A dozen anti fracking protesters have been found guilty of wilfully obstructing a main road .
The 12 were convicted after a three day hearing at Blackpool Magistrates Court.They had all pleaded not guilty to obstructing the A583 outside the site entrance to Cuadrilla’s gas exploration site.
District Judge Jim Clarke sentenced them all to a nine month conditional discharge and ordered them each to pay £170 costs.
The 12 were arrested after they had “locked on” during a day long protest on May 8 this year.
The judge told the defendants that he had been impressed by their conduct during the trial and the way several of them had given evidence about their beliefs that fracking is harmful to the community.
However he said by staging the lock on they had deprived Cuadrilla will access to and from the site at Little Plumpton for a time.
It had also forced police to establish a contraflow along a stretch of the A 583 whilst the protesters werebeing cut free.
The judge told the defendants:”You were on the highway and the police have a duty of care to everyone.The highway was obstructed as a result of your action.”
Earlier 70 year old grandfather of ten Robert Dennett of Forest Drive ,Lytham told the court how he believed the lock on was required to draw attention to the dangers of fracking as the democratic process had failed the local people who were against the process.
The other defendants were Darren Dennett (37) also of Forest Drive;Graham Holin (49) of Kirby Misperton,North Yorks