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, 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.