A situation “escalated” when council workers arrived to remove the protective fence the man, Gijsbert Rider, 59 had constructed round his house he shares with his wife, Margot Barel, 52, in Haelen in the south of the Netherlands.

He and his family had decided to build the defences because they felt threatened by two residents of a nearby mobile-homes camp.

A legal battle ensued between the family and the council, and a judge eventually ruled that the fence should be removed.

When council workers tried to demolish the fence yesterday, the man defended his property “like a medieval castle lord”’ using a bow and arrow and Molotov cocktails.

Only after officers forced their way into the house, did the man beat his retreat. He was finally arrested around midnight.

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