Little Plumpton anti-fracking protester has case dropped by Blackpool magistrates

An anti-fracking protester has had a court case against her dropped.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 5:00 pm
Placards near fracking site at Little Plumpton

Liz Beck, 56, had her first appearance at court almost three years ago.

Today, she emerged smiling from Blackpool Magistrates Court where her case - believed to be the last prosecution – was dismissed by District Judge Jane Goodwin.

The first prosecution of people protesting against Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton took place at the same court in May 2017.

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Ms Beck was alleged to have stood in front of a lorry emerging from the site in September last year. Ms Beck lived at the New Hope camp set up by anti-fracking campaigners near the Cuadrilla site but has since moved to Manchester.

The judge dismissed the case against her after being told that her defence lawyer had been served evidence by the Crown Prosecution Service just two working days before the hearing.

And they had failed to serve at all some vital police camera footage.

The judge said: ”Footage was downloaded onto a disc the day after the alleged incident in September last year and was not sent to the defence. There is no excuse for the Crown dragging their feet like this. It puts the defence at a distinct disadvantage.”

“From what I have heard there has been a flurry of activity by the prosecution just a few days before this trial .”

“I dismiss the case against the defendant.”

Nick Turner, prosecuting, said:”I accept the defence should be given time to address the issues caused by this late service.”