Anti-fracking ‘nana’ due for Preston court hearing

Tina Rothery at Blackpool court
Tina Rothery at Blackpool court
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Anti-fracking campaigners were due to stage a protest outside Preston Crown Court today in support of Lancashire Nana, Tina Rothery. She is facing contempt of court proceedings which could lead to a jail term.

That followed a claim for damages from landowners backed by Cuadrilla after protesters in August 2014 set up a camp in a field off Preston New Road at Little Plumpton near the site earmarked for fracking.

After putting her name forward in the case, Ms Rothery declined to fill in forms relating to her ability to pay and as such faces a charge of contempt.

She explained at the court in Blackpool earlier this year that she regarded the whole case as unfair and an abuse of the legal system.

Today, supporters including actress Emma Thompson and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood have written a letter to fracking firm Cuadrilla appealing to them to drop its “aggressive” pursuit of Ms Rothery.

However, today Cuadrilla said the contempt case was not in its hands and it was up to the court to decide and pointed out the £55,000 costs were not for the camp itself but court costs due to her asking for a adjournment.

In the letter the activists say: “Tina has shown extraordinary bravery. When this legal action was brought and a named defendant was needed, she volunteered to prevent one of her fellow Lancashire Nanas, perhaps someone caring for children or elderly parents, being victimised.”