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Balcombe anti-fracking cases – courts update for week ending March 21st

21st March 2014

This week there were five court cases listed that arose from last year’s anti-fracking protests outside Cuadrilla’s oil exploration site at Balcombe. Here’s a summary of what happened with links to court reports.

18th, 19th and 20th March at Brighton Magistrates Court
Simon Welsh, 34, of Balcombe, charged with failing to comply with a condition imposed by the Chief Constable of Sussex under Section 14 of the Public Order Act on September 10th last year. He denied the charge.

The case was adjourned after the prosecution and defence cases until May 1st at Eastbourne Magistrates Court. Click here to see Day 3 of the trial and links to the other evidence.

18th March at Horsham Magistrates Court
Aaron Bell, 26, of Grantham, charged with obstructing the highway at Balcombe on September 10th last year by locking his neck to a caravan. He denied the charge.

Mr Bell was found guilty and fined £200. We hope to bring you more details on this case soon.

19th March at Horsham Magistrates Court
Garry Henessy, 36, and Joel Hope, 28, both of no fixed address, charged with obstructing the highway at Balcombe by locking themselves to a tumble driver. They denied the offence.

Both Mr Henessy and Mr Hope were found guilty and conditionally discharged for 12 months. They were also ordered to pay costs of £200 each. We hope to bring you more details on this case soon.

20th and 21st March at Crawley Magistrates Court
Maria Sanders, 25, of Stevenage, charged with obstructing a police officer at Balcombe on September 12th 2013. She denied the charge.

This case, though scheduled by the court service for this week, had been discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service in January.

21st March at Horsham Magistrates Court
Nick Ward, 52, of Cambridge, charged with obstructing the highway at Balcombe on September 20th by walking a dog in front of a convoy of lorries. Also charged with criminal damage for writing on his cell wall in pencil. He denied both charges.

Mr Ward was found guilty on both counts and given two concurrent conditional discharges of 12 months. He was ordered to pay costs of £135 and a £15 victim surcharge. Click here for a report of the trial.

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