Four Insulate Britain protesters have been cleared of charges of wilful obstruction of the M25, despite blocking access to the motorway, with the judge ruling that a conviction on a charge of wilful obstruction of the highway would not be “proportionate.”
Four people in court were among 38 activists arrested during the protest between junctions 9 and 10 in the morning rush hour on 21 September 2021.
District Judge Amanda Kelly, sitting at Horsham Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex, ruled Venetia Carter, Diana Warner, Stephen Gower, and Susan Hagley not guilty of wilful obstruction of the highway contrary to the Highways Act 1980.
The activists had argued their actions were legitimate under human rights legislation, arguing they have a right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
Giving her ruling, Kelly said, “This was a relatively short protest in respect of an issue of considerable importance by four individuals who believed with enormous sincerity in the need to exercise their Article 10 and 11 rights at that particular time and date and at that particular moment in history.
“I find that the prosecution has failed to make me sure that a criminal conviction would be proportionate.”
“Although I find that the protest caused significant disruption to a large number of people, I have not been provided with evidence of any grave consequences being caused to any individual person or business over and above the sort of inconvenience that is routinely caused by delays on the M25, such as those caused by accidents or other obstructions entering the road.”
Insulate Britain wants taxpayer funding to insulate all British homes to reduce energy bills and consumption.
(Picture – Insulate Britain)