Nine protesters from Insulate Britain – the group campaigning for a national home insulation programme – have been jailed for breaching a court order banning them from protesting on the M25.
Ana Heyatawin, 58, and Louis McKechnie, 21, were jailed for three months. Ben Buse, 36, Roman Paluch, 28, Oliver Roc, 41, Emma Smart, 44, Tim Speers, 36, and James Thomas, 47, each received four-month sentences.
Ben Taylor, who said yesterday he would continue to block roads unless he was jailed, was imprisoned for six months.
The judge, Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Mr Justice Chamberlain, said there was no alternative to custodial sentences. She said the group’s action were “so serious” and members had made it clear they planned to flout court orders. She said all would serve at least half of their sentences:
“Importantly, none of the defendants has demonstrated any contrition or understanding of the seriousness of deliberately breaching a court order. Each continues to believe that his or her actions were justified.
“The defendants, or some of them, seem to want to be martyrs for their cause and the media campaign surrounding this hearing appears designed to suggest this. We, however, have to act dispassionately and proportionately.”
A statement from Insulate Britain today said:
“By imprisoning us, the government shows its cowardice.
“They would rather lock up pensioners than insulate their homes. They would rather lock up teachers than create thousands of proper jobs. They would rather lock up young people than take practical steps to reduce emissions. They will lock us up and leave thousands to die of cold this winter.
“We knew we would face prison when we took this action, but we could not stand by while the government betrays the general public.”