Anti-frackers deny '˜intimidatory atmosphere'

Two anti-fracking protesters denied there was an intimidatory atmosphere at a shale gas site where they locked-on to the perimeter fence.

Friday, 7th July 2017, 12:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:45 am
fracking protest.

The are two of eight protesters who deny failing to obey a senior police officers command under the Public Order Act at the entrance to the Cuadrilla site on February 2 this year.

Both the women were giving evidence before District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

Sally Bowman, 46, and Liz Beck, 54, both said they had never locked on before.

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This involved putting their arms down metal tubes and clipping themselves inside the tubes before being chained to the fence.

Liz Beck told the court that she believed Cuadrilla had no legal right to start working on the site before the result of a judicial hearing was completed. She said there was no organisers of the protests as such.

“We all come and go we are autonomous. Some are locals and some of us are more regular attenders than others,” she said.

She said she went to the site entrance and was told by a man she called Mr Logic that there was a gap in the fence and would she like to lock on there and block it. She went on: “It was a spontaneous decision not pre planned. There was no intention of intimidation or harm that day.”

Both women gave their addresses as the protest camp at Whitehills.

Ms Bowman said: “There was quite a big crowd milling round and we saw a tube lying near the fence and decided to lock on.

“Every thing was happy and relaxed that day.I was doing some spiritual chanting. It was not tense and there is less chance of trouble on a lock on day. Everyone loves a lock on. It makes people happy.”

The other defendants, Stephen Allen,47; Daniel Jones, 29; Ian Kitching, 55; John Knox, 30; and Ellie Stanton, 24, waived their right to give evidence.