Court update from Vestas crane action trial, 16 March 2010
Two of us pleaded guilty at the start of the day and two went ahead with the full trial (a tactical decision).
After a very long and nerve racking break while the judge considered his verdict he eventually returned to say that he could only give a ‘guilty’ verdict for the charge of aggravated trespass.
He then gave us one of the most lenient sentences available to him. The two that pleaded guilty at the beginning of the day were given a 12-month conditional discharge and £30 costs each – this included a discount for early guilty plea. The other two were given 18 months conditional discharge and £100 costs each. The Crown Prosecution Service had been asking for almost £1,000 costs for each of us.
The district judge went on to compliment us in many ways, as well as the obligatory patronising bit about how we should stay within the law in future and how a criminal record might affect our careers. Personally, I could cope with that – as the one person with a long list of previous I was fully expecting many, many hours of community service.
A huge thanks to our witnesses and to all who came to court, including those who have supported us in so many other ways. I believe that it really helped that the judge saw the wide range of people involved in this campaign and he obviously respected how passionately we all felt about the combined issues of workers’ struggle and the environment.
For those who do not already know about Workers’ Climate Action – please check out the following website and maybe join people on the British Airways cabin crew solidarity picket line on Saturday a.m. at Heathrow Airport. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Workers’ Climate Action