Anti-frackers deny disobeying police orders

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Four anti fracking campaigners have denied disobeying police orders to move away from a gas exploration site.

One, Edward Thornton, 33, of Pickering, North Yorkshire, was excused having to appear before a District Judge at Blackpool Magistrates Court yesterday.

District Judge Jeff Brailsford granted him and three co accused unconditional bail until their trial on May 24.

All four face the same allegations which are said to have taken place on January 31 at Westby with Plumpton , Preston New Road.

Daily protests against the planning fracking of gas on a nearby field are taking place. while fracking firm Cuadrilla have started building a well head on the site to carry out test drilling.

The other three accused are Jared Dunne, 22, of Manchester Road, Warrington; Louise Hammond, 54, of Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire and Joseph Boyd , 43, of Blythe Hey,Bootle, Merseyside.

Hammond and Natalie Middleton, 32, of Water Street, Chorley, both face separate allegations of obstructing the highway by doing a “slow walk” in front of a lorry going from the 

Adam Bonney, who defends all the accused, said the trial involving four protestors would last two days.

A police inspector and four police officers would be called as witnesses .

He told the judge the defence involved a lawful right to protest in a reasonable manner.

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