BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: Scotland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
CND leader fined after protest
Faslane protest
The CND chair was arrested at a protest in February
The head of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has been fined 100 after being arrested outside Britain's Trident nuclear submarine base.

Carol Naughton, 47, was found guilty of a breach of the peace when she appeared in court in Helensburgh, in the west of Scotland.

Naughton, the chair of CND, had taken part in what was hailed by protesters as the Big Blockade of the Trident base at Faslane on 12 February.

Carol Naughton
Carol Naughton led her own defence

The District Court of Argyll and Bute heard that she had been among protesters who had blocked the main road into the base.

The mother-of-three, from Birmingham, pleaded not guilty to causing a breach of the peace by lying on the roadway and disrupting the flow of traffic.

Naughton, who conducted her own defence, told the court that she had acted in a peaceful manner.

She wept as she spoke about the devastation caused by nuclear weapons, which she described as "illegal" and "immoral".

She was found guilty after a one-hour hearing, which included evidence from police witnesses, Robert Paton and Stuart Nealis, who arrested her.

Pc Paton, 45, of Strathclyde Police, said he arrested Naughton as she sat on the ground and linked arms with other protesters.

Cautioned and charged

He said: "I explained to her the position and the offence she was committing and that she was under arrest.

"She was asked if she would come along with us and she informed us that she would be carried from the road and we had to lift her."

He said that Naughton went limp when he and his colleagues tried to lift her so that even though she was slight, it was like carrying a "dead weight".

Pc Paton said that, when charged, Naughton told him that the UK Government was breaking the law by maintaining Trident and that she had the right to protest as long as they continued to do so.

In her defence Naughton described the effects of the Hiroshima bombing and said nuclear weapons went against humanitarian law because they cannot distinguish between military targets and civilian populations.

Faslane protest poster
Carol Naughton said most victims of a nuclear would be innocent

She said: "One bomb dropped in a centre of population would leave no survivors in a 10-mile radius."

Naughton said she had spoken out against Trident at conferences, written to her MP and tried by various other methods to convince the British Government to scrap Trident.

She said: "I felt I had no other option left other than to take action. Whatever I did was peaceful and was to prevent a crime against humanity. I caused no fear or distress."

She added: "As a human being I cannot stand by and do nothing. If even one nuclear weapon was used I would be guilty of doing nothing to stop it."

After being found guilty by Justice of the Peace Robert Alexander, Naughton spoke to reporters outside the court to say the fine would not put her off protesting.

She said she also planned to be back in Scotland next month for the next anti-nuclear demonstration at Faslane on 22 October.

Referring to the recent terror attacks in the US, she added: "I feel sad that, at a time of so much sorrow and sadness, that we could even contemplate having Trident out there to kill innocent civilians."

See also:

30 Mar 01 | Scotland
Judges rule Trident not illegal
13 Feb 01 | Scotland
New Trident submarine in service
12 Dec 00 | Scotland
Trident fine deadline for MSP
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories