Power station protesters can appeal

A group of climate change activists who plotted to shut down the UK's second largest power station have been invited to launch appeals against their convictions.







The 20 protesters received letters from the Director Of Public Prosecutions after a review of the activities of an undercover police officer surrounding planned demonstrations at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station.



The group, convicted of aggravated trespass, were among more than 100 people arrested when police raided the Iona School in Sneinton, Nottingham, on the morning of Easter Monday, April 13, last year.









Keir Starmer QC said he was inviting the protesters to appeal against the convictions after a review by Clare Montgomery QC into the "non-disclosure of material" relating to the activities of the undercover officer.



The DPP said: "Ms Montgomery has now completed her review and, having carefully considered her conclusions, I believe that the safety of the convictions should be considered by the Court of Appeal as soon as possible.



"The prosecution cannot lodge an appeal to the Court of Appeal save in very limited circumstances, which are not met here, and in my letter I have invited the defence to lodge an appeal and to include the issue of non-disclosure of material relating to the activities of an undercover police officer in any grounds of appeal.



"I have also indicated that the CPS will assist in any steps necessary to expedite the appeal."



The safety of the convictions is a matter that can only be dealt with by the Court of Appeal, he said.



"I am satisfied that, despite the ongoing reviews into what happened in this case, this is the only proper course of action. It would be wrong if, having reached this conclusion, I waited until the reviews were completed before contacting the defence about a possible appeal.



"As reviews into the handling of this case have yet to report, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on any issues involving the undercover officer."



The protesters were convicted at Nottingham Crown Court on December 14 last year.



In February this year, the head of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said undercover policing operations should have to be authorised in advance by a judge.



Sir Hugh Orde, Acpo president, said the change was needed to restore public confidence following concerns about the role played by ex-Metropolitan Police constable Mark Kennedy, who spent seven years posing as an environmental activist.









Mr Kennedy spent a reported seven years under cover posing as an environmental activist known as Mark "Flash" Stone.



Six protesters accused of planning to invade Ratcliffe-on-Soar claimed prosecutors dropped charges against them after Mr Kennedy offered to give evidence on their behalf.



The 20 convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass all escaped jail terms.



The protesters, who received a mixture of community orders and conditional discharges, were:



David Barkshire, 44, of Sheffield; Paul Kahawatte, 25, of Whitstable, Kent; Ben Julian, 34, of east London; Spencer Cooke, 42, of Belper; Martin Shaw, 46, of Oxford; Phillip Murray, 25, of Canterbury; Anna Rudd, 31, of Leeds; Adam Waymouth, 26, of Whiteparish, Salisbury; Bradley Day, 23, from Swansea; Chris Kitchen, 32, from Colchester, Essex; Daniel Glass, 27, from Glasgow; Emma Sheppard, 29, from Manchester; Jesse Harris, 24, from Leeds; Jonathan Leighton, 21, from Glasgow; Olaf Bayer, 35, from Southampton; Lisa Kamphausen, 26, from Southampton; Jacqueline Sheedy, 45, of Foulden Road, London; Clare Whitney, 25, from Cambridge; Sarah Shoraka, 33, of north London, and Ben Stewart, 36, also of north London.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links