Heathrow protest: 13 charged over Plane Stupid runway demonstation

Protest caused 22 flights to be cancelled

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The Independent Online

Thirteen people have been charged in connection with a climate change protest which caused delays at Heathrow Airport.

Campaigners from activist group Plane Stupid staged the demonstration in opposition to airport expansion and caused 22 flights out of the Heathrow to be cancelled.

A group of men and women have been charged with aggravated trespass and entering a security restricted area of an aerodrome, the Metropolitan Police said.

Among them are Rebecca Sanderson, 27, of Newton Road, Machynlleth, in Powys, Wales, Richard Hawkins, 32, and Kara Moses, 31, both of Heol y Doll, Machynlleth, Powys and Ella Gilbert, 22, of Magdalen Street, Norwich.

Melanie Strickland, 32, of Borwick Avenue, Waltham Forest, north-east London, Danielle Paffard, 28, of Blenhiem Grove, Southwark, south-east London, and Graham Thompson, 42, of Durlston Road, Hackney, north-east London and Sheila Menon, 43, of Pellerin Road, Hackney, have also been charged in connection with the protest.

Cameron Kaye, 23, Edward Thacker, 26, Alistair Tamlit, 27, and Sam Sender, 23, all of Kenwood Close, Sipson, West Drayton, will appear in court alongside Robert Basto, 67, of Blackborough Road, Reigate, Surrey.

The 13 will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates Court on Wednesday August 19.

The Met confirmed security at the airport would be reviewed following the protest, which took place in the early hours of Monday morning.

A spokesman said: “The Metropolitan Police Service works closely with Heathrow Airport Limited to keep those who use or work at Heathrow safe and secure.

“The Metropolitan Police and Heathrow will jointly review today's protest incident at the airport and make necessary changes to the security plan.”

Earlier this month a long-awaited report recommended a new runway should be built at Heathrow rather than Gatwick.

After three years of investigation, the Airports Commission said Heathrow was best placed to provide “urgently required” capacity, but environmentalists warned that building a new runway there would make it harder to reduce air pollution and climate change emissions.