Legal

Campaigner acquitted of trespass at Horse Hill oil site

An environmental campaigner who took part in a 12-hour protest on a rig platform at the Horse Hill oil site in Surrey has been cleared of aggravated trespass.

Lindsay Parkin after the trial at Staines Magistrates Court, 22 April 2021. Photo: XR South East Press

Lindsay Parkin, a father in his 50s from Brighton, was acquitted yesterday (22 April 2021) after a trial at Staines Magistrates Court.

The case hinged on whether his action, on Saturday 10 October 2020, disrupted operations at the Horse Hill site.

The court heard that Mr Parkin, a member of the campaign group, Extinction Rebellion, arrived at the site at 4.30am and climbed the 15m platform. At 7.30am, he displayed a banner opposing oil production.

Onsite staff told him at 9.30am and again at 2pm that he was in breach of a High Court injunction. He came down from the platform at about 5pm.

There were no security contractors at Horse Hill during the action, the court was told.

Mr Parkin was acquitted because it was not clear whether the site was operational that day.

The rig had been delivered on 1 October 2020 to carry out a workover of the Horse Hill-1 well.

Statements at the time from the site operator, Horse Hill Developments Limited (HHDL), said the work included reperforating the Portland oil producing section of the well and inserting a deeper pump.

Another campaigner who took part in the protest, Alistair Sandell, a horticulturalist from Uckfield, pleaded guilty at a hearing last year to aggravated trespass and was ordered to pay more than £300 in fines, costs and victim surcharge.

DrillOrDrop invited HHDL’s owner, UK Oil & Gas plc to comment.

11 replies »

  1. OMG who cares?

    So many problems on this planet, and here only about some small sites between barren-one-plant fields..

  2. You mean the one about knowing about what you are protesting about, 1720?

    “I believed HMG had engineered the result by lying”. So, those who attended the second vote Brexit demonstrations thought that? Hope not, as HMG campaigned AGAINST a Brexit vote. One or two who were confused, but wanted to be there. (DoD 11/3/21, 6.47pm)

    (By the way, if you were so worried about lying why were you not campaigning against all those EU signs in the UK stating that a bridge or bypass or something had been “funded by the EU”? As a NET contributor to the EU all such projects were funded by UK taxpayers. Maths.can be such a problem.)

    Yep, that demonstrates something, but hardly a principle. So, in respect of HH, I will work with my principles, others principles when tested are their own unique, and often factually incorrect slant upon matters. They are welcome to them. When they can come up with the correct maths. regarding imports v local production then I may reconsider, but if the last few feeble attempts at that are anything to go by, I will not have to bother. So the factually incorrect approach seems to be common ground, and I suppose that is indeed a principle of the antis.

    • Good Lord, you really do have your head in the sand if you believe the Brexit result was not achieved with the help of lies. As you used to say, Martin, when you were slightly less incoherent: “Do your own research.”

      • Deviation, 1720!

        HMG campaigned to STAY in the EU. Simples.

        [Edited by moderator]

        Brexit was achieved due to a majority who voted for it. Quite simple. They were no less intelligent than those who voted the other way, subject to no more lies, and no less able to determine what were lies and what were not.[Edited by moderator] I also suspect many of them will be quite happy they are now able to access life saving vaccinations against Covid. Something needed to be done (sound familiar?)-but, they knew what, and did it.

  3. What a mess from UKOG.

    No security on site, activists climbed one fence then walked through an open gate in the heras fencing. UKOG then paid £2516 for two guards to turn up for the day and do nothing.

    The court heard on UKOG’s own video evidence manager Sebastian Mills telling the protesters “We’re leaving you up there!” in 20 knot winds, around the level where, he said, they’d call off working on the rig platform themselves. They never asked the two rebels to come down. James Frost’s evidence wasn’t sent in until 2 days before trial, so was rejected.

    Oh and whilst explaining what the company was doing if it wasn’t drilling, site manager Mills helpfully explained “they were doing a maintenance operation only. There are two strata- oil bearing rocks. We are changing from one to the other. This one was producing too much water – not cost effective”.

    Lovely day in court thanks, and well done Lindsay, Alistair and everyone taking part in NVDA at Horse Hill.

    • Agreed, No doubt he drove home in his car powered by magic fairy dust, to his home powered by anti freeze from the Star ship Enterprise.

  4. ” So many problems on this planet ” Aaron. And you are addressing them exactly how ?

    Lindsay Parkin shins up a rig and you criticise him because he has not disposed of everything he owns that could be connected with modern manufacturing. I think his protest was to discourage further attempts to extract hydrocarbons. Why would chucking away his sunglasses make any difference to his argument ?

    Amusing joke from Aaron and Jimmy – but sadly greenhouse gas emissions are not going to be reduced by feeble humour.

  5. Neither will greenhouse gases be reduced by importing what could be produced locally-they will be INCREASED.

    (My courgettes sit in the greenhouse ready to go into the garden, so do my French Beans.)

    That is the real joke you fail to address, and by so doing, indicate the total nonsense of such protests. Claiming to be something they are not.

    Perhaps refer to the recent discussion within a Select Committee which clearly demonstrated that oil/gas will be part of the energy mix through to at least 2050 and that new licenses are being issued for local exploration because of the FACT that local production will assist the drive towards net zero. If you do not understand the facts, then extra research might help. If some can’t be bothered to do the research but still make a gesture then that is a joke.

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