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Guilty verdicts in first Kirby Misperton ‘fracking’ trial

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Two protesters have been found guilty of obstructing the highway at Kirby Misperton, after they climbed up a tower in the road.

Julia Collins, 40, and Ronald Holloran, 52, sat on top of the wooden tower in Habton Road, near the entrance to the hydraulic fracturing site, and refused to come down.

They were found guilty of wilfully obstructing the highway, at York Magistrates Court on Monday 12 March 2018, following the first trial related to protest activity at Kirby Misperton.

They were both sentenced to a six-month conditional discharge, and each ordered to pay prosecution costs of £200 and a £20 victim surcharge.

On Sunday 15 October 2017, at about 6.40pm, a group of protesters brought a three-sided tower into the road near the site entrance. Two people climbed on top of it and stayed there overnight.

Collins and Holloran refused to come down the following morning, and a specialist police team were called in to remove the tower safely, by erecting scaffolding around it. The two came down and were arrested at 5.40pm on Monday.

DC Formosa, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Police officers have been facilitating safe and peaceful protest for many months at Kirby Misperton. However, when the balance tips from peaceful protest to acts that go beyond what is reasonable, the public would rightly expect us to take action.”

Collins and Holloran, both from land near Kirby Misperton, were two of 85 arrests made by North Yorkshire Police related to protest activity at Kirby Misperton since September 2017. Other trials are due to take place over the coming months.

Last modified: March 13, 2018