Two activists jailed for a protest which closed the QE2 Bridge at the Dartford Crossing for 37 hours last October have lost their bid to have their sentences reduced.
Just Stop Oil activists Morgan Trowland, 40, and Marcus Decker, 34, used ropes and other climbing equipment to scale the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, which links the M25 in Essex and Kent last October.
In April, a jury unanimously found the pair guilty of causing a public nuisance and Trowland was jailed to three years in prison, while Decker was jailed for two years and seven months.
The protesters’ lawyers claimed the sentences were of an “extraordinary length” but at the Appeal Court Lady Justice Sue Carr, sitting with Mrs Justice Johanna Cutts and Mrs Justice Justine Thornton, said: “This was very serious offending by repeat protest offenders who were trespassers and on bail at the time. Whilst the protest was non-violent as such, it had extreme consequences for many, many members of the public.”
The court ruled the sentences reflected “Parliament’s will” under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act last year.
Lady Justice Carr admitted the sentences were severe, “But we have concluded that they were not manifestly excessive; nor did they amount to a disproportionate interference with their rights of freedom of expression and assembly.”
(Picture – Just Stop Oil)