Protesters have been ‘economical with truth’

Cuadrillas fracking site
Cuadrillas fracking site

An anti-fracking protester has lost an appeal against  her conviction for a public order offence following a protest at Cuadrilla’s fracking site.

Liz Beck, 54, took her battle to Preston’s Sessions House Court.

She was among eight campaigners who were found guilty of a public order offence after a four-day trial at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court earlier this year.

The eight protestors locked on in pairs across the main entrance of the Cuadrilla shale gas drilling site at Preston New Road in February.

The court heard they covered their arms in metal tubing and then chained themselves to fencing which runs along the side of the site on the A 583.

They were found guilty of failing to obey a senior police officer’s orders to move to the other side of the road.

At the time, District Judge Jeff Brailsford said: “There is a right to protest and this is an important right but it must be done within the law.

I do think these protesters have at times been economical with the truth in describing their actions on the day. I do not believe they could not have unlocked themselves.”

Liz Beck was given an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £300 in costs, along with her co-defendants Stephen Allen, 47; Sally Bowman, 46; Daniel Jones, 29; Ian Kitching, 55; John Knox, 30; and Ellie Stanton, 24 – who all gave their address as the protest camp at Whitehills, Blackpool – and Craig Wilson, 41, of Dorset Road, Atherton, near Wigan.

Beck launched an appeal against her conviction but Judge Graham Knowles QC dismissed her case and ordered her to pay £285 costs.