Anti-fracking protester who clambered on top of lorry causing a road block rapped by court

Fracking site on Preston New Road
Fracking site on Preston New Road

A man clambered onto the top of a lorry’s cab as the driver left the Cuadrilla gas exploration site.

Andy Cooper, 37, remained on the cab roof for almost four hours which forced police to establish a contraflow along a section of the A583 near Little Plumpton.

At the time Cooper was living at the anti-fracking camp at Dugdale Close, Blackpool but is now living in Belper, Derbyshire.

Tree surgeon Cooper appeared before Blackpool Magistrates Court where he admitted tampering with the DAF tanker truck and wilfully obstructing the highway on July 10 last year.

Vincent Yip, prosecuting, said: “The truck was exiting the site when Cooper got onto the vehicle and was there for four hours before he got down. The truck was blocking one carriageway and the contraflow had to be set up by police.”

Nikki Hall, defending, said: “He had been working as a mud engineer on drilling sites and he believed he had indentified obvious risks in the fracking process and its effect on water and the land.

Judge Jeff Brailsford told Cooper: “You crossed the line in what was acceptable behaviour to society and the law.”

Cooper was given a 12 month conditional discharge and must pay £150 costs.