Ratcliffe Power Station Conspiracy Trial 2 remaining defendants sentenced 18th Jan 2011
Court Reporting: ALAN LODGE
114 people were arrested at the Iona School, Sneinton, Nottingham on the 13th April 2009. Nottinghamshire Police : Operation Aeroscope On 22nd November 2010, 20 defendants go on trial charged with Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Trespass, Contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. 18 were sentenced on the 5th January 2011 The remaining 2 defendants on 18th January 2011 Nottingham Crown Court 18th Jan 2011
Ratcliffe Power Station Conspiracy Trial Nottingham Crown Court Court 5 before
His Honour Judge Teare 18th Jan 2011 Court Reporting : Alan Lodge
Court Listing ................................................................................................ 5 Ratcliffe Trial Day 17 - Last Two Climate Defendant Sentenced ................. 7 Links: ........................................................................................................ 11 Statement from Mike Schwarz, Lawyer to the Defendants ........................ 12 Press......................................................................................................... 13
Ratcliffe Trial Day 17 - Last Two Climate Defendant Sentenced 18th January Nottingham Crown Court Having been found guilty, from the first trial the previous 18 of the 20 defendant had already been sentenced on the 10th January. The remaining 2 had to appear at Court 5, Nottingham Crown Court today. The story so far ..... At the conclusion of the trial on the 14th December 2010, all 20 defendants were found guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Trespass. They were arrested in April 2009 during the biggest pre-emptive arrest in UK history. The 114 people were detained at Iona School, Sneinton, where they were involved in planning an operation to shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station for a week. The facts were not disputed. Giving evidence, this was clearly there intention and that they were equipped to do it. The defence of necessity was employed in that they were acting to prevent a greater harm; death and serious injury to others as a direct consequence of climate changes bought about by the burning of fossil fuels, most notably coal. His Honour Judge Teare had deferred sentencing until today [18 January 2011] for the remaining 2 defendants. Miss Gerry for the prosecution said that these defendants did have a number of previous convictions for offences relating to social and environmental matters. She read out the previous for them that involved protests at Heathrow, Kingsnorth, Sizewell, Didcot, RAF Northwood and Downing Street. She reminded the Judge she had asked for prosecution costs of ÂŁ5,000 costs against each defendant. Further she applied for a deprivation order under: Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 [sect 143] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/6/section/143 Judge Teare turns to thoughts of sentencing. To start with, he said he was quite cross with Mr Edward Rees, the lead defence barrister [not present at this court], in that he had mislead the court to believe that a suspended sentence could not be given for a prison sentence of three months or less. He should have behaved better for a QC. This is the maximum penalty for this offence. It is in fact for sentences of less than six months that could be suspended! He said if he had realised this, a couple of the earlier defendants would have had suspended sentences. He has looked further into this, and if minded, he could revisit sentencing for those within 28 days, but he is not going to. With regard to these defendants, Judge Teare says that each have had many previous appearances and he says I am now considering suspended sentences. Ms Elliot in mitigation says that if that is so, these two fall below the level of others given lesser sentences at the last date.
Turning to references, Ms Elliot says that both have glowing references from the Director of Greenpeace, both being staff members there. It was not however, a 'Greenpeace action'. Both have been very active in raising public awareness on issues around climate change. Ms Elliot reminds the Judge of his comments on sentencing the other defendants: "I have read a great deal about all of you since the trial concluded. There is not one of you who cannot provide glowing references from peers or professionals. And, if I may select, some of the adjectives that recur throughout they are these: honest, sincere, conscientious, intelligent, committed, dedicated and caring. You are all decent men and women with a genuine concern for others, and in particular for the survival of planet Earth in something resembling its present form. I have no doubt that each of you acted with the highest possible motives. And that is an extremely important consideration". Sarah Elliot, compared the defendants behaviour and high principles unfavourably with police methods. She told the Judge that their honourable and decent motives perhaps might be contrasted with what we now know about the long-term deployment of undercover police officers, one of whom acted on the 'extreme boundary of legality', if not decency, if the reports of agitation and so on across Europe are to be believed. The deployment of that officer has been concealed from the defendants by the crown in these proceedings. Such evidence might have had an influence on the trial. His Honour Judge Jonathan Teare, referring to the undercover police officer said that he is going to disappoint the media by making NO COMMENT on PC Mark Kennedy, other than to say that he played absolutely no part in the trial. He says I have no knowledge of him apart from the fact that he hired a vehicle as part of these events. All matters pertaining to his involvement are alleged and unproved at this stage. I guess a fair few of the journalists present were hoping for a few more juicy titbits about him. On sentencing, the Judge says he's not going to reiterate all of his comments from the last trial, other than that both are both clearly motivated and come with the highest references. As with a couple of others, I was considering giving you both suspended sentences in the light of your previous convictions, but as already said, Mr Rees had mislead me. It is thus unfair to treat you differently now. He gives community service orders to do unpaid work within 12 months one for 90 hours and the other 80 hours. Although they were both employed, because of their low income, there was no order on costs. Returning to the deprivation order on the kit defence barrister Ms Elliot tried to argue that quite expensive climbing gear, a truck load of sleeping bags etc ... were a little outside of the normal articles involved in crime such as knives, guns, drugs, crowbar etc. Judge said that he was minded to grant a deprivation order, since the articles were bought for this crime. Defence counters asking that rather than confiscation and destruction, perhaps defendants might be allowed to sign a disclaimer and the articles might be given to a charity? Eventually, after several more exchanges, the judge asked both side to try to come to some agreement 8
themselves on all the property included in both trials and those not charged, and to let him know, for 'rubber-stamping', by the 18th March. She said the extensive list of personal items also including Kennedy's BlackBerry phone, complete with a secret police tracking device. She says this was mentioned in the reports in the Daily Mail. The Judge remarked that: "That is a newspaper which does not cross my table." Chuckle went round the courtroom :-) Defendants and their solicitor had all voiced concerns on how little the Judge had been told about PC Kennedy's undercover work and his likely contribution to the evidence before the court. One of the defendants, who is head of media for Greenpeace, said on the steps of Nottingham crown court that the only people who now faced jail over the Ratcliffe protest were police officers. He accused them of withholding a tape made by Kennedy which is now the subject of a disclosure application to the CPS. He said: "Kennedy played no part in our trial because he did not come up in evidence. Those who knew that he was a police officer, and knew the significance of that explosive tape, did not tell us, and, now we know, significantly, did not tell the judge." "Very serious allegations have been raised which throw into doubt the safety of our conviction, and there is possibly a miscarriage of justice. I don't think any of us, when we were arrested, would have thought that a possible scenario at the end of this would be that the only people who face jail sentences are police officers for suppressing evidence."
Links: Section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/45/part/I
Last Two Ratcliffe Climate Defendant Sentenced - Nottingham Indymedia http://notts.indymedia.org.uk/articles/900 Last 2x defendants from 1st Ratcliffe Trial Statements- Nottm Crown Court [Video] http://notts.indymedia.org.uk/tumbles/898 Mike Schwarz Solicitor Statements on Trial & Kennedy - Nottm Crown Court [Video] http://notts.indymedia.org.uk/tumbles/899 Earlier Indymedia daily coverage of the progress of this trial with the daily links: Ratcliffe Trial Day 16 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Return for Sentencing http://notts.indymedia.org.uk/articles/847 Report PDF on the Trial Progress: 2011 Nottingham 1st Ratcliffe Crown Court Trial Nov 2010 - Jan 2011 PDF 13.5MB http://notts.indymedia.org.uk/system/file_upload/2011/01/08/72/ratcliffe_crown_court_case__nov_2010__no_names.pdf
Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station activists sentenced - BBC. 18 January 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-12215180 Eco-protesters sentenced over power station plot walk free from court Nottingham Post. 18 January 2011 http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/courts/Eco-protesters-sentenced-power-station-plot-walk-free-court/article-3113559-detail/article.html
Last Ratcliffe-on-Soar climate protesters walk free Activists call for undercover policing inquiry as they are given community service orders Martin Wainwright, Guardian 18 January 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/18/ratcliffe-climate-protesters-walk-free Eco-terrorism: the non-existent threat we spend millions policing Spying on environmental activists serves no one's interests except for big corporations. Let's end this insult to democracy George Monbiot. Guardian 17 January 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/17/eco-terrorism-policing-environmental-activists Undercover police spy ring: minister to be questioned about Mark Kennedy Government minister Nick Herbert, who has responsibility for policing, to be questioned by MPs about Mark Kennedy Paul Lewis and Rob Evans . Guardian 17 January 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/17/undercover-spy-ring-minister-kennedy Clean-up of covert policing ordered after Mark Kennedy revelations Home Office minister Nick Herbert says Acpo will lose control of three teams involved in tackling 'domestic extremism' Alan Travis, Paul Lewis and Martin Wainwright, Guardian 18 January 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/18/covert-policing-cleanup-acpo Spying on protest groups has gone badly wrong, police chiefs say Senior officers say undercover operations need independent regulation as criticism mounts over the Mark Kennedy case Paul Lewis and Rob Evans, Guardian 19 January 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/19/protest-groups-undercover-mark-kennedy Agency will review use of undercover officer Mark Kennedy - Nottingham Post 20 January 2011 http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/courts/Agency-review-use-undercover-officer/article-3123206-detail/article.html Ratcliffe-on-Soar campaigners' cases reviewed by CPS - BBC Nottingham 28 January 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-12304612 Greenpeace UK Canonbury Villas, London, N1 2PN Tel: 020 7865 8100 Email (general enquiries): email@example.com http://www.greenpeace.org.uk
Ratcliffe on Trial Blog Ratcliffe-On-Trial â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Twitter Ratcliffe-On-Trial - Facebook Activist Speech on the Ratcliffe Trial Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
http://ratcliffeontrial.org/blog http://twitter.com/ratcliffetrial http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ratcliffe-On-Trial/109572312438910 http://notts.indymedia.org.uk/videos/798
Statement from Mike Schwarz, Lawyer to the Defendants I make this statement (in addition to the two statements on the Bindmans’ website) in response to revelations in today’s media that the police recorded but have withheld from the defence covert recordings of a meeting or meetings of campaigners at which PC Kennedy was present; and also that PC Kennedy had approached Max Clifford with a view to selling his story to the newspapers. I have a number of concerns and comments. First, there is the process. This is an entirely unsatisfactory way for information about PC Kennedy’s undercover operations to come out. The police and Crown generally should have disclosed all this material to the defence and / or the Crown Court judges who dealt with the trials of the acquitted 6 or the convicted 20 before their cases came to trial. Specifically, so far as PC Kennedy’s apparent contact with Mr Clifford is concerned, any information from or about PC Kennedy should be disclosure direct and formally to those affected, the defendants in particular. PC Kennedy can, for example, provide the defence and prosecution teams with a statement. Anything short of this would amount to disclosure by tabloid. Second, there is the content. It reinforces me in my view that the role of PC Kennedy in the planning of the action at Ratcliffe power station is as central to the safety of the convictions of the 20 as it was decisive in causing the collapse of the trial of the 6. Third, there is the way ahead. I do not think that a referral to the IPCC, as confirmed by the IPCC yesterday, is sufficient either to get to the bottom of what has happened, or investigate reports of more widespread police failings. The IPCC have, for example, limited themselves to the issue of police disclosure in the Ratcliffe trials. An inquiry by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, which has also been mentioned in the press, is and will be seen to be an exercise in the police investigating the police. A far wider, more powerful, independent enquiry is required – a judge-led enquiry for which the Macpherson inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence murder provides an off the shelf model, looking as it did at both the specifics of the case and the wider concerns about policing and race. What has so far emerged of the PC Kennedy episode highlights similar concerns about the police’s conduct of the Ratcliffe case. It also raises wider concerns about the use of undercover police, particularly their use against those exercising democratic rights of protest and expression; as well as concerns about the policing of protests generally, the police services’ policies and their accountability. Mike Schwarz Solicitor for the acquitted 6 and the convicted 20 Ratcliffe environmental campaigners email@example.com 12
NETCU â&#x20AC;&#x201C; National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit http://www.netcu.org.uk/media/article.jsp?id=531&chkx=08301292f62059fd2758740b6fc5e89e
Date: 1 October 2009 26 charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass Twenty-six people have been charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. Simon Lewis, 37, of Cliff Mount, Leeds is due to appear before Nottingham magistrates on Monday 5 October. David Barkshire, 43, of Rampton Road, Sheffield; Spencer Pawling, 40, of Llanerchymedd, Gwynedd; Daniel Chivers, 31, of Campbell Road, Oxford; Brody Curtis Stevens, 31, of Andover Street, Sheffield; Sarah Shoraka, 31, of Fairholt Road, London; Paul Kahawatte, 24, of Teynham Road, Whitstable, Kent; Emma Shepards, 28, of Hamilton Road, Manchester and Bradley Day, 22, of Spring Terrace, Swansea are due to appear at Nottingham Magistrates Court on Friday 9 October. Spencer Cooke, 43, of The Square, Bestwood Village, Nottingham; Ben Julian, 32, of Groombridge Road, London; Christopher Kitchen, 31, of Dean Street, Colchester; Jesse Harris, 23, of Hartley Avenue, Leeds; Martin Shaw, 44, of Campbell Road, Oxford; Olaf Bayer, 34 of Campbell Road, Oxford; Oliver Knowles, 34 of Lordship Park, London and Ben Stewart, 35, of Allen Road, London are due to appear at the same court on Monday 12 October Phillip Ashley Murray, 23 of St Stephen's Road, Canterbury, Kent, Jonathan David Leighton, 20, of Basset Avenue, Southampton, Anna Rudd, 30, of Cliff Mount, Leeds, Jacqueline Ann Sheedy, 44, of Foulden Road, London, Daniel Joshua Glass, 25, of Willowbank Street, Glasgow and Anthony Mullen, 35, of Andover Street Sheffield will appear at the same court on Tuesday 13 October. Clare Freda Whitney, 23, of Catherine Street, Cambridge, will appear before magistrates at the same court on Friday 16 October, Lisa Maria Kamphausen, 25, of Highfield Crescent, Southampton is due to appear at the court on Friday 23 October and Adam Keith Weymouth, 25, of Meadow Court, Whiteparish, Salisbury, will be in court on Tuesday 27 October. All were arrested at an independent school in the Sneinton Dale area of Nottingham during a major police operation on 13 April this year. 14
Last Ratcliffe-on-Soar climate protesters walk free Activists call for undercover policing inquiry as they are given community service orders
Martin Wainwright, Guardian 18 January 2011 Environmental campaigners ratcheted up the pressure for a judge-led inquiry into undercover policing today, after the last two protesters in the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station case were given community service orders. The most senior police involved in the controversial case, including officers from the national anti-extremist unit, were at the hearing in Nottingham, which brought fresh embarrassment for their forces and the Crown Prosecution Service. Lawyers for Sarah Shoraka, 33, and Ben Stewart, 36, both Greenpeace employees, said the issue of PC Mark Kennedy, allegedly at the centre of a ÂŁ250,000-a-year undercover operation within the climate change movement, had become "murkier still". In court, the pair's barrister, Sarah Elliot, compared their behaviour and high principles unfavourably with police methods. She told Judge Jonathan Teale: "Their honourable and decent motives perhaps might be contrasted with what we now know about the long-term deployment of undercover police officers, one of whom acted on the 'extreme boundary of legality', if not decency, if the reports of agitation and so on across Europe are to be believed. "The deployment of that officer has been concealed from the defendant by the crown in these proceedings." Passing sentence, the judge told Shoraka and Stewart: "I am going to disappoint the media by making no comment on Mark Kennedy, other than to say that he played absolutely no part in the trial of you and the other 18. I have no knowledge of him apart from the fact that he hired a vehicle in this county." But this was seized upon after the hearing by the activists and their legal team as a deliberate nudge that the judge had been kept in the dark about Kennedy's undercover work. The judge also indicated the likelihood of further litigation when Elliot tried to have costs quashed because of the police's alleged deceit. He rejected the move â&#x20AC;&#x201C; although costs were not ordered because of Shoraka and Stewart's limited financial means â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but left the door open for it. He told the court: "I don't think it's right to consider the question of costs because of his [Kennedy's] alleged and unproved involvement at this stage." Kennedy's role emerged only when he offered to give evidence for the defence at a second trial involving the planned Ratcliffe protest last month. The hearing, also before Judge Teale, collapsed as a result.
Stewart, who is head of media for Greenpeace, said on the steps of Nottingham crown court that the only people who now faced jail over the Ratcliffe protest were police officers. He accused them of withholding a tape made by Kennedy which is now the subject of a disclosure application to the CPS. He said: "Kennedy played no part in our trial because he did not come up in evidence. Those who knew that he was a police officer, and knew the significance of that explosive tape, did not tell us, and, now we know â&#x20AC;&#x201C; significantly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; did not tell the judge. "Very serious allegations have been raised which throw into doubt the safety of our conviction, and there is possibly a miscarriage of justice. I don't think any of us, when we were arrested, would have thought that a possible scenario at the end of this would be that the only people who face jail sentences are police officers for suppressing evidence." Today's hearing heard Judge Teale repeat comments made at the sentencing of the 16 other activists, which accepted that they were "highly motivated, highly principled and conscientious people". He did, however, refer to "immature and irresponsible behaviour" by Shoraka when she threw paint at Downing Street's gates in 2004 while dressed as a judge. He said he would have passed suspended jail sentences because both defendants had previous convictions, all related to environmental protests. But he had spared another protester, with a longer record, at the previous hearing because of misleading legal advice from the defence. He said he was "angry" about this, but added: "It would be unfair to pass suspended sentences on you in these circumstances." Both were given a year's community service with 90 hours of unpaid work for Shoraka and 80 for Stewart. The judge deferred a confiscation order on a huge haul of alleged protest equipment seized from 114 activists originally arrested, including Kennedy's BlackBerry phone, complete with a secret police tracking device. When the Daily Mail was raised in this context, he murmured as an aside: "That is a newspaper which does not cross my table." An Independent Police Complaints Commission inquiry into the Kennedy allegations is under way. Stewart described that as "laughable", saying: "Only a judge-led inquiry will do." Police attending today's hearing had no comment.
Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station activists sentenced BBC. 18 January 2011
Two activists who planned to shut down a power station in Nottinghamshire have been given community orders. Sarah Shoraka and Ben Stewart were among 20 people convicted of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass at Nottingham Crown Court in December. The court heard they plotted to close Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. Last week, the trial of six other campaigners accused of being involved collapsed when an undercover police officer offered to help the defence. After the offer from 18
Pc Mark Kennedy, the defence team asked prosecutors to disclose full details of his activities - prompting the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to drop the case. Mr Kennedy has since said he believes tape recordings secretly made by him were withheld for fear they would destroy the prosecution's case. Shoraka and Stewart - both Greenpeace employees - argued his comments meant their own trial may have been a miscarriage of justice. 'Explosive' tape But Judge Jonathan Teare told them that Mr Kennedy "played absolutely no part in the trial of you and the other 18". He said: "I have no knowledge of him apart from the fact that he hired a vehicle in this county and as far as he is concerned I make no comment about him at all." The judge ordered Shoraka, 33, of Fairholt Road, London, to complete 90 hours unpaid work as part of a one-year community order. He told Stewart, 36, of Alkham Road, London, to complete 80 hours also as part of a one-year community order. After the hearing, Stewart - who is head of media for Greenpeace - said the judge's comments showed Mr Kennedy's tapes had been withheld from the court. He said: "He played no part in the trial because it was not brought up in evidence. "He did not play any part because the people that knew for sure he was a police officer and knew the significance of that explosive tape that he had did not tell us, and now we know, significantly, did not tell the judge. "We are in the situation where in the short period between our conviction and our sentencing, very serious allegations have been raised by the media which throw into doubt the safety of our conviction and there is possibly a miscarriage of justice." He and Shoraka said they were waiting for disclosure of the tapes by the prosecution before deciding their next move, including whether they will appeal against their convictions. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to examine whether Nottinghamshire Police gave all relevant material to prosecutors. Shoraka and Stewart were the only remaining activists awaiting sentencing in connection with the plot. The other 18 were given a mixture of community orders and conditional discharges earlier this month. Those convicted were among more than 100 people arrested in Sneinton, Nottingham, in April 2009.
Ratcliffe-on-Soar campaigners' cases reviewed by CPS BBC Nottingham 28 January 2011 The cases of 20 environmental activists convicted of plotting to shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station are to be reviewed, the BBC has learned. The campaigners were found guilty of conspiring to commit aggravated trespass at the Nottinghamshire site. Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer has appointed a senior barrister to review the cases. A linked trial collapsed earlier this month after an undercover police officer offered to help the defence. The BBC's home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said Mr Starmer's decision was highly unusual and suggested there might be grounds for questioning the safety of the convictions. Fourteen male and six female campaigners were given a mixture of community orders and conditional discharges at Nottingham Crown Court earlier this month, after being found guilty of plotting to disrupt the supply to the power station. The court heard they were among more than 100 people arrested during a raid in Sneinton, Nottingham, in April 2009. The trial of a further six defendants accused of being involved collapsed when undercover officer Pc Mark Kennedy, who had infiltrated the campaigners, offered to testify for the defence. Bolstered defence After the offer, the defence team asked prosecutors to disclose full details of his activities prompting the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to drop the case. Mr Kennedy has since said he believes tape recordings secretly made by him were withheld for fear they would destroy the prosecution argument. Lawyers for the convicted activists have said they believe the tapes should have been disclosed to them before the trial as they might have bolstered their defence. One of the 20 convicted, 36-year-old Ben Stewart from London, said he believed there had been a miscarriage of justice. He said: "It's a fact that it was the tape that led to the trial of the other six collapsing. This tape we know would go to the very heart of the case, and would have helped the jury. We think the CPS should release the tape, we think there has been a miscarriage of justice and we are very curious to know why the tape was suppressed." The campaigners have said that closing the power station was necessary to reduce climate change. After the case collapsed, the CPS said it would conduct a "thorough" review of the case "as quickly as possible". The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to examine whether Nottinghamshire Police gave all relevant material to prosecutors. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-12304612
As far as I know, this was the only injury sustained during this action and trial. This is my sore finger, the result of me trying to write at lightening speed, to keep up with the presented evidence. An artist suffering for his work
____________________________________________ ALAN LODGE Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham. UK Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://digitaljournalist.eu Member of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ] ____________________________________________ "It is not enough to curse the darkness. It is also necessary to light a lamp!!" ___________________________________________ <ends> 22