Green MP Caroline Lucas to continue campaign against fracking after court finds her not guilty of obstructing a public highway during Balcombe protest

 

Britain’s only Green MP has vowed to continue her fight to end fracking after being found not guilty of obstructing a public highway and a public order offence during high-profile protests.

The Brighton Pavilion MP was arrested outside energy company Cuadrilla’s exploratory oil drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex, last August. She was among a group of protesters who had linked arms outside the site, which had become a national focal point for anti-fracking protests.

Today Ms Lucas was found not guilty of the two charges she faced – wilful obstruction of a public highway and breaching an order under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.

Outside Brighton Magistrates’ Court, the 53-year-old said: “We are pleased that the court upheld our right to peacefully protest against fracking, but this judgment is not a victory or cause for celebration. We will continue to campaign to end fracking and only celebrate when our world is on the path to a clean energy future.”

District judge Tim Pattinson said the prosecution had failed to satisfy him that Ms Lucas had “the requisite knowledge” about the Section 14 order being in place.

Her co-defendants – Josef Dobraszczyk, Ruth Jarman, Sheila Menon and Ruth Potts – were also cleared of both charges.

PA

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