Fracking protestors are acquitted of obstruction

Environmental protestors campaigning against fracking across north Derbyshire have been acquitted of obstructing activities at a drilling company site.

Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:15 pm
An anti-fracking campaign was held outside drilling company PR Marriott's in Danesmoor, Derbyshire.
An anti-fracking campaign was held outside drilling company PR Marriott's in Danesmoor, Derbyshire.

The campaigners camped outside PR Marriott, on Old Pit Lane, Danesmoor, during protests about seismic testing with proposed fracking across the region including Marsh Lane and Bolsover and its feared environmental impact.

A Chesterfield magistrates’ court trial heard how Carrie-Anne Field, 29, of Hipley Close, Chesterfield, and James Alden, 54, of Kenwood Road, Stretford, Manchester, had been linked with an iron tube and had laid down at an entrance at Marriott’s.

But Miss Field was found not guilty on Monday of obstruction after allegedly trespassing and preventing traffic movements and Mr Alden was acquitted of aggravated trespass on a similar basis. Zoe Beecham, 25, of Chaplin Road, Easton, Bristol, Owen English, 34, of St Nicholas Road, Bristol, and Sophie Pearce, 22, of Moss House Lane, Preston, were also acquitted of obstruction after the protests on July 13.

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Chesterfield magistrates' court.

However, English was found guilty of assaulting a police officer as police became involved with protesters. He was fined £170 and must pay £100 compensation, a £30 victim surcharge and £300 costs.

Miss Field said she is concerned about pollution and she had been involved in slow-walks with protests in front of lorries. Mr Alden said he protested because he felt it was his moral duty and was his last avenue of protest against industry extracting shale gas. PR Marriott has been storing a rig to be used by shale gas firm Cuadrilla. Six others were also found not guilty of obstructing activities at the same site.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.