Nottingham

West Burton power station: 21 protesters sentenced

No Dash For Gas protesters
Image caption The 21 protesters admitted aggravated trespass after staging a sit-in at the EDF Energy West Burton power plant for seven days

Twenty-one people who occupied a power station for a week have avoided custodial sentences.

The group of 12 women and nine men was charged with aggravated trespass after the sit-in at EDF Energy West Burton, in Nottinghamshire.

Sixteen of them were given community orders and five a conditional discharge at Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

The campaigners from No Dash For Gas said they were against plans to build 20 gas-fired power stations.

The group had admitted aggravated trespass, at court in February.

Camped out

The defendants entered the power station during the early hours of 29 October.

Image caption Campaigners used fixed ropes to move between the two chimneys

Over seven days they camped out at the top of two 300ft (90m) chimneys and installed a makeshift zip-line to transport supplies between the two chimneys.

Nottinghamshire Police arrested the protesters between 29 October and 4 November, when the protest came to an end.

District judge Leo Pyle said the "mass act of aggravated trespass" had resulted in the loss of around £340,000 in labour while delays in finishing the site cost £5m.

Earlier this year EDF abandoned a lawsuit against the protesters, seeking £5m for damages, cost and disruption.

The judge said many of the defendants were highly educated men and women who had caring roles in the community, but added: "Your motives were genuine but you knew what the boundaries were."

Speaking after the sentencing, defendant Rachael Thompson said: "Although - thank goodness - none of us are going to jail, we are still facing penalties for simply standing up for clean, safe and affordable energy."

An EDF statement issued after the sentencing said the firm had "invited a range of groups and individuals - including No Dash For Gas - to discuss the company's response to such demonstrations in future."

The defendants were:

  • Alistair Cannell, 23, Tilbury Place, Brighton
  • Daniel Quiggan, 29, Ashley Road, Bristol
  • Kristina Goodwin-Jones, 26, Sholebroke Avenue, Leeds
  • Sophia Coles-Riley, 25, Sholebroke Avenue, Leeds
  • Claire Fauset, 33, Cliff Mount, Leeds
  • Danielle Paffard, 25, Cannon Street Road, London
  • Lawrence Carter, 28, Carrington Hill, London
  • Graham Thompson, 39, Vale Grove, London
  • Ewa Jasiewicz, 34, Powerscroft Road, London
  • Alexander George, 32, Oakdale Road, London
  • Hannah Davey, 34, Harrington Hill, London
  • Aneaka Kellay, 27, Hamilton Road, Manchester,
  • Rachael Thomson, 31, Hibbert Street, Manchester
  • Alison Cegielka, 27, Birch Polygon, Manchester
  • Alison Garrigan, 26, Hamilton Road, Manchester
  • Thomas Spencer, 27, Hamilton Road, Manchester
  • Daniel Chivers, 34, Campbell Road, Oxford
  • David Shakespeare, 27, Meadow Lane, Oxford
  • Claudia Comberti, 26, Stanley Road, Oxford.
  • Paul Morozzo, 46, Chiserley Gardens, Wadsworth, West Yorkshire
  • Hannah Lewis, 29, Nutclough Road, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

The defendants were each told to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.

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