Legal

Court clears anti-fracking campaigners of aggravated trespass after protest at Derbyshire depot

170717 Marriotts Drilling Ros Wills1

Marriott Drilling, July 2017. Photo: Ros Wills

Charges of aggravated trespass have been dismissed against two anti-fracking campaigners at a trial in Chesterfield. Four other campaigners were acquitted of the same charges.

The trial, which ended yesterday, followed a protest on 15 July 2017 outside P R Marriott, a drilling supply company, based at Danesmoor near Clay Cross.

Anti-fracking protesters had targeted the company because they thought it was supplying equipment to Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.

At the two-day hearing, all six on trial denied aggravated trespass.

The cases against two men were dismissed by the district judge at the end of the prosecution evidence. Three men and a woman were acquitted in the afternoon after going into the witness box.

One of the men whose case was dismissed was Joe Boyd, a campaigner who challenged an injunction sought by INEOS in the High Court against anti-fracking protests. INEOS had referred to protests at P R Marriott to support its case for the injunction.

Mr Boyd said he was pleased the case was over.

“It has been dragging on for so long. We have been coming backwards and forwards to Derbyshire for months”.

He said his original bail conditions, later changed, had prevented him from travelling to the county.

8 replies »

      • GBK. Whilst the High Court would ‘supersede’ an APPEAL of a case held in a Magistates’ court, it is also a start point for ‘first instance’ cases; so the two case pathways are not related.

        As INEOS have brought this case up as evidence to support their injunction, and, if it had been considered by the judge, then there may be a use for the outcome at the hearing.

        • This judgement will have no effect on Ineos injunction.
          Yes the lawyers on the anti side can raise it but it will not have any real weight in comparison to the HC judges verdict.
          The injunction will be upheld at any future appeal.

          • GBK, I’m afraid it us up to the judge to decide whether or not the injunction is upheld; unless of course we need to look into this further?

  1. I would say, Linda, when we go back for the appeal, we will be able to show the court of appeal judges who supersede the bankers court that INEOS lawyers brought plenty of evidence which had no bearing and in fact was used in sheer desperation in a discursive matter.

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