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PRESS NOTICE: Criminal trial to start following Heathrow Airport runway protest

Date: Monday 18 January 2016
Venue: Willesden Magistrates’ Court (Brent), 448 High Rd, London NW10 2DZ
Time: 9am

Protestors are to appear at Willesden Magistrates’ Court at 9am on Monday 18th January, to stand trial for charges of aggravated trespass and entering a security restricted area on the eastern end of Heathrow Airport’s northern runway in summer 2015.

The group is asserting their right to defend the climate and the communities negatively impacted by Heathrow, and are pleading not guilty.

The trial will last six days and is scheduled to conclude on Friday 29 January 2016, when the judge is expected to hand down a judgment at Uxbridge Magistrates Court at 2pm.

Melanie Strickland, Sam Sender, Sheila Menon and Robert Basto are being represented by criminal defence lawyer Raj Chada of Hodge Jones & Allen. They were part of a 13-strong group protesting about the devastating effect of Heathrow due to its contribution to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The group accessed the north runway on 13 July 2015, where they erected a tripod mast and tied themselves to each other and the mast. They were all consequently arrested.

Raj Chada says: “We’ll be making a vigorous defence on behalf of our clients and will argue that they were fully justified in their actions

Also standing trial and represented by Mike Schwarz of Bindman Solicitors are: Rebecca Sanderson, Richard Hawkins, Danielle Paffard, Ella Gilbert, Graham Thompson, Kara Moses, Cameron Kaye, Alistair Tamlit and Edward Thacker.


All press enquiries to:

Clare Rice, Black Letter Communications on 0203 567 1208, email:

Kerry Jack, Black Letter Communications on or 0203 567 1208 or 07525 756 599, email:


Notes for Editors

(1) Case has been transferred from Uxbridge Magistrates Court to        Willesden Magistrates (Brent) Court