Activists accused of breaching oil terminal injunction remanded in custody


group of 21 environmental activists accused of breaching a civil injunction limiting protest at an oil terminal have been remanded in custody ahead of contempt of court proceedings next week.

Demonstrators, aged 24 to 78, appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) in London on Thursday afternoon following a protest at the Kingsbury Oil Terminal near Tamworth, Staffordshire on Wednesday.

About 50 Just Stop Oil activists sat across the main entrance to the terminal where an existing High Court injunction is in place.

The injunction, which includes a power of arrest, was originally granted to North Warwickshire Borough Council in April.

Max Shephard, representing the local authority, told the court on Thursday that it was alleged protesters breached the terms of the injunction.

He said police officers attending the Kingsbury Oil Terminal had observed around 50 people “sitting in the road blocking the access to the depot” on Wednesday.

Mr Shephard said one officer described the majority of them as wearing orange bibs with the Just Stop Oil “motif”, displaying signs with the Just Stop Oil logo and that the group was “peaceful and polite”.

Various protesters, who had to appear in the dock of the RCJ’s court 5 in five separate small groups, told a judge they would not voluntarily return to court if bailed and that they intended to break the injunction.

Some activists said they did not recognise the “authority” of the court, with one claiming it “upholds laws which allow corporations to kill millions of people”.

Christian Murray-Leslie, 78, said he felt “morally obliged” to oppose the injunction and highlighted “catastrophic climate change”.

“I will not return to this court and I will break the injunction again,” he said.

Another protester, Theresa Norton, 63, told Mr Justice Lavender: “You are helping to make everything worse by going on with this system.”

The judge remanded all the protesters in custody ahead of High Court hearings which are due to be held at Birmingham Crown Court from Tuesday to Friday next week.

He told one group in the dock: “I’m going to remand you in custody and the hearing of the committal application in your cases will take place on a day next week”.

Alongside Mr Murray-Leslie and Ms Norton, the protesters appearing in court included: Catherine Rennie-Nash, Richard Morgan, Susan Hampton, Holly Exley, Sarah Benn, Stephen Gingell, Barry Mitchell, Meredith Williams, Stephen Jarvis and Nicolas Onley.

They also included: Peter Lay, Simon Milner-Edwards, Kate Bramfitt, Michelle Cadet Rose, Janine Eagling, Julia Mercer, Victoria Lindsell, Margaret Reid and Jade Calland.

Climate change protesters blocking the oil terminal on Wednesday as the nation mourns the Queen previously said their demonstration was “not disrespectful”, claiming King Charles has previously backed action against “the cross-border threat”.

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