James – the Vestas 1 – has been in court today, at Newport magistrates. The hearing has finished; here is the Isle of Wight Country Press report:
Protester denies damage intent
A PROTESTER fighting the closure of a wind turbine blade factory on the Island has denied aggravated trespass and going equipped to cause criminal damage.
Appearing before Island magistrates today (Tuesday), James Daniel Beecher, 25, pleaded not guilty to scaling a fence at the Vestas factory and climbing inside a wind turbine blade and being caught with Save Vestas stickers, tape, glue and cable ties.
Mr Beecher, of Stroud, Gloucestershire, elected crown court trial and was bailed until November 27.
Speaking on the phone, James has told us that one happy outcome of today’s hearing was that the judge eased his bail conditions.
Whereas before he was forbidden to go within 200 metres of any property owned or managed by Vestas (including their lorries) he is now forbidden only to go on their property. He is therefore able to go back to stay at the roundabout camp outside the Vestas plant, and to travel again on the car ferry between Southampton and East Cowes – previously, that was considered too close to the Vestas plant at Venture Quays and the car ferry had therefore been out of bounds to James.
James was supported in the court by Vestas workers although most of the attention today is on the hearing in Southampton. A number of Vestas workers and other supporters have gone over for that.