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. All pretty local!

    All that fossil fuel to get to PNR and then back for trial and then back for sentence.

    So many jobs being created from PNR-at the filling stations. Remember the young lady from Glasgow, also?

    Wise old owl.

  2. Ha ha, crow crow…. not locals of course. More ammunition for your favourite injunctions.

    By the way, what is a “nature connection and land-based learning facilitator”?

  3. As I understand, a fourth non local person pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and will be sentenced with these three.

    Perhaps drillordrop could report on the circumstances surrounding this case, as the person seems to have been forgotten by the antifracking movement.

    • We are all local, it’s called the “Earth” it means ground, or soil or home, or perhaps where we live if you are lost?

      [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

      • Oops typo. Too many or’s in there?
        Maybe too many ifs and buts too?

        Certainly it’s if all our ifs and buts are on the line climate change terms wise of course?

        But….that doesn’t matter does it, just so long as someone gets prosecuted for objecting to it?

        Justice must be seen to be done after all?

        There will be some interesting court cases in saner future times won’t there?

        I suspect there will be a lot of official pardons and some very far reaching “ground breaking” prosecutions. Until then we will watch and record and make some long long lists.

        Could that be changed please? The former and the latter of course.


        • Yes, we could possibly see some interesting courts cases.
          Though a criminal offence, a public nuisance can also give rise to a civil claim for damages, will this case run a little longer with the haulage companies and/or drivers seeking recompense?

  4. If only local people oppose fracking or protest then they are accused of being NIMBYS. If people from other areas participate, then they are criticised for not being local and even for using fossil fuels. What choice do they realistically have? That is the quality of the argument? Climate change is global and if we frack here it has consequences for the world. People have every right, wherever they live, to oppose and protest against actions and decisions that impact us all. This government is likely to fail the next two statutory carbon budgets and that is of concern for all.

    • If we frack here it has consequences for the world? I had to think about that carefully – yes, KatC, you are right, we will import less gas from overseas, they will decrease production and thus reduce their impact on the planet….So on balance the world will be better off with reduced transportation pollution and fugitive emissions….. The NIMBYS (of which I am one) are not getting arrested, the swampies are…

      • Maybe also think carefully about the amount of gas flared off and wasted from conventional exploitation. Look at the amount of gas burnt daily in the Niger Delta from oil and gas production . Not all anti frackers are necessarily anti fossil fuel. To some it’s seen as a stupid dodgy thing to do when enough fossil fuel can be easily extracted from more suitable places in the world. No one seems to object at as us importing bananas when we could probably with difficulty grow our own.

        • Richard – how is importing oil from Nigeria (where you say the associated gas is flared) better than producing our own oil / gas – where the gas will not be flared during production?

          Bananas may not be a good example but the point is that we import when it is cheaper, and don’t import if the product is cheaper here?

          If it is cheaper to import gas than produce our own that is what will happen.

      • [Edited by moderator] Please do remember to tell your grandchildren that it is your fault the land, air and water are contaminated because you only had the brains to believe what you read in the mainstream ‘news’ – or you thought you were going to make money from it. Good luck with that.

  5. If we make journeys that could be avoided this will have consequences for the world, climate change is global.

    Will these journeys stop PNR being tested? No-they will not. So, totally avoidable pollution without any end result.

    The choice people have is to consider whether their polluting actions will produce any benefit to outweigh that action. When it is obvious that will not happen then expect some to object about that.

  6. Real victims here are the truckers don’t forget. They were going about their legal business, like it or lump it.

    • As were the residents of the sacrifice zones before they were invaded by corporate greed operators enforcing their unwanted presence and laying down the law with extreme prejudice?

      It was their “privilege”…..”priv-village” to be the original victims of the crime weren’t they?

      Or do they not count on the corporate owned government compromised sacrifice zone of their greed and corruption roller coaster terminal ride?

      How will they be compensated for their destroyed lives their destroyed property values, their devastated health their stolen livelihoods and the loss of their children’s futures and the local and planetary environmental harm and long term damage?

      A few thousand pounds if they sign a non disclosure agreement and shut up with threats of corporate victimisation?

      Laughable fraudulent corporate theft and avoidance of the culpability of the originators of all this damage isn’t it?

  7. 7 day trial? What a waste of public money. Perhaps they can be billed for the cost, and then face contempt charges if they fail/refuse to pay.

    • Lock them up and throw away the key. People have been deported for less. Disgusting wasters! And when they are eventually released, make them walk home without the use of fossil fuel.

      • Do you lot of pre holocaust recidivists want to bring back slavery….oh I see you already have.. ..and redact rights to vote for women and reintroduce child slavery workhouses too?

        Are you going to warn Poland or shall I?

  8. JaneG-my grandchildren have their own minds. Sorry to burst your bubble, but they happen to disagree with you, struggling as they do to make a way in life, hoping that UK industry may be able to pick up more of the tax burden and leave them with more disposable income to afford what they see their grand parents could afford.

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