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Security guard attacked fracking campaigner at Cuadrilla site with camp bed

Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road
Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road

A security guard has been convicted of assaulting a protester who had camped out at a site owned by the firm at the centre of Lancashire's fracking operations.

Ebrima Jagne, of Levens Grove, Blackpool, repeatedly kicked a camp bed belonging to campaigner Louise Boyle, during a protest at the firm's site on Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, on June 1 last year.

The 33-year-old defendant had denied offences of assault and criminal damage but was convicted yesterday following a trial before Preston Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutors said the offence had occured at around 6pm.

Ms Boyle had set up a bed opposite the Cuadrilla site where Jagne was working as a security guard.

The court was told he kicked the bed on several occasions causing it to hit her in the shins.

Ms Boyle received minor cuts to her legs as a result.

Jagne then kicked the bed in the air causing it to land in the road, leaving her bed damaged and unusable.

In a police interview he said that she had shoved the bed at him first and he "retaliated".

The magistrates court imposed a £300 fine and ordered Mr Jagne to pay his victim £200 compensation for the assault, and a further £60 to replace the broken bed.

Members of a campaign group called the Blackpool and Fylde Community Protection Camps took to social media after the verdict.

One said: " I hope this has given people in the industry some sleepless nights to come. Now they realise they can be held personally responsible for their crimes."

Another added: " A ray of light.. this is what u deserve.. amazing brave protector .. hugs."

It is understood Jagne has now been sacked.

A Cuadrilla Spokesperson said: "We expect all our employees and contractors representing Cuadrilla to conduct their behaviour according to rigorous ethical, professional and legal standards.

"In this particular incident the contractor concerned appears to have not upheld the standards that we expect and we respect the court’s decision.

"Upon being made aware of the incident we immediately suspended the guard, gathered further information and then subsequently terminated his working on our site.”