Green Party MP Caroline Lucas charged over Balcombe anti-fracking protests

Brighton Pavilion MP was arrested last month during protests outside the Cuadrilla drilling site

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The Independent Online

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas is to be prosecuted after being arrested during anti-fracking protests in Balcombe, West Sussex.

The Crown prosecution Service has confirmed Ms Lucas will be prosecuted for “breaching a police order on public assemblies and wilful obstruction of the highway”.

The Brighton MP was detained during mass demonstrations at the Caudrilla drilling site.

Both offences are alleged to have taken place on 19 August 2013.

Nigel Pilkington, a senior lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service South East, said Sussex Police had been authorised to charge Ms Lucas with one count of breach of a section 14 order contrary to section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986, and one count of wilful obstruction of the highway contrary to section 137 of the Highways Act 1980.

“Following an investigation by Sussex Police, the Crown Prosecution Service has received a file of evidence in relation to Ms Caroline Lucas MP, who was arrested during the anti-fracking demonstrations at the Cuadrilla drilling site in Balcombe last month.

”After careful consideration, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Ms Lucas for breaching a police order on public assemblies and wilful obstruction of the highway.“

He said: ”These are summary offences which can only be tried at magistrates' court.“

Ms Lucas will appear at Crawley Magistrates' Court on 9 October.

Additional reporting by PA