Anti-frackers ‘economical with the truth’

The Anti-Fracking campaign
The Anti-Fracking campaign

Eight anti fracking protesters had been economical with the truth when they gave evidence in their trial, a judge has ruled.

All eight were found guilty of a Public Order offence after a four day trial at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

The eight locked on in pairs across the main entrance of the Cuadrilla shale gas drilling site at Westby near Blackpool in February this year.

They covered their arms in metal tubing and then chained themselves to fencing which runs along the side of the site on the A 583.

The protesters were found guilty of failing to obey the instructions of a senior police officer to move to the other side of the road.

Finding them guilty District Judge Jeff Brailsford said;”There is a right to protest and this is an important right but it must be done within the law.I do think these prosters have at times been economical with the truth in describing their actions on the day. I do not believe they could not have unlocked themselves.”

The eight are Stephen Allen, 47, Liz Beck, 54, Sally Bowman, 46, Daniel Jones, 29, Ian Kitching, 55, John Knox, 30, and Ellie Stanton, 24.

They all gave their address as the protest camp atWhitehills, Blackpool.

The eighth is Craig Wilson, 41, of Dorset Road, Atherton. They were all given 18 month conditional discharges and ordered to pay £300 in costs.

The judge said the punishment reflected the fact the incident took place in February at the start of the protests and warned that the sentencing regime might change in the future.

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