Just Stop Oil protesters get suspended prison terms after Kingsbury action

Just Stop Oil protesters get suspended prison terms after Kingsbury action

Oil depot protest

Demonstrators blocked the main entrance to the Kingsbury Oil Terminal for four and a half hours

Five environmental activists who admitted defying an injunction by blocking entry to the country’s largest oil terminal were given suspended sentences.

Around 50 Just Stop Oil campaigners were arrested after they sat across the main entrance to the Kingsbury Oil Terminal, in Warwickshire, on 14 September.

A High Court injunction in April prevented them from doing so.

A civil hearing was told that they stopped tankers for four and a half hours.

Sitting at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday, Judge Emma Kelly Jerard Latimer was told that George Oakenfold, Anthony Whitehouse, Chloe Naldrett and Darcy Mitchell were among the group who “stretched” police resources ahead of the Queen’s funeral. .

The group also stopped a terminal worker leaving for a medical appointment, the court heard.

‘Tunnel under roads’

Opening the case for contempt of court, attorney Jonathan Manning said the injunction was not intended to prohibit legal protest, but “simply to prevent the dangerous activities that some protesters were engaging in.” “.

He listed examples such as having mobile phones near “the terminals where there is a high risk of explosion” and “tunneling under roads”.

Mr Manning, who represented North Warwickshire Borough Council, added: “Many of the officers from Warwickshire Police were being used to police the period of national mourning and funeral arrangements for the Queen.

“They had to be brought back from there to provide the numbers needed to safely arrest these protesters.”

The five defendants admitted breaching the injunction.

Climate crisis

In mitigation, Whitehouse, a pensioner, told the court he would have preferred to watch his allotment but felt he had no other choice.

“Even the new King has said that we should be on a war footing when dealing with the climate crisis,” he said.

Retired Oakenfold, 78, said he regretted taking up the time of the police and the court but that it was “of no consequence compared to the great danger we now face because of global warming”.

Passing sentence, Judge Kelly said: “Just because of the large number of people who chose to gather in one place, it created a significant risk of harm if the police were needed elsewhere.”

The judge sentenced each of the protesters to 23 days in prison, but suspended the terms for two years, as it was their “first offence”.

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