Anti-fracker threatened Cuadrilla guard with ‘snitches get stitches’ jibe, court told

The Preston New Road fracking site entrance in June last year a week after the incident occurred
The Preston New Road fracking site entrance in June last year a week after the incident occurred

An attempt to storm the security fence surrounding the Cuadrilla gas exploration site was a ruse, a court heard.

Anti-fracking protesters pushed and pulled at the metal fence across the entrance to the site on Preston New Road at Little Plumpton near Blackpool.

Video footage played to District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates Court showed Cuadrilla security staff using their bodies to shore up the fencing.

Neil White, prosecuting, maintained the attempt to storm the fencing was a distraction.

“This was done to enable other protesters to lock themselves on to two Cuadrilla vehicles parked on the roadside outside the site entrance,” said the prosecutor.

Mr White said during the incident one security man had his knee twisted and another suffered a cut to his hand.

“The footage is quite frenzied and was shot by the protesters.”

Stephen Allen, 48, who lives at the protest camp at Dugdale Close, Blackpool, denies three charges of assault and intimidating witness - namely a security guard.

The judge saw two sets of protesters lock themselves under the vehicles. Others locked on nearby in the open air.

Guard and crown witness Peter Stephenson said Allen was always called by his nickname ”Logic”.

He said Allen was trying to place a deadlock around the fence so that no one could get in or out.

The Crown maintain Allen threatened Mr Stephenson two days later using the words “snitches get stitches.”

On the video soundtrack Allen is heard doing a commentary praising the lock on and how long it would take for police to free the protesters from under the vehicles.

Giving evidence Mr Stephenson, who works for Cuadrilla contractors Northern Security, told how he got trapped between two pieces of fencing as the protesters pushed forward.

“It finished as quickly as it started once they knew the others had locked on,” he said.

The incidents are alleged to have taken place on June 9 last year.