A pensioner who cut fences to break into a nuclear weapons base has said she would rather go to jail than pay compensation.

Veteran anti-nuclear campaigner Marlene Yeo told Loughborough Magistrates' Court yesterday she will never pay the £291 she was ordered to hand over to the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire at an earlier hearing.

Magistrates issued a distress warrant for bailiffs to take property amounting to £291 from her home in Burton-on-the-Wolds, near Loughborough, but Mrs Yeo, 69, said they wouldn't be allowed in.

Mrs Yeo and three other activists from the Trident Ploughshares 2000 group were convicted of criminal damage following a trial.

They broke into the Aldermaston base — in which they claim nuclear warheads for British Trident submarines are made — at night in July last year after cutting through a fence.

Mrs Yeo said: "It is a matter of principle. I have good and convincing reasons for not paying."

Following the initial trial Mrs Yeo has paid £250 court costs, but none of the protesters were fined.