No jail for run­way pro­test­ers


Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - QASIM PERACHA by qasim.peracha@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @qasim­per­acha

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

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