Stansted 15 avoid jail

6 Feb 2019

Fifteen protesters – known as the Stansted 15 – who chained themselves to a plane to stop it deporting people to Africa, have avoided immediate jail sentences.

The group broke through a fence at the airport, intercepting planes heading for Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone. They were found guilty of endangering the safety of an aerodrome.

Three were given suspended jail terms and 12 received community orders at Chelmsford Crown Court. Stephen Knight represented Ruth Potts, a member of the group, who received a community order with 100 hours unpaid work.

The charges were based on an international terrorist convention, and have been widely condemned as disproportionate and politically motivated.

The group has said they will appeal against their convictions, which they believe have serious implications for the freedom to protest.

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