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Home Breaking Two Just Stop Oil protesters havebeen found guilty of causing a public nuisance after scaling a bridge on the Dartford Crossing, causing gridlock

Two Just Stop Oil protesters havebeen found guilty of causing a public nuisance after scaling a bridge on the Dartford Crossing, causing gridlock

Morgan Trowland, 40, and Marcus Decker, 34, used ropes and other climbing equipment to shuffle up the bridge’s cables, prosecutor Adam King said earlier in the trial at Basildon Crown Court.

He claimed they climbed to a height of about 200 feet above the road, unfurled a “giant Just Stop Oil banner,” and “rigged up hammocks and stayed there.”

The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, which connects the M25 in Essex and Kent, was closed from 4 a.m. on October 17 to 9 p.m. the following day, according to the prosecutor.

“This closure caused gridlock for miles around for that entire period, which we say was the point,” Mr King explained.

“The incident made national news because of the disruption.”

Small businesses lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in some cases, people missed loved ones’ funerals, and children were left on the side of the road waiting for buses,” he continued.

He said the men arrived around 5.30 p.m. on October 18 “with the assistance of police and a very tall cherry picker crane,” but the bridge was not reopened to traffic until later.

“We’re not here to litigate the Government’s climate change policy,” Mr King told jurors.

“We climbed it (the bridge) to deliver a warning message, to put up a banner saying Just Stop Oil and to speak that message through interviews with journalists,” Trowland testified.

He stated that the goal of the activist group is to get the government to stop licencing oil and gas production.

“That adds fuel to the fire of climate change.”

Trowland, of north London’s Islington, and Decker, 34, of no fixed address, both denied causing a public nuisance.

Following more than two hours of deliberation, a jury unanimously found them guilty.

Judge Shane Collery KC remanded them in custody until April 13, when they will be sentenced.

“This court is considering custodial sentences,” he said.

“We’re dealing with significant nuisance that’s been caused,” he added.

I welcome the court’s decision today,” Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter.

“The right to protest must not take precedence over the right of the law-abiding majority to go about their daily lives free of selfish and antisocial disruption.”

“We are putting a stop to these guerilla tactics that are causing misery for the majority.”

Outside court, Sean Irish of Just Stop Oil said the verdicts were “quite disappointing.”

“Obviously, seeing this happen is quite disappointing,” he said.

“We’ve seen in the Old Bailey that a jury has the right to acquit based on conscience; whether they were aware of that or not, it’s disappointing to see them return with a guilty verdict.”

He described the climate crisis as “more terrifying” than the prospect of incarceration.

“Young people aren’t going to die for the profits of an oil baron,” Mr Irish said.

“We’re not going down easily, we’re not going to take it, we’re going to fight back.”

“The more the government cracks down on peaceful protests, the more dangerous the government becomes.”

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