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Trial set to open for three Heathrow protestors

Posted on: 16th May 2017

Date: Tuesday 16 May, 2017
Time: 10:00am
Location: Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, The Court House, Harefield Rd, Uxbridge UB8 1PQ

Three protestors will appear in court tomorrow charged with obstructing a tunnel/tunnel access road at Heathrow Airport on 21 February 2017.

Simon Bramwell, 45, from Stroud in Gloucestershire, Daniel Keeler, 32, from Watford in Hertfordshire and Stuart Basden, 34, from Bristol will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court tomorrow in a trial scheduled for half a day.

In February, a group of activists blocked an access tunnel at Heathrow with a car, unrolled a banner saying ‘No new runways’ and then chained themselves to the car. They were forcibly removed by police and subsequently arrested. They said that they took the action to show solidarity with the people worst affected by the further expansion of Heathrow airport, following the approval for a third runway in October 2016.

Raj Chada, a criminal defence partner from London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, is representing the defendants and said he will refer to expert evidence from Professor Alice Larkin, a professor in climate science and energy policy at the University of Manchester on aspects of aviation and climate change and specifically on the contribution made by Heathrow. He will also call upon evidence from Roger Pitman at TRL, the UK’s leading independent transport research centre.

The defendants will argue that their actions must be set in the context of the devastation that will be forced upon all of us by climate change and air pollution – both caused by Heathrow Airport. Ms Larkin notes that Heathrow contributes nearly 3% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. She also argues that it is difficult to see how expansion of Heathrow squares with the UK’s obligations under the Paris Agreement. Further, Mr Pitman will confirm research that shows that there could be 31 early deaths in a year within 20 miles of Heathrow, attributed to its emission.

Raj Chada says “The statistics that we have collected about Heathrow’s contribution to climate change and air pollution are astonishing. Our clients’ actions have to be seen in that context.”

Ends

For further information, please contact Kerry Jack on 020 3567 1208 or kerry.jack@blacklettercommunications.co.uk

Notes for Editors

Hodge Jones and Allen

  • Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice. Its senior partner is Patrick Allen and managing partner is Vidisha Joshi.
  • For almost 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
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  • Co-founder Patrick Allen is still at the helm of the firm he co-founded in 1977.
  • In 2016 the firm launched Hearing their voices – a campaign to raise awareness and build conversations around the issues and the injustices we might all face.

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