Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 13:40 UK

Greenpeace jury considers verdict

The chimney at Kingsnorth Power Station
The campaigners painted the name "Gordon" on the chimney

The jury in the trial of six Greenpeace activists charged with causing criminal damage is considering its verdict.

Judge David Caddick finished summing up on Tuesday and said the task of jurors at Maidstone Crown Court was to examine whether protesters had a lawful excuse.

He said jurors had to evaluate whether the defendants "crossed the line", during a power station protest in Kent.

The activists are charged with causing damage put at 30,000 after they scaled Kingsnorth power station in Hoo.

Judge Caddick warned the jury to put aside any feelings towards Greenpeace, climate change or fuel companies during their deliberations.

On Monday, he said the country had a history of "accommodating protests" but it did not extend to breaking the law.

Coal power protest

Five people who scaled the chimney - Huw Williams, 41, of Nottingham; Ben Stewart, 34, of Lyminge, Kent; Kevin Drake, 44, of Westbury, Wiltshire; Will Rose, 29, of London; and Emily Hall, 34, from New Zealand - are all charged with causing criminal damage.

Tim Hewke, 48, from Ulcombe, Kent, who the prosecution said helped organise the protest from the ground, is also facing the same charge.

The activists claim they were lawfully right to damage the plant because they believed it would prevent further damage around the world from global warming.

Jurors have heard how protesters painted the name "Gordon" on the 200m (650ft) chimney on 8 October last year, in a political protest against the redevelopment of the plant as a coal-burning unit.

They had planned to daub the words "Gordon, bin it" on the stack, but were threatened with a High Court injunction and arrested.




SEE ALSO
Nasa man defends climate protest
03 Sep 08 |  England
Activists deny damaging chimney
01 Sep 08 |  England

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