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.
Reporting at this hearing has been made possible by individual donations