Sizewell: Protesters walk free after CPS error

TWO anti-nuclear campaigners who locked themselves together outside Sizewell B nuclear power station walked free from court yesterday thanks to a prosecution mistake.

Andreas Speck and Ian Mills were due to start their trial for aggravated trespass after they blockaded an access road to the plant in February.

However, their trial collapsed yesterday after the Crown Prosecution Service did not offer any evidence because of a procedural error in the men’s charges.

Despite having the trial looming over them for the last 10 months, Mr Speck, 46 from London, and Mr Mills, 45 from Chippenham, Wiltshire, said they would carry on taking action against plans to build a Sizewell C power plant.

The men were arrested for trespass on February 22 after they locked themselves together with two other people as they took part in an eight-hour blockade at an access road.

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Yesterday, at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court the trespass trial collapsed as Judge David Cooper ruled the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) could not amend the charges.

Mr Speck and Mr Mills had been charged with a form of trespass that involved them failing to leave land after being instructed to by a senior officer.

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However at the start of trial the prosecution wanted to amend the charge to just aggravated trespass – which they should have been charged with originally.

The court heard that there was no evidence the men had been asked to leave by a senior officer.

And Judge Cooper criticised the CPS for failing to make a change in the charges despite there being seven previous court hearings when an amendment should have been made.

He said: “This should have been picked up a long time ago.”

Judge Cooper also said it would not be in the interests of justice for another adjournment to be to granted to see if new charges could be made against Mr Speck and Mr Mills as the affair had been going on for too long.

After the case both men pledged to continue their fight against a government drive to build nuclear power plants to help combat climate change and provide low carbon energy.

Mr Speck, who is German, said: “Of course I am relieved. I never denied we blockaded the site but we were never asked to leave by a senior officer. We are going to carry on out fight and focus all our energy on Sizewell and EDF.”

February’s blockade, which was described as “good natured” in court, was organised by Stop Nuclear Power Network as a protest against a government nuclear power plant consultation

Two other people arrested in the demonstration pleaded guilty in April to the same charges Mr Speck and Mr Mills faced.

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