Jury finds three guilty over lorry surfing protest near Cuadrilla’s fracking site

pnr 170727 Cheryl Atkinson 1

Lorry protest on Preston New Road, near Blackpool, 27 July 2018. Photo: Cheryl Atkinson

Three anti-fracking campaigners who took part in a four-day lorry surfing protest near Cuadrilla’s Lancashire shale gas site have been found guilty of public nuisance. 

Rich Loizou, from Devon, Simon Roscoe Blevins, from Sheffield, and Richard Roberts from London, all denied the charge. They have been bailed until 25 September 2018 when they will be sentenced.

The jury reached its verdict this afternoon after a seven-day trial at Preston Crown Court. The three men declined to comment on the verdict.

This is thought to be the first trial of anti-fracking activists charged with public nuisance.

The charges relate to a protest on the A583 near Blackpool in Lancashire, starting on 25 July 2017.

The three men climbed onto separate lorries delivering to the Cuadrilla shale gas site at Preston New Road.

During July 2017 the national campaign group, Reclaim The Power, coordinated a month of protest outside the site, called the Rolling Resistance.


74 replies »

  1. I’m really shocked at some of the responses to this trial and this article. This was the act of four desperate men to raise awareness and try to halt an Ecoside that is happening in front of our very eyes. Once our waters are poisoned there is NO turning back. This is a monumental time in history where there is a chance to do the right thing, the sane thing, and protect our water from irreversable poisoning. The courageous action of people like these four should be celebrated and supported. They put their lives on the line, risking inprisonment , in the name of clean water for All of us, including the lorry drivers, the politicians, the locals, the children of the future. There is no one in this land who dosnt need clean water to survive. Without it, we all die. All of us. In this country we have forgotten the basic underlying sanctity and necessity of clean water and unpoisoned land,only because we have been privileged enough to always have enough. If these companies are allowed to on ahead and frack our land, poisoning our water, there is no future for any of us. In countries where water shortage is a daily issue this argument wouldnt even be happening. It’s a travesty and a tragedy that we even need to debate this. I support wholeheartedly the actions of these four, and many more who risk their freedom, for all of us, by standing up for what is right, for having the courage to do what is necessary. As for taking the piss out of job titles the defendants have, shame on you, if you don’t understand what the words mean, buy a dictionary, or educate yourselves rather than making this thread a soap opera that only highlights your ignorance.

    • But Anna, this BB is a soap opera. Check out the Sunday songs / poems… We enjoy winding each other up, don’t we Phil C? If you are worried about poisoned water supplies why don’t you try “tractor” surfing? Or “crop sprayer” surfing? Most people on here don’t know what they are talking about, have no experience of the O & G industry and exist only in a world of twitface…and their mobile phones. Suddenly when a well or two are proposed near where they live they are instant “experts” and tell us how the whole planet is doomed (ecocide??) unless these few wells in the UK are stopped. Doesn’t that seem a tad ridiculous to you? Why not go to the US / Saudi Arabia / Iran / UAE / China / Venezuela / Kuwait / Russia and try and stop the “ecocide”? This will have a slightly bigger impact on the planet than Balcombe or Preston New Road. Go big, make a difference…..

      Take the good people of the Balcombe area who post on here as an example, they are very happy to lead their middle class lives in their nice houses and with their SUVs, gas central heating, drink imported wine, fly on holiday etc etc with huge carbon footprints, and they try and tell us what is good for us and what isn’t? Soap opera – spot on!

      • Couldn’t agree more. These “protectors” ought to refocus and go after the bigger gains instead of whimpering on the periphery of the cause they claim to be so motivated by.

        Better birth control would do far more to manage global resource consumption than slow walking or climbing on top of a handful of lorries. Don’t see them campaigning outside of hospital maternity wings up and down the country, do you?

        • Well – “Suddenly when a well or two are proposed near where they live they are instant “experts” and tell us how the whole planet is doomed (ecocide??) unless these few wells in the UK are stopped”. I BEG TO DIFFER! It’s not just a few Fracking Wells you will be worried about. It’s a whole Fracking Counties worth. And that’s not just our County (West Lancs) Wherever the Shale beds are (Bowland Shale in our case up here in the Desolate North), it will be hundreds of the Fracking Assaults on our once Beautiful and Pure Green and Pleasant Landscape with Cool Clear Drinking Water in danger of a Permanent Toxic Legacy. Not to mention Fracking Swarms of Seismic Events. The words FRACKING NIGHTMARE would become a real time LIVING HELL!

      • You are quite right Anna, and you can ignore anything Paul has to say on the subject as his opinion is somewhat, what is the word? oh yes, Biased,

        The truth is that words are the most powerful resource human beings have at our disposal and Paul and his “buddies” know that, but he doesn’t want you to know that, so we get this little fake tirade to put you off posting.

        Don’t be put off by these wormtongue words of the professional user to disseminate false information, its just the long term game they play and its those very words that put the most fear into them, which why we get these little “oh nothing really matters what you say, its all a soap opera” denial display and is absolute nonsense.

        It is nothing of the sort that why you were replied to in this way.
        What is really being said is that you are too truthful and too forthright and that makes you a danger to their disinformation campaign, so they will use all these little lies and tricks to dissuade you from posting again.

        That is how dangerous your words and your conviction in your beliefs are to them.

        Dont be put off, say your truth and stick to it and watch them turn and turn about to discredit and/or ridicule you personally, that is always their first line of attack.

        Oh yes.

        This is interesting and you will begin to see why it was said.

        Paul refers to my poetry and songs i post on Sundays just to lighten the heavy oppressive atmosphere and give people a laugh or say a truth in a way they cannot reach, even though they try indirectly like here, so that is why that was mentioned by Paul

        Check out the Sunday posts if you like and do some of your own if you want to, its fun and you can be creative, something lacking elsewhere, and it alleviates the tension that is deliberately created on this web site by those who would kill and crush anything finer than their own deep dark sour totally biased prejudice and greed and mostly paid for in PR desk jobs or corporation ties.

        Keep posting Anna and keep telling the truth, no matter what happens, the truth and light and care for the planet and for every living thing here will always overcome the hate and the lies and the greed, they know that, which is why you got all this heavy frackboot stamp in reply.

        And this little contribution from Paul,

        “We enjoy winding each other up, don’t we Phil C?”

        As i have said before Paul, that is how you say you see it, but we both know differently don’t we? We both know how to use words for attack and defence and one way you dont or cant or are not allowed to use, honesty, and that is really what this little “contribution” of yours is really all about.

        Or am i just “winding you up” Paul?

        Cue crows.

        • You are of course correct Phil C. My post to Anna above is not a wind up. It is 100% accurate.But Anna – I hope you have better things to do on a Sunday.

          As for what is a ““nature connection and land-based learning facilitator” I couldn’t find it in my dictionary. I am no wiser. I guess it could be someone who teaches moles to burrow? Someone who is not a “lake based learning facilitator”?

          No wonder there are 30,000 unfilled places at our universities…and most graduates don’t get jobs.

          • You just said it was Paul which is the truth? Do try and make up your mind.

            Or is that commodity somewhat absent in fracking circles?

            Try environmental receptor and apply that to everyone, then you will be getting warmer and warmer and warmer and warmer…..

            • I am sure Anna can be asked directly by you, if you haven’t already driven her away?

              But if you drag me into your comment and then personally attack me, as you did, then don’t be surprised if I answer in kind on my own behalf.

              Next time perhaps reply to people with more respect and you might get a direct respectful reply in kind.

              But what you did was just browbeating and bullying to Anna and implied a complicity directly to me, so I replied in kind and denied complicity and agreement with what you said.

              You reap what you sow Paul.

              Are you now telling me what and who I can or cannot talk to?

              Would you care to provide details of your assumed authority on that?

              Perhaps you would need to refer that to Drill Or Drop’s Paul Seaman on that issue?

              I am sure he would be pleased to explain it to you.

              Any comments Paul (DOD)?

    • “highlights your ignorance.” It is a salt water aquifer under Preston New Road. Not potable water! Every time someone washes their car in Blackpool using tap water, it eventually drops down into the salt aquifer.

      • You see Anna? They will keep this tirade up and try to drown you out, the PR desks are practically steaming now, they are preparing for their “big push” and nothing must stand in their way, especially truth and anyone who objects to the lies.

        • Did you notice the eugenics birth control reference too Anna?

          That is one of their favourites, its not true either, the real figures are no where near 7 odd billion, more like 4.5 billion max and falling for very good reasons, there are some interesting web sites on that, worth a trawl for too.

            • Apologies to Anna for what? She’s talking the same kind of garbage that you do (see reference to drinking water above for starters). How can you claim global population is 4.5bn when the likes of the UN states that it was 7.6bn last year? How can you state that global population is declining when the UN says it is increasing (albeit at a slower rate)? Don’t tell me…you counted all the people yourself, thus you know better than the UN?

            • Its just a wind up game R8! Ask Paul, he is the self confessed wind up merchant it seems?

              That is 100% true isn’t it? Or is it? Difficult to tell with so much spin flying around these days isn’t it?

              And speaking of Paul, Try again buddy, that is really funny and really quite desperate isn’t it? It’s not true either, but that never matters much when smear is more important does it?

              Perhaps you got that from (Sir) Jim sailing on the way to that Monaco tax haven?

              More spin? Or just a little funny quake?

      • Interesting. You seem to be ‘in the know’ so to speak.

        You infer that fresh water will mix with the claimed salt water aquifer – “drop down” is the phrase. So obviously there is a physical communication between the fresh water layer (‘aquifer’ by layman’s terms?) and the salt water aquifer. This is by osmosis I’m guessing but also by relative density?

        If the communication exists then what is to stop pollutants from reaching the fresh water layer and the surface? Also, what happens in time of exceptionally low rainfall?

  2. Strange Anna, I could quite quickly point you to several countries where water shortage is an issue and they are very keen to “frack”. And then export the product to idiots who will pay extra for something they could produce themselves-no, I am not talking about USA.

    And, in little old UK we used to have extensive coal mines. How did we prevent having dirty water then? Perhaps, we noted where the aquifers were that were being used to extract water from? And we avoided contaminating them.

    But of course you could join in with the gang who suggest red diesel is to distinguish it from vegetable oil and then claim the scientific/ technical high ground. That is, if it is too uncomfortable to consider what some who do have some insight contribute, and you are persuaded they are some sort of PR exercise, when any serious attempt at that will not happen until benefits can be demonstrated. I do have a marketing background and can assure you commercial companies do not waste resources on PR until they have something reasonably defined to promote. Share holders are funny about that sort of thing. But, I am sure there will be those with no experience, who will try and tell you the opposite.

    Have a look at the official quarterly survey. If you wish to be amongst the majority of those against fracking who admit they are not well informed then “poetry” may be a comfort. I suspect from your text you are more intelligent than that and may want to be within the minority who are well informed, and then maybe the “poetry” might not be the best use of your time. (It is not that profound-I would recommend Leonard Cohen, a nice glass of wine and a box of tissues.)

    • Ahh the fake news crows emerge, do you see the attempted intimidation at work.

      it doesnt take long does it?

      See how it works Anna? they cant get at you so they try to discredit me, pure strategy, nothing more.

      They will go on and on and on and on like this for ever to try to dis incentivise you out of posting again.

      Don’t allow them to do that.

      The solution is really very simple simple, just keep telling the truth, that is what they really dont want you to do.

      That was all hooks and barbs and self aggrandisement, just more fake rubbish to try and steer you away from posting, look back over other posts from these and you will see the same process being used against anyone who stands in their way.

      Have any of these people used science or reason and gentle persuasion or factual information to tell you anything?

      No, and they wont because they cant persuade anyone but their own.

      Have fun enjoy yourself and dont take any fracking propaganda.

        • Of course you could look at it another way, a certain Phil C responds against anything positive and factual about the O & G industry and anyone who supports it or has experience in the industry, or in fact understands how the world works – a full time blogger paid by who we wonder?

          • I’m just this guy you know Paul, no ties or indeed any connection one way or another, perhaps you had better look to your own laurels on that one?

  3. I suspect Anna you know the science of red diesel. It is quite easy to Giggle if you don’t. Anyone can do it, some don’t bother. But, as fracking for UK gas is most likely to be in rural areas it should be quite a commonly known item for those most directly involved, so you would think it would be obvious one way or the other.

    So, quite easy to establish what there is beneath the fog. Fact, or fiction. The choice is yours.

    Please do post again Anna. I may not agree with your posts, but I would prefer to read your views and discuss them with you than have someone else posting on your behalf.

    • Dear me, spinning so fast now, they are practically screwing themselves into the ground?

      Maybe that is the purpose?

      Who needs rigs when words will do the same job?

      Keep spinning guys, must be near the verbal shale now?

      • Dear me? They really are giving you, and now me “the treatment” aren’t they Anna?

        First disingenuous patronising, then ridicule, then trying to snuggle up, then outright pretence of being your “best buddy friend and advisor”.


        Then they try to personally attack me for defending you?

        Congratulations on putting so many cats amongst their fluttering pigeons.

        You challenged them exactly where they are weakest.

        In the truth.

        Have a peaceful day.

        • It’s notable how you fail to back up your claims ref: global population figures and them being in decline.

          Like so much of the propaganda peddled by the anti-PEDLers, doesn’t pass muster on even the most superficial of scrutiny. No wonder you feel under pressure if that’s the best you can do…

          • Apologise to Anna first and I will be happy to educate you.
            Or you could do your own research, but then you would have to ask martins permission if you can do some giggling or not?

            • Ps I feel under no pressure? What gave you that idea?

              I’m just enjoying myself fighting fire with fire and watching you guys running around like headless crows?

              Never mind, that is a PR hot desker’s unfortunate privilege isn’t it?

              This is fun, playing you guys at your own bitter little games?

              Always a pleasure!

              Have a nice day!

            • Apologise to Anna for what? Get to the point instead of talking yourself round in riddles, as seems to be your forté.

            • Ha! Ha! Nope. You know the conditions, and now you can add an apology to me to the list, or GDYOFR, its not rocket science, or did martin refuse you permission to giggle?

  4. Sorry for that Anna. I know we will disagree about many things but I have a sneaking suspicion you don’t need to be instructed how or what to post.

    I can assure you that you will find few on the other side of the discussion who will do that.

    There have been many attempts to block independent thought being posted from your side (just ask PhilipP, if he returns), but it would be nice to see a few break out of that constraint.

  5. The Era of Fossil Fuels is over!! The Oil and Gas Industries in their death throes. As are Plastics (made from Shale gas): more and more reviled internationally! We need to tread lightly on this earth for the future of all living things!! Invest in renewable energy and do us and yourselves (you Oil promotors) a favour or you and your children will be dying of cancer and choking to death along with the rest of us. I won’t be looking for any replies as I know whose on my side and those who aren’t are far too short-sighted for me.

  6. Lancashire Banned Fracking for good reason five years ago and Central Government overturned that decision undermining a democratic vote against the mining in the region. Various other countries have banned it, including Wales, Scotland and Ireland. As residents living a stones throw from ‘Fracking’ we have good reason to want to see it banned in the UK also. The actual process of Fracking is not suitable to be used in high population areas, which just about covers most of Britain. Water contamination is just one of the issues of this method,. other issues include local air pollution and more.

  7. Anyone any idea why this was tried at Crown Court rather than the Magistrates Court? Has “being a pain in the ass to fossil fuel concerns” become a serious crime befitting of a seven day trial?

    • Hi Skittle Tits. The charge of public nuisance can be tried at either the crown court before a jury or at a magistrates court. Best wishes, Ruth

  8. Hey :/ Wow. Bit odd you lot eh? Erm.. Praps this thread should be about Fracking, not attacking each other? This looks like a whole load of distraction to me. Wake up guys, this is real. It is very possible, likely even, that your children and grandchildren will not have clean water to drink if this country is fracked. This is real.

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