BREAKING: Nine Insulate Britain protestors jailed for breaching M25 injunction
They were sentenced to between three and six months behind bars
Sentences have been handed down to nine Insulate Britain protesters who admitted to breaching the injunction at junction 25 of the M25 on October 8, during a High Court hearing on Monday November 15.
The nine - aged between 20 and 58 years old - were convicted of contempt of court for breaking the National Highways’ M25 injunction and were sentenced to between three and six months in prison.
Ana Heytawin and Louise McKecknie received sentences of three months, while Ben Taylor, who had announced to the court his intention to reoffend, received a sentence of six months.
The other defendants were sentenced to four months with the proviso that they would serve at least half of that sentence.
Nine campaigners appeared at the High Court on Tuesday, where they admitted to breaching an injunction which banned them from blocking areas of the M25, Liverpool Street in central London and roads around the Port of Dover.
For weeks the group controversially glued themselves to some of Britain's busiest roads, creating travel chaos for commuters.
Ben Taylor, who received the longest sentence, had told the court he planned to reoffend if he was not handed a jail term.
Taylor told the court on Tuesday he would “go and block the motorway at the earliest opportunity and will continue to do so until the Government makes a meaningful statement and acts on it” adding “If you somehow manage to stop all non-violent protests, then things will only turn violent”.
The group have been campaigning for the Government to insulate all of Britain's homes by 2030.
In a letter read on the steps of the High Court, the group said: "Today in the High Courts, the government has shown its cowardice.
"Nine ordinary people have been committed to prison for demanding that the government fulfil its election pledges by insulating Britain’s homes.
"Over the last 9 weeks, 174 ordinary people have held the government to account, asking that they deliver on their most basic of duties, to protect the British people, the economy and all we hold dear in our society.
"Your government has now chosen to act. It has chosen to imprison us for this demand.
"By imprisoning us, the government shows its cowardice. They would rather lock up pensioners than insulate their homes."
Following the sentencing, Emma Smart, 44, announced her intention to go on hunger strike.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps who had been working on the broken injunctions tweeted "Every motorway and major A road in the country is now covered by injunctions preventing people from blocking the road
"Anyone who causes misery to motorists may face prison".
Every motorway and major A road in the country is now covered by injunctions preventing people from blocking the road - anyone who causes misery to motorists may face prison.
I'll continue to do all I can to protect road-users and prevent dangerous, disruptive behaviour. [2/2]
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) November 17, 2021
Human Rights barrister, Adam Wagner said the sentencing was a "huge moment" where it's the first time to his knowledge that "non-violent protestors have been imprisoned for contempt of court after breaking a 'persons unknown' injunction".
Wagner said he did not believe in the tactics used by the group but it could set a dangerous precedent for free speech in the United Kingdom. He said he hoped they would appeal.
This is a huge moment - the first time, as far as I know, that non-violent protesters have been imprisoned for contempt of court after breaching a 'persons unknown' injunction. I hope they appeal https://t.co/bTX2YZNeat
— Adam Wagner (@AdamWagner1) November 17, 2021
All nine activists have been sentenced between three and six months behind bars.
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