With the trial that concluded just after last issue went to press, all 13 people charged during the Trident Ploughshares June month of action at the Burghfield nuclear bomb factory in Berkshire have now had their cases resolved (all at Reading magistrates court).
On 19 October, Helen Swanston was found guilty of obstructing the highway and was given 12 months conditional discharge plus costs of £215. She had locked onto a vehicle parked across the northern end of ‘The Mearings’, a ministry of defence road, on 7 June.
Three Finns arrested with Helen did not return to the UK for the trial.
On 14 October, Mary Millington was found guilty of ‘making unauthorised highway markings’, and ‘going equipped for criminal damage’. She was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £200 compensation to West Berkshire district council.
Mary sprayed ‘Stop The Deadly Convoys’ on Reading Road, a public road leading to Burghfield, on 28 June. She was then arrested in possession of a can of red spray paint and a pair of boltcroppers.
On 14 December, Ellis Brooks, Gillian Lawrence and Sam Donaldson (part of a Quaker group called ‘No Faith In Trident’) had the charge of ‘aggravated trespass’ dismissed, as the most senior police officer present at the scene had not formed his own ‘reasonable belief’ as to the commission of the offence, but was merely following orders from elsewhere.
On 26 January, Jo Frew, Alison Parker, Angela Kalinzi-Ditchfield, Nina Carter-Brown and Nicholas Cooper were found guilty of highway obstruction. They were each given a six month conditional discharge and £120 court costs.
The five, a Catholic group called ‘Put Down The Sword’, had lain across the northern end of The Mearings locked on to each other through lock-on tubes.
The Quakers and Catholics both took action on 27 June last year.
Info from Trident Ploughshares: www.tridentploughshares.org