en Greenpeace activists who blocked a jetty at an oil terminal, forcing a tanker carrying Russian diesel to U-turn, will declare in court docket that their actions have been lawful as they have been “stopping a criminal offense”.
The defendants, aged between 27 and 72, have gone on trial at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court docket.
Monali Ralerasker, prosecuting, stated the operations supervisor of Navigator Terminals in Grays, Essex, was made conscious that protesters had breached the jetty at round 11.10pm on Could 15 this 12 months.
“They’d gained entry from the riverside by dinghy boats,” the lawyer stated.
She stated the jetty is “essential” to the terminal’s infrastructure as it’s “used for giant tankers to dock”.
Activists hooked up themselves to the construction and displayed a banner that stated “oil fuels warfare”.
Ms Ralerasker stated a vessel because of dock on Could 16 was rotated within the River Thames.
“The Port of London Authority made the choice to show the ship round and return her to anchorage so no gas was discharged,” she stated.
The protesters have been later arrested and brought into custody in Colchester.
Describing what the problem within the case can be, Ms Ralerasker stated: “What they are saying is that they have been appearing in an trustworthy perception that they have been stopping a criminal offense being dedicated right here.”
In a TikTok video performed in court docket, a protester on the website stated: “We’re sending a message to the UK Authorities to cease importing Russian oil.
“We’re right here to cease a ship carrying Russian oil from docking right here within the UK.”
One of many activists who scaled the jetty, former lieutenant colonel Michael Grant, 62, informed the court docket: “The aim of the motion was to attract consideration to the truth that fossil fuels have been being imported and thereby funding Putin’s warfare.
“Our purpose was to actually spotlight what I’d name state-level hypocrisy that was hiding in plain sight.”
He stated that he’s within the Greenpeace climb workforce they usually focused the Andromeda tanker, which was “Greek-flagged and it was carrying Russian oil”.
Grant stated his background was “ex-military” and he had greater than 25 years’ service within the Parachute Regiment and was a lieutenant colonel.
“I’ve been in a number of high-risk conditions and I believed I had some abilities to bear,” he stated.
Requested by Henry Blaxand KC, defending, if he had thought-about what else he may have completed, Grant stated: “I’ve written many letters in my time, signed a whole bunch of petitions, been on a number of marches.
“This stuff don’t have a right away affect and time is an element.”
He stated it was two months into the invasion of Ukraine on the time and he equated the variety of deaths to the “equal of a Manchester Enviornment bombing every single day”.
“We didn’t have time to take the same old routes,” he stated.
He continued: “If I walked right into a police station and raised the problem of imports of oil getting used to fund efficient warfare crimes in Ukraine I believe you realize what would have occurred – I’d have been dismissed as a crank.”
The ten defendants deny a single cost of obstructing or disrupting an individual engaged in a lawful exercise underneath the Prison Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
It’s stated they trespassed on land at Navigator Terminals and blocked the jetty, obstructing or disrupting “a lawful exercise, particularly gas distribution”.
The defendants are: Benji Bailes, 38, of Gloucester; Michael Grant, 62, of Rosewell, Midlothian; Kim Harrison, 38, of Oldham, Larger Manchester; Benjamin Hearne-Salter, 41, of Kashmir Highway, south London; David James, 62, of Bromfelde Highway, south London; Ian Mills, 56, of Chippenham, Wiltshire; Zoe Pontida, 32, of Oxford; Henry Rayner, 28, of Ivanhoe Highway, south London; Lyndall Stein, 72, of Surrey Row, south London; Rhiannon Wooden, 27, of Hedge Finish, close to Southampton, Hampshire.
The trial, being heard earlier than district choose Christopher Williams and because of final two days, continues.