The Day Fracking Protest Became a Jailable Offence — In Pictures

On Tuesday 25 July 2017, four protestors stopped a convoy of lorries going to a fracking site in Lancashire. Today, three of the activists were sentenced to custodial sentences.

Residents of Little Plumpton have been fighting Cuadrilla Resources’ plans for years. What started as a handful of local residents bemused that a new fossil fuel industry was about to start in their village escalated into a resistance of national symbolic importance

Today’s ruling represents a trend of escalation between environmental protestors and the police — from mass arrests of Dakota Access pipeline protestors in the US, to UK police abusing their powers when going undercover in environmental movements, and mass online surveillance of fracking activists via Facebook.


Read DeSmog UK‘s coverage of the Preston New Road fracking protests:


Rich Loizou, Simon Roscoe Blevins, and Richard Roberts all spent between two and four days on top of the lorries that were making their way to the Preston New Road fracking site. All three were found guilty of a public nuisance offence by a jury on 22 August 2018. A fourth protestor, Julian Brock, pleaded guilty at a separate hearing so did not face trial. 

DeSmog UK was reporting from the site on the day of the action. Breaking through a police convoy accompanying the lorries, they managed to climb on top vehicles as they passed the local anti-fracking camp at Maple Farm.

Blevins and Roberts were today sentenced to 16 months, while Loizou was jailed for 15 months. They are  to serve half of their sentences in jail, with the remainder on license. Brock, who pleaded guilty, received a 12 month suspended sentence. 

DeSmog UK looks back on the day protesting against fracking became a jailable offence.


Credit: Rob McEwen


Credit: Rob McEwen


Credit: Rob McEwen


Credit: Rob McEwen


Credit: Mat Hope


Credit: Mat Hope


Credit: Mat Hope


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Credit: Mat Hope


Credit: Mat Hope


Credit: Mat Hope


Like this article? Donate here to support DeSmog UK‘s journalism today 


Image: Mat Hope/DeSmog UK. Updated 26/09/2018: The opening paragraph was changed.

The Day Fracking Protest Became a Jailable Offence — In Pictures
Mat is Special Projects and Investigations Editor of DeSmog, and Operations Director of DeSmog UK Ltd. He was DeSmog UK’s Editor from October 2017 to March 2021, having previously been an editor at Nature Climate Change and analyst at Carbon Brief.

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