A Ryedale grandmother, who chained herself to the entrance of Third Energy’s fracking site with a Reclaim Democracy banner, said she did it to “prevent serious harm”.
Heather Stroud told a court in York her action was premeditated and thought-through:
“I felt obliged to take action as a means of preventing serious harms from being committed.
At her six-hour trial (30 August 2018), Ms Stroud denied obstructing the highway. She represented herself and used the defence of conscientious protector. She said:
“My defence rests entirely on my universal right as a person of conscience, to take action in an attempt to prevent irretrievable damage to our environment; irretrievable damage that evidence suggests, will have devastating consequences to all life systems.”
She provided evidence from scientists, the World Bank, lawyers and the Magna Carta.
But District Judge Adrian Lower found her guilty. She was ordered to pay a compulsory £20 victim surcharge and given a six-month conditional discharge.
After the hearing, Ms Stroud said she had been given the opportunity during the trial to express her concerns about the fracking industry.
“It restored my beliefs that despite the problems we are facing with regard to opposing corporate power, shreds of democracy are visible in small pockets.
“There was no winning or losing. It was a day of celebration where we all came away with a sense of hope.”