Campaigners support four anti-fracking protesters at lorry-surf sentencing


Rich Loizou, Richard Roberts and Simon Roscoe Blevins (front left to right) with supporters outside Preston Law Courts before the sentencing hearing. Photo: DrillOrDrop, 25 September 2018

A crowd of about 60 people, many holding red Lancashire roses, gathered outside the law courts in Preston this morning, where four men who took part in an anti-fracking protest are to be sentenced for public nuisance offences.

The four, Rich Loizou, Richard Roberts, Simon  Roscoe Blevins and Julian Brock, were convicted after climbing onto lorries delivering to Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool in July 2017.

Their protest, known as lorry surfing, lasted four days and is one of the longest single anti-fracking actions in the UK.

They have been told to expect a prison sentence. This would be the first time a prison sentence  was imposed for an anti-fracking protest in the UK.

This morning’s gathering heard speeches opposing imminent fracking operations at the Preston New Road site. Speakers included Lancashire county councillor Gina Dowding, Kirkham town councillor Miranda Cox and campaigners Anne Power and Tina Rothery.

The sentencing hearing is not expected to begin until 11.30am and could last several hours.

Prosecution submissions: 99-hour anti-fracking protest caused travel delays and cost £1,000, sentencing hearing told

Defence submissions: Anti-fracking campaigners wait to find out if they face jail for 99-hour lorry protest

Reporting at this hearing has been made possible by individual donations


10 replies »

  1. Why would anyone do that Joseph?

    Very simple to make out one side of a debate is righteous and the other side nasty. The police have made arrests and the legal system will decide what to do with the offenders. Sorry that’s not as exciting as you would like, but those are the facts of the matter. I think you will find the offenders have ben told to expect prison sentences by the legal system, not the “industry”.

  2. “I think you will find the offenders have been told to expect prison sentences by the legal system, not the “industry”.” Therein lies part of the problem. This particular industry appears to be almost immune to any form of serious sanctions and is provided with endless amounts of police assistance as and when required, without paying a bean. One has to wonder why? Indeed yesterday the police admitted to having to jump to Cuadrilla’s tune, regarding the timing of the convoys. Nor is that an isolated incidence.

    Even more strange when approximately 90% of crime in England does not result in any form of prosecution. Only 25% of stolen vehicles are even investigated. There is currently a call from senior retired police officers for a Royal Commission on Policing and that has not happened in the past 60 years or more. However, if you are part of the untouchable oil and gas industry, you can get a bespoke vehicle escort service 24/7. Who works for who?

    • Then cease trying to stop Cuadrilla working. No Police required….. Let them go about their lawful business. The problem is not Cuadrilla, it is the protestorss, particularly the external lot who get arrested and provide the injunctions.

  3. That was a load of, waffle.

    Police attend PNR because there has been need to-hence over 300 arrests.

    Then, when they are in attendance to prevent further crime, there is further crime, so they make arrests. Then individuals are taken to court and the court decides. Nothing to do with Cuadrilla.

    Sorry, I have sympathy for some protesting. I have none for those who think they are above the law. If I speed and get caught, then I have the responsibility and I take the consequences. I don’t blame society, or any one else, I don’t need to manufacture a grievance culture around the fact I broke the law.

    The police have a responsibility to PREVENT crime. If they believe crime is likely to be committed then they need to act accordingly. If they get overtime as a result, good luck to them. Simples.

  4. Is it a crime to act to prevent ecocide? These were peaceful anti fracking protest actions. There was no violence. Cuadrilla’s security have used violence, the police have used violence, both against protestors. How many violent people escape prison? The judge should sentence in a proportionate way: and put Cuadrilla, and the Government in the dock for the crime of ecocide, violence and slander against peaceful protestors. The police close the road daily (and even in the middle of the night) at times at the convenience of Cuadrilla. Cuadrilla pollute the stream, the holes in the pad will leak chemicals into the ground water, they pollute the air, they fail to have an evacuation plan. Their fracking has cause an earthquake twice: the first time they kept it quiet. But they are not
    prosecuted. Who are the real criminals here?

  5. People keep asking about an evacuation plan around PNR. On the other side of Kirkham is a major gas pipeline that if it “went up” would make any explosion at PNR look like a cigarette lighter. Is there an evacuation plan for this (slight) possibility?

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