XR protest London Andrea_Domeniconi

Source: Andrea Domeniconi

Protest group Just Stop Oil has suspended its disruption at oil terminals until April 25, but a Shell tanker was caught up in Extinction Rebellion protests in London at the weekend.

Just Stop Oil released a statement saying the suspension would allow time for the Prime Minister to make a statement on behalf of the Government that it will immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK. There has been no reaction from the Government.

The move came as Essex Police secured the first conviction in the country in connection with the disruption at fuel sites.

Catherine Maclean had been charged with aggravated trespass after an incident in Thurrock on Wednesday 13 April.

The 64-year-old, of Hurstpierpoint, in West Sussex, admitted the charge at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Saturday 17 April.

She was ordered to pay a total of £409, including a £270 fine, £105 in court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Maclean appeared alongside James Skeet, 34, of Drayton Street, Manchester, and Stephanie Aylett, 27, of High Oaks, St Albans, at court yesterday.

They were also charged with aggravated trespass and breach of bail conditions. They denied the offence and challenged the bail breach.

Magistrates were told Skeet and Aylett had been arrested multiple times in Essex since the incidents of disruption began in the early hours of April 1.

Both were remanded into custody to appear in the same court this week.

A total of 461 people have been arrested and 23 have been charged in connection with disruption caused in Thurrock.

Assistant chief constable Rachel Nolan said: “To have achieved the first conviction in relation to the disruption that parts of the country have experienced over the last 17 days is a real testament to the investigative team we have in place here at Essex Police.

“There is no doubt that this has proved to be a challenging investigation which has required a great deal of time and work from officers, and I want to place on record my thanks to them.

“Sadly, Ms Maclean’s actions means she now has a criminal record. No one – least of all my officers – wants to see this happen but it is a timely reminder that if you come to Essex to engage in trespass, even though you may see it as protest, you will be arrested, you will be charged and that is likely to lead to a criminal conviction.”

At the Kingsbury terminal in Warwickshire, which has also been disrupted by protests, North Warwickshire Borough Council has obtained an injunction against the protesters. It gives a power of arrest outside the terminal and at the junctions of the roads leading into the zone. A copy of the order will be placed prominently at the entrance to the terminal.

In London Extinction Rebellion is also carrying out a range of action with protesters gluing themselves to Shell’s head office and on Saturday three people climbed on top of a Shell tanker off Bayswater Road an unfurled banners.