Just Stop Oil protesters get suspended prison sentences after Kingsbury action

Just Stop Oil protesters get suspended prison sentences after Kingsbury action

Just Stop Oil protesters get suspended prison sentences after Kingsbury action

Protest against oil depot

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

Five environmental activists who admitted to breaking an order by blocking access to the country’s largest oil terminal have been given suspended sentences.

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

A Supreme Court injunction in April had prohibited them from doing so.

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

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

The group also stopped a terminal worker who was leaving to get to a doctor’s appointment, the court heard.

“Tunneling under roads”

Opening the contempt of court case, lawyer Jonathan Manning said the injunction’s purpose was not to ban lawful protest, but “only to ban dangerous activities that some protesters have engaged in”.

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

Manning, who represents North Warwickshire Borough Council, also said: “Many of the police officers from Warwickshire Police were used to oversee the period of national mourning and funeral arrangements for the Queen.

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

All five defendants admitted breaching the injunction.

Climate crisis

Redressing, Whitehouse, a pensioner, told the court he would rather look after his award but felt he had no choice.

“Even the new king has said we should be on a wartime footing in the face of the climate crisis,” he said.

Oakenfold, a retired 78-year-old, said he regretted taking up the police and court time but it was “of no consequence at all compared to the extreme danger we now find ourselves in due to rising temperatures around the world “.

Sentencing, Judge Kelly said: “Fundamentally because of the large number of you who had chosen to gather in one place, it created a risk of clearly significant harm should the police be required elsewhere.”

The judge jailed each of the protesters for 23 days, but suspended the terms for two years, because it was their “first offense”.

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