Oil protesters sentenced for disrupting Grays oil site

Fifteen people involved in disturbances at a fuel site in South Essex have been convicted for their roles.

The group were charged following Essex Police’s response to an incident in London Road, Grays, on April 11.

Officers arrived and found a number of people who had entered Exolum Station and climbed a number of structures.

Photo: Essex Police” alt=”Thurrock Gazette: Officer at Exolum Station in April. Photo: Essex Police” class=”editor-image”/>Officer at Exolum station in April. Photo: Essex Police

Despite being asked to leave, police say none of those involved did so and locked themselves on the structures, “putting themselves and those who would be deployed to secure their release at risk”.

Thanks to specialized agents, all were evacuated safely and then arrested.

The group was charged with aggravated trespass.

Twelve of the band members denied the charge at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on May 24 and were tried in the same court this week.

Today (September 22) they were found guilty of the offense and sentenced by District Judge Williams.

The band were sentenced to 12 months’ parole, a £300 fine and a £22 surcharge.

Conditional release means they can face further action if they commit another offense within a year.

The condemned are:

• Stephanie Aylett, 28, homeless

• Louis Hawkins, 22, homeless

• Hannah Hunt, 23, no fixed address

• Eben Lazarus, 22, homeless

• Cressida Gethin, 20, from Dorstone, Hereford

• Peter Bailey, 67, of Willow Lane, Lancaster

• Rosalind Bird, 38, of Stanley Chase, Bristol

• Nathan McGovern, 22, Arcadian Gardens, Haringey

• Mitchell White, 22, of Highbrook Close, Brighton

• John Sasak, 32, of Bucklawren Road, Looe, Cornwall

• Rosa Sharkey, 22, of Chase Avenue, Enfield

• James Skeet, 34, of Drayton Street, Manchester

Thurrock Gazette: Officer at the Exolum site in Grays.  Photo: Essex PoliceOfficer at the Exolum site in Grays. Photo: Essex Police
Louis McKechnie, 21, of Clearmount Road, Weymouth, and Matthew Powell, 21, of Lower British Road, Bath, had previously admitted the charge. They received the same sentence.

Benjamin Mitchell, 21, of Buckingham Street, Brighton, also admitted the charge and was given an eight-month parole and an extra £22.

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: “Those involved in this incident not only put their own lives at risk, but also the lives of those who then had to work hard to eliminate them.

“We know that those involved in this incident believe they were carrying out an act of protest. As a force, we are in no way anti-protest and we will always seek to allow peaceful protests to take place where they can. be received safely.

“But when dangerous disturbances occur, we have no choice but to act and seek permission to charge those involved in the prosecution.

“On this occasion, given the danger posed by the actions of those involved, we acted quickly to ensure the safety of everyone in the area and to ensure that disruption was kept to an absolute minimum.”

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