Plane Stupid campaigners guilty of trespass

Five members of the climate change campaign group Plane Stupid have been found guilty of trespassing on House of Commons property.

The five activists climbed onto the roof of the House of Commons in February and unfurled banners reading "No Third Runway" and "BAA HQ", referring to the British Airports Authority, the company that owns seven UK airports.

Westminster Magistrates Court found them guilty on 13 November and ordered four of them to pay fines of £150 each plus £200 each in court costs.

The fifth campaigner, Tamsin Omond, received a conditional discharge plus £150 in court costs.

They had pleaded not guilty under Section 3 of the Criminal Law Act, which allows a person to use force to prevent a crime being committed.

The Plane Stupid five were Olivia Chessell, Leo Murray, Graham Thompson, Alexander George and Omond.

The decision comes two months after the landmark ruling at Maidstone Crown Court that cleared six Greenpeace activists of causing criminal damage at a coal-fired power station.

They pleaded not guilty under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, arguing that they had acted to prevent even greater damage caused by climate change, and were acquitted.

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