No jail for runway protesters
THREE AVOID PRISON SENTENCE FOR CAUSING TRAFFIC CHAOS AT HEATHROW TUNNEL
THREE men who caused chaos at Heathrow Airport in protest of the airport’s expansion have avoided jail.
The third runway opponents blocked the main inbound tunnel towards the central area of the airport on February 21 during rush hour.
The trio parked cars in Tunnel Road East before attaching themselves to one of the vehicles using metal piping and quick-dry expanding foam. They also draped a banner across a vehicle.
At Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (May 16), Simon Bramwell, 45, of Stroud, Daniel Keeler, 35, of Watford and Stuart Basden, 34, of Bristol, were found guilty of obstructing a tunnel access road, following a trial.
On Thursday (May 18) at the same court, they were sentenced but avoided jail.
Two other people, Geneieve Scherer and Nil Agger, had previously pleaded guilty in connection with the incident.
The protesters were part of campaign group Rising Up, which said they took the action to show solidarity with those worst affected by fur- ther expansion of Heathrow Airport, following the approval for a third runway in October 2016.
Basden and Agger hired cars and drove behind Keeler into the tunnel. They then blocked it and police had to use specialist cutting tools to free the men from the cars and clear the tunnel.
The protest created miles of tailbacks on the M4 spur, as well as affecting the M25 and other roads nearby.
Bramwell and Keeler were ordered to pay a sum towards victim services, as was Basden who also had to pay costs to the court.
All three men were handed a 12-month conditional discharge. Agger, 23, of Gables Farm, Hazlecote Lane, Stroud, pleaded guilty on April 19 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court and was ordered to pay a fine, costs and a sum of money to victim services.
At the same court, on March 8, Scherer, 70, of Leppoc Road, Lambeth, pleaded guilty and was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs and a sum to victim services.
A protester ‘locked’ to the car at the Heathrow tunnel
The Heathrow protesters left to right Stuart Brasden, Simon Bramwell and Daniel Keeler