Group planned protest the day before lock-on

The 12 anti-fracking defendants outside court
The 12 anti-fracking defendants outside court

One of a dozen people facing trial over a lock-on protest outside the Preston New Road fracking site has described the planning that went into the act.

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Michelle Martin, 45, of Queensway, Warton, is one of 12 defendants who deny obstruction of the A583 outside the Cuadrilla gas site.

They also deny depriving Cuadrilla staff of their right to work.

Martin told District Judge Jeff Brailsford, sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court, that the decision to lock on had been made at a meeting of protesters the day before.

They had planned to arrive at 2am when the area would be quiet.

She said two towers had been built each side of the entrance and a metal wire strung between them.

She agreed the lock-on had blocked the site to large vehicles but argued workers could have used other entrances on foot or using small vehicles.

She was the last of the 12 to release themselves on July 3 this year and said that police had not given her a five-step appeal before warning her about being prosecuted.

Martin said she was at the entrance when a JCB arrived to knock the towers down.

Three of the defendants are councillors in Lancashire.

(Proceeding)