A BENCH of magistrates got to meet the Flintstones yesterday when two Fred look-a-likes appeared before them in connection with a stunt at Stonehenge.

Fathers 4 Justice pair Jonathan "Jolly" Stanesby, 42, and Richard West, 40, appeared in the dock sporting trademark orange and black spotted saber-toothed tiger costumes.

The Two Freds - one of whom was allowed to carry his club - were charged with unlawfully climbing a national monument - arising out of their Stonehenge stunt in February this year.

The case was brought under the Stonehenge Regulations Act of 1997 and the Ancient Monuments Act of 1979.

Father-of-one, Stanesby, of Ivybridge, Devon and dad-of-two West, 40, of Ottery St Mary, Devon both pleaded not guilty.

The Father 4 Justice activists, campaigning for changes in the law to give fathers from split relationships better access to their children, claimed they were innocent because they didn't know it was illegal to climb Stonehenge.

In a bizarre twist Mr Stanesby insisted on being addressed throughout the proceedings as "Mrs Hodge" having changed his name by deed-poll to Margaret Hodge, the former Children's Minister.

The previous week he was cleared of false imprisonment after handcuffing himself to Mrs Hodge for 20 minutes in 2004. Mrs Hodge is now Culture Minister and her remit includes Stonehenge.

The Salisbury court heard that just after 9am on February 22, Stanesby and West and another man, carrying a ladder, negotiated a perimeter fence before dashing to the monument and scampering up the stones.

Security guard Christopher Gibbs said he gave chase. "I got to the stones as the last one was climbing up."

As security guards gathered in frustration below, the men revealed their Fred Flinstone costumes and unfurled a 30ft banner bearing the slogan 'Drag family law out of the Stone Age'.

Philomena Creffield, prosecuting, said: "This is a monument of world renown which is protected against people climbing on it to ensure that it is not damaged and is preserved for future generations."

Referred to in court as Fred One, Stanesby, a child carer told the bench: "Stonehenge has been climbed on for hundreds and thousands of years."

A veteran of numerous F4J stunts involving Tamar Bridge, York Minster, Severn Bridge, Blackwell Tunnel, the High Courts, Trooping of the Colour and the National Lottery, he added: "I was not aware of signs there saying weren't allowed to climb it."

West his said he had seen numerous photos of people standing on top of Stonehenge, and was unaware that it was illegal to climb.

He said the protesters had gone to great lengths to ensure the monument wasn't damaged, including wearing soft shoes and greasing the ladder.

They were each fined £100 and ordered to pay £100 costs while Mr West was told by chairman of the bench Richard Arundell that he could reclaim the banner confiscated by police.

The pair were supported at the court by fellow campaigners although a plan for others to don Fred Flintstone garb was dropped when the costumes were delayed by the postal strike.

The third Fred was ordered to pay £320 when he appeared at a previous court hearing and admitted the office.

After yesterday's case a spokeswoman for English Heritage said: "Although the protest back in February was peaceful and there was no damage to the stones, we were disappointed that this group chose Stonehenge to make their protest."