Jubilant scenes as proceedings against anti fracking gran are dropped

Hundreds of anti fracking protestors cheered outside Preston Crown Court as a Lancashire gran revealed contempt of court proceedings had been dropped against her.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 1:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:48 pm
Tina Rothery outside Preston Crown Court

A private hearing took place at Preston's Combined Court Centre between campaigner Tina Rothery and lawyers - including one from fracking firm Cuadrilla - in the civil court.

Miss Rothery, from the Lancashire Nanas group, was battling a civil demand for £51,000 in connection with a protest at a proposed drill site and attended court with her sister and other supporters.

It is understood she had failed to answer a legal document about her finances, leading to contempt proceedings in the civil court.

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Anti-fracking demonstrators in Preston

The case, listed as Cuadrilla v Rothery, was dropped just after 2.15pm.

Miss Rothery was sued by landowners, backed by Cuadrilla for costs, following the Reclaim the Power occupation of the site on farmland off Preston New Road near Little Plumpton in August 2014.

The costs occurred after a court hearing in October 2014 when Ms Rothery was named as a defendant when an injunction was placed on the land to prevent any further protests.

She believes the legal action was an ‘abuse of the British legal system and "bullying by rich companies and landowners against ordinary people with a legitimate protest against an industry they fear will damage the environment".

Tina Rothery outside Preston Crown Court

Miss Rothery, who did not pay the costs, had argued the campaigners caused no damage, cleaned up and were not evicted as we had already left.

More than 200 protestors huddled in the rain outside the court, displaying yellow clothes and balloons.

Around 15 more were gathered outside the courtroom with the press.

Protesters await the decision
Tina Rothery outside Preston Crown Court
Anti-fracking demonstrators in Preston
Tina Rothery outside Preston Crown Court
Protesters await the decision
Tina Rothery outside Preston Crown Court