Home Gist Nine Insulate Britain Protesters Jailed for Blocking M25 After Breaking Court Order

Nine Insulate Britain Protesters Jailed for Blocking M25 After Breaking Court Order

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Nine Insulate Britain protesters have been jailed for breaching a court order that banned them from protesting on the M25.

Ana Heyatawin and Louis McKechnie were jailed for three months. Dr Ben Buse, Roman Paluch-Machnik, Oliver Rock, Emma Smart, Tim Speers, and James Thomas were jailed for four months. Ben Taylor received a six-month sentence. Dame Victoria Sharp, the president of the Queen’s bench division of the high court, said his comments were “inflammatory” and a “call to arms”. On Tuesday he told her that he would return to block roads if he were not jailed and promised that others would follow his example.

Nine Insulate Britain Protesters Jailed for Blocking M25 After Breaking Court Order

The judge who sentenced them said: “Importantly, none of the defendants has demonstrated any contrition or understanding of the seriousness of deliberately breaching a court order. Each continues to believe that his or her actions were justified.

The defendants, or some of them, seem to want to be martyrs for their cause and the media campaign surrounding this hearing appears designed to suggest this. We, however, have to act dispassionately and proportionately.”

Myriam Stacey QC, representing National Highways, submitted an application to recover £91,000 in costs from the defendants. A National Highways spokesperson said: “The judge’s decision will hopefully make people think again about carrying out reckless and dangerous protests such as these.”

One of the jailed protesters, Smart, said: “I’ve spent the last three years voluntarily working in wildlife conservation and climate activism. You are claiming more for postage than I’ve earned in the last three years, which is absolutely obscene. The fact that you are profiting from our stand, trying to save the lives of 8,500 a year, I find obscene.”

Smart announced that she would immediately commence with a hunger strike.

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