Six Extinction Rebellion protesters on trial for blockading the printing press of some of the UK’s major newspapers have been found guilty.
The activists appeared at St Albans magistrates court on Friday accused of obstructing the highway outside Newsprinters printing works in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, オン 4 9月 2020.
Judge Sally Fudge convicted the defendants, saying that while the demonstration was “peaceful” it had a significant impact on the ability of businesses to function and caused newspapers to lose an estimated £1m.
The court heard that about 50 XR members used vehicles and bamboo structures to deny access to and from the Broxbourne site.
The Newsprinters presses publish the Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp’s titles including the Sun, タイムズ, Sun on Sunday and Sunday Times, as well as the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, and the London Evening Standard.
The Crown Prosecution Service decided to try six defendants at a time.
This is the second trial, and it involved defendants Caspar Hughes, 49, of Exeter; Elise Yarde, 32, of Walthamstow; Amir Jones, 39, of London; Laura Frandsen, 30, of London; Charlotte Kirin, 51, of Bury St Edmunds; and Hazel Stenson, 56, of Bury St Edmunds.
A verdict was expected last month but Fudge agreed to postpone the trial to await the outcome of a supreme court judgment, which on 25 June overturned the convictions of four protesters who had locked themselves together outside an arms fair in 2017.
The four demonstrators were found to have been exercising their rights to free speech and assembly and had a lawful excuse.