35 charges from Balcombe anti-fracking protest cases now dropped – CPS

The Crown Prosecution Service has revealed details of more cases arising from the Balcombe anti-fracking protests that have been dropped before reaching trial.

Earlier this month, we reported information from Sussex Police, which said 21 people had their cases discontinued by the police before they were charged and 22 people had their cases discontinued by the CPS.

Today (31/1/14), the CPS responded to an Freedom of Information Act request by with news that 35 charges involving 30 people had been dropped before the start of a trial and one case was discontinued part way through the hearing.

We asked for details of the charges that had been dropped. The CPS provided the following information:

Discontinued charges Number of charges
Obstructing a Police Constable


Obstruction of the highway


s.241 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992


s.14 Public Order Act


s.26 Road Traffic Act


Possession of cannabis


s.5 Public Order Act


s.4A Public Order Act


s.68 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994


Total number of charges


The CPS confirmed figures from Sussex Police that a total of 90 people had been charged. Of these, eight pleaded guilty and rest pleaded not guilty. Other information suggested that 25 trials were originally scheduled but nine were abandoned before the start date.

So far 10 trials have got underway involving 22 people and 26 different charges. Four trials were adjourned and one (see above) was discontinued part way through. There have been not-guilty verdicts on 16 charges involving 15 people. There were five guilty verdicts, involving a total of four people. Another six trials are scheduled between February and April, involving 24 people.

You can see the full CPS response at:

To read reports from the trials on click on the Legal tab in the Categories box.

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