Search

Plane Stupid activists escape jail term

PUBLISHED: 17:19 24 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:19 24 February 2016

Graham Thompson photographed in Angel, London.Photo Kristian Buus

Graham Thompson photographed in Angel, London.Photo Kristian Buus

email:kbuus@kristianbuus.com www.kristianbuus.com

The 13 climate change activists who cancelled 25 flights and triggered vast financial costs and disruption to thousands of passengers at Heathrow Airport have each received a suspended six weeks prison term.

Sheila Menon photographed at Hackney Downs. Photo Kristian BuusSheila Menon photographed at Hackney Downs. Photo Kristian Buus

Distict judge Deborah Wright, sentencing at London’s Willesden Magistrates’ Court, said the sentences over the runway protest will be suspended for 12 months.

The protesters - dubbed the Heathrow 13 – who include two people from Hackney, Sheila Menon, 44, of Pellerin Road, Dalston, and Graham Thompson, 42, of Durlston Road, Upper Clapton, were found guilty last month of aggravated trespass and entering a security-restricted area of an aerodrome in July 2015.

They were ordered not to go within 500 metres of any terminal at Heathrow Airport or to go within five metres of the perimeter fence.

All of them must carry out 120 hours unpaid work apart from protesters Graham Thompson, Danielle Paffard, 28, of Blenheim Grove, Peckham, and Roberto Basto, 67, of Blackborough Road, Reigate, Surrey who each have previous convictions and will have to carry out 180 hours.

Protesters assemble outside Willesden Magistrate’s Court, ahead of the sentencing todayProtesters assemble outside Willesden Magistrate’s Court, ahead of the sentencing today

Kirsty Brimelow QC, representing four of the defendants, referred back to the Suffragettes and said the 13 had carried out an act of civil disobedience because they believed they were “acting in the public interest” and felt that “all other avenues had been exhausted” in the fight to cut carbon emissions.

She told the court: “We have come a long way since the days of the Suffragettes, since those people would have been locked up and treated appallingly.”

The judge told the defendants, who were packed into the dock, that the crimes they carried out had been “carefully orchestrated and timed to a date that was to your convenience”.

The judge said they had timed their Heathrow protest on July 13 2015 to around 3.45am, shortly before the first aeroplane was due to land.

The protesters chained themselves to railings at the UK’s largest airport as part of the long-running Plane Stupid campaign to end airport expansion, cutting a hole in a fence before they made their way to the north runway .

Having managed to get in to the restricted “airside” area of Heathrow Airport, they erected a tripod and chained themselves to some fencing on the runway.

It took six hours before the last of the activists were removed.

The sentence was for aggravated trespass and no penalty was applied for entering a restricted aerodrome.

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 18:11

London Lions maintained their lead at the top of the BBL Championship with victory on the road against Worcester Wolves.

Yesterday, 16:56

Leyton Orient came from behind to beat Bromley and extend their unbeaten run in the National League to six matches, while also returning to the top of the table.

Yesterday, 09:00

Justin Edinburgh will make at least one change to the team which won 3-1 at AFC Fylde last time out

An 80-year-old grandmother was called a “f***ing bitch” in a “foul outburst” by her alleged murderer months before she was strangled with a lawnmower cord in a Colindale allotment shed, the Old Bailey heard today.

Fri, 15:00

A new book called Orient in the 70s has been released and will be available to Leyton Orient fans in the Supporters Club ahead of the match against Bromley this weekend.

Fri, 09:34

Detectives investigating the murder of Elyon Poku at an 18th birthday party in Stamford Hill have made two further arrests, ahead of his funeral today.

Fri, 08:00

London All-Stars and London Titans are gearing up for an epic weekend of wheelchair basketball, as the Lord’s Taverners Junior Leagues returns for the 2018/19 season.

Fri, 06:00

Leyton Orient will play Bromley in the National League this weekend wearing their special commemorative kit

PROMOTED CONTENT

Former teacher Steve shares his experiences as a foster carer for teenagers, from dealing with some of their more challenging behaviour, to the rewards of seeing a child develop into a happy and healthy adult

If you are an unpaid carer in Hackney over the age of 25, who would like to get back into work, then Working for Carers can provide the practical assistance and support you need.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists