Protesters who stopped coal train found guilty

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Twenty-two environmental protesters who ambushed a train as it took coal to the largest power station in Europe were found guilty of obstructing the railway.

The group was protesting last June against climate change and the pollution caused by the coal-fired Drax power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire. Judge James Spencer, at Leeds Crown Court told the defendants they would not be going to jail and adjourned sentencing until September.

Five others pleaded guilty to obstructing the railway and two have indicated they will also admit the offence. During the trial, the jury heard that two men posing as Network Rail staff stopped the train. Protesters then scaled it and a nearby bridge. The protest lasted 16 hours, delaying freight and passenger services. None of the defendants denied being on the train but told the jury that they did not believe their actions were criminal because they were trying to prevent climate change.