, for the consortium, claimed that the applicants’ case was “fundamentally flawed in a number of respects” and claimed that a key word was ‘deference’.

“To have established a public right, somebody would have had to do something like walk across the playing fields to interrupt a lawful football match,” Miss Ellis contended.

Miss Crail claimed that signs put up to prevent public use of the Wigwam were “unmistakable and unequivocal”.

But Mrs Sood replied that some were of a laminated type that would not last long and eventually become difficult to read.

She added that the county council had shown ‘deference’ because stopping public use of the land had been the last thing on their minds for many years.