Group who caused M25 disruption sentenced

“These people did not need to get criminal records. Their actions inconvenienced thousands of people and took up valuable police time; time which would have been better spent catching criminals causing harm in our communities.”

Detective Sergeant Chris Arnold was speaking after a group of people were sentenced after blocking a roundabout underneath the M25, which inconvenienced a significant number of motorists.

The group blocked a key junction close to junction 31 of the M25, at the A282, early on September 13 2021.

The disruption on that day had knock-on impacts on the M25, A13, A282 and the A20.

The group members were arrested and all were subsequently charged with causing a public nuisance.

In total, the Essex Police investigation was able to show a total estimated economic impact of at least £118,000 and about 6,500 hours lost in delays to thousands of motorists inconvenienced.

Seven of the group denied the offence but were found guilty on March 7 after a three-week trial at Reading Crown Court.

They joined three other individuals who had previously admitted the offence.

The entire group appeared for sentence on Friday April 19.

DS Arnold said: “We know that the right to protest is enshrined in law, and policing will always seek to facilitate it.

“But what happened in September 2021 was not legal; it was criminal disruption which severely impacted many people.”

Those convicted after trial are:

  • Biff Whipster, 56, of Oakwood Road, Sturry, Canterbury. Sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 60 hours of unpaid work and £500 in costs.
  • Nicholas Till, 68, of Rheidol Terrace, London, N1. Sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 80 hours of unpaid work and £1,500 in costs.
  • Nicholas Onley, 61, of Richmond Road, London, N15. Sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with £250 in costs.
  • Rob Stuart, 42, Chingford Road, London, E17. Sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 60 hours of unpaid work and £500 costs.
  • Louise Lancaster, 58, of High Street, Barton, Cambridge. Sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours of unpaid work and £500 costs.
  • Janine Eagling, 63, of Tower Hamlets Road, London, E17. Sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 60 hours of unpaid work and £1,000 costs.
  • David Crawford, 70, of Falkland Road, Dorking. Sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 40 hours of unpaid work and £1,500 costs.

Those convicted after earlier admitting the offence:

  • Tim Speers, 38, of Princes Avenue, Hull (To be sentenced at a later date).
  • Stefania Morosi, 46, of Hessel Road, London, W13. Sentenced to 13 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with £100 costs.
  • Gabriella Ditton, 30, of Silver Road, Norwich. Sentenced to 14 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 80 hours of unpaid work and £800 costs.
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