Fifteen people convicted for roles in Grays disruption at Exolum terminal

Mick Ferris
Latest posts by Mick Ferris (see all)

Fifteen people who were involved in causing disruption in Thurrock in April have been convicted for their roles.

The group were charged as a result of an incident on April 11 in London Road, Grays, where a number of people had entered the Exolum station and climbed into a number of structures.

They locked themselves onto the structures, putting themselves and those who would be deployed to secure their release in danger.

Thanks to specialist working at heights officers, all were safely removed and subsequently arrested.

The group were charged with aggravated trespass.

Twelve of them denied the charge at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on May 24 and stood trial at the same court this week.

Today, Thursday September 22, they were found guilty of the offence and were sentenced by District Judge Williams. The group were each given a 12-month conditional discharge, fined £300 and ordered to pay a £22 surcharge.

The conditional discharge means they may face further action if they commit a further offence within a year.

Those sentenced were:

  • • Stephanie Aylett, 28, of no fixed address
  • • Louis Hawkins, 22, of no fixed address
  • • Hannah Hunt, 23, of no fixed address
  • • Eben Lazarus, 22, of no fixed address
  • • Cressida Gethin, 20, of Dorstone, Hereford
  • • Peter Bailey, 67, of Willow Lane, Lancaster
  • • Rosalind Bird, 38, of Stanley Chase, Bristol
  • • Nathan McGovern, 22, Arcadian Gardens, Haringey
  • • Mitchell White, 22, of Highbrook Close, Brighton
  • • John Sasak, 32, of Bucklawren Road, Looe, Cornwall
  • • Rosa Sharkey, 22, of Chase Avenue, Enfield
  • • James Skeet, 34, of Drayton Street, Manchester.

Louis McKechnie, 21, of Clearmount Road, Weymouth, and Matthew Powell, 21, of Lower British Road, Bath, had previously admitted the charge. They were handed the same sentence.

Benjamin Mitchell, 21, of Buckingham Street, Brighton, also admitted the charge and was given an eight month conditional discharge and £22 surcharge.

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: “Those involved in this incident not only put their own lives in danger but also the lives of those who then had to work hard to remove them.

“We know those involved in this incident believe they were carrying out an act of protest. As a force, we are not in any way anti-protest, and we will always seek to allow peaceful protest to go ahead where it can safely be accommodated.

“But when dangerous disruption takes place, we are left with no choice but to take action and seek authorisation to charge those involved with the Crown Prosecution Service.

“On this occasion, given the danger which the actions of those involved presented, we acted swiftly in order to keep everyone in the area safe and to ensure disruption was kept to an absolute minimum.”

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk