TWO men dressed as Batman and Robin scaled the roof of Liverpool Law Courts yesterday to coincide with a visit from Cherie Booth.
The Prime Minister's wife, a barrister, was in the city for a court case involving a family dispute.
Fathers 4 Justice campaigners Colin Vallis, 42, a father-of-three from Ormskirk, and Dave Chesworth, 32, a twice-divorced father-of-three from Woolton, scaled the building at 5am dressed as the comic book heroes.
Ms Booth was involved in a care case involving human rights issues, which was dealt with in chambers, before Mr Justice Bennett.
The barrister, who was with a team of security guards, did not arrive via the front of the building and did not see the fathers' rights activists.
But a number of their supporters gathered in Derby Square, at the front of the courts, to sing and chant their support.
They claimed that the two protesters on the third-floor balcony had supplies to last them a whole day.
For a short time, police officers inside the building did not allow four courts on the third floor to open, but they started an hour later than usual at around 11am.
The two protesters, who were being spoken to by police negotiators, came down voluntarily at 1.20pm and were immediately arrested.
Members of Merseyside Police's rope rescue team were then sent out on to the balcony to retrieve the banner.
During the protest, screens were erected at the window to protect people inside the building.
The two men were released on police bail later yesterday.
Mr Vallis staged a similar demonstration in August on top of a crane used to build a family court on the corner of Tithebarn Street and Moorfields. A few weeks later he also scaled The Big One ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Speaking to the Daily Post after his release last night, he said: "I'll carry on with these protests until there is a proper review of the family law system.
"I don't enjoy climbing cranes and buildings but it's something I feel I have to do. This is the only hope I've got.
"It was freezing up there but as always the support was excellent, with people throwing food up to us."
Liverpool F4J co-ordinator Keith Harford said: "We were planning the protest anyway but we heard that Cherie Booth was coming so it turned into a double whammy.
"They climbed back through the window by themselves at 1.15pm.
"They came down voluntarily because of a call of nature."
Members of Liverpool's branch of Fathers 4 Justice will go to Shropshire this weekend for a meeting about causing further disruption countrywide.
The fathers will meet at an F4J Co-ordinators Conference being held at Church Stretton on Saturday after negotiations with Scotland Yard over an official Christmas demonstration broke down.
Fathers 4 Justice say the action will involve hundreds of Father Christmases in "Santa sit in" protests on the M25, M1, M6 and on the Dartford Crossing on or around December 17 and 18, timed to coincide with the group's official protest in London on December 18.
The latest in a long line of stunts aimed at getting the law changed
YESTERDAY'S action was the latest in an increasingly long line of Fathers 4 Justice demonstrations to be staged in Liverpool.
Last Christmas, a group of members climbed on to a walkway over the Strand in the city centre dressed in Santa costumes and caused massive disruption to the early morning rush hour after police stopped traffic.
The group also held demonstrations outside the homes of members of the legal profession, including Judge Marilyn Mornington in Crosby.
In August, Mr Vallis spent four days on top of a 200ft high city centre crane at the City Square development in Liverpool's Tithebarn Street claiming he had been denied access to his two youngest children, both toddlers, for nine weeks. In June, he had dressed as Batman to mark Father's Day by standing on scaffolding for 10 hours at Holy Trinity Church in Southport.
Last month, he dug out his Batman costume once again to scale the famous Big One ride with fellow protester Rory Wilmer, dressed in an Incredible Hulk costume.
Previous Fathers 4 Justice stunts around the UK have involved scaling the Royal Courts of Justice in London, storming York Minister dressed as vicars and nuns and controversially pelting Prime Minister Tony Blair with purple powder from the balcony of the House of Commons.