Environmental campaigners hijacked coal train with a replica polar bear at Cottam Power Station

Photo supplied by Greenpeace
Photo supplied by Greenpeace

Eleven people have been fined more than £3,500 between them for trespassing on the railway line as part of an environmental protest close to Cottam power station.

Ten men and one woman pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 8th May, following a British Transport Police investigation.

The court heard how on 23rd September 2014, a freight train full of coal for Cottam power station was brought to a standstill a few miles away by a large group of protestors wearing high visibility tabards and waving red flags.

Once the train had stopped, they boarded the wagons using ladders and began to load the coal into sacks bearing political slogans as part of an environmental protest.

A replica polar bear was also placed on the line.

Passing sentence, District Judge Baker said: “Everyone is entitled to peaceful protest but this has to be carried out within the law. This wasn’t done on this occasion and those involved trespassed on the railway, causing disruption and financial loss.”

A further 31 people were issued police cautions for railway trespass in relation to the incident.

Detective Inspector Mick Jackson said: “While we always respect those who wish to protest peacefully, this has to be done safely and lawfully. Trespassing on the railway is a criminal offence and the action that was taken on the day, and the subsequent sentences handed down at court, were appropriate and proportionate against all those involved.”

Those convicted were: William Dawbarn, 46, of Fleeming Road, London was fined £490 plus £49 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Jacqueline Westwood, 57, of Wentworth Road, Swinton was fined £210 plus £21 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Peter Wing Fai Chan, 46, of Waverley Road, Reading was fined £230 plus £23 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

David O’Carroll, 39, of Fleeing Road, Walthamstow was fined £420 plus £42 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Michael Davies, 52, of New Road, Carmarthenshire was fined £140 plus £20 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Peter Barker, 50, of Castle Terrace, llansawel, Llandeilo was fined £585 plus £58 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Jeff Rice, 48, of Boulton Close, Chesterfield was fined £210 plus £21 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Ian Tippet, 44, of Walnut Crescent, Bristol was fined £235 plus £23 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Edward Herbert, 59, of Wadebridge Square, Dorchester was fined £165 plus £20 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Simon Hackin, 49, of Niddry Street, Edinburgh was fined £325 plus £32 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Andrew Webster, 48, of Birch Lane, Manchester was fined £185 plus £20 victim surcharge and £30 costs.