Plane Stupid Activists Plead Not Guilty to Trespassing on Heathrow Runway

Twitter @c_bracegirdle
Twitter @c_bracegirdle

The 13 activists from climate protest group Plane Stupid who were arrested in July after blocking a runway at Heathrow are due to go on trial over the next two weeks. Today they pleaded not guilty to aggravated trespass and entering a security restricted area of an aerodrome.

The group members are accused of having cut through security fencing and chaining themselves to railings on the north west runway at Heathrow in protest against the airport’s possible expansion.

The demonstration, which took place at around 3.30am on July 13 of this year, caused delays for passengers around the world. 22 flights out of the airport had to be cancelled. It came 10 days after Britain’s Airports Commission unanimously recommended the construction of a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport in order to expand air traffic capacity in Britain.

The Press Association has named the defendants as Rebecca Sanderson, 27, Richard Hawkins, 32, and Kara Moses, 31, all from Powys, Wales. Also Melanie Strickland, 32, Danielle Paffard, 28, Graham Thompson, 42, and Sheila Menon 43, from London.  Cameron Kaye, 23, Edward Thacker, 26, Alistair Tamlit, 27, and Sam Sender, 23, are all understood to be squatters at a residence in West London. Also in the dock were Robert Anthony Basto, 67, from Surrey, and Ella Gilbert, 23, from Norfolk. 

Appearing in front of magistrates at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in west London at around 11am this morning, all thirteen pleaded not guilty. Their trial is now expected to last two weeks. Fellow protesters gathered outside the court as proceedings took place chanting “No Ifs, No Buts, No Third Runway.”

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