Buncefield oil depot protestors guilty of aggravated trespass
Two protesters have been convicted of aggravated trespass and sentenced after taking part in a protest at Buncefield oil depot in Hertfordshire in April.
Ben Horton, 49, and Catherine Lee, 34, were among protesters who, in the early hours of 1 April 2022, blocked access to the oil terminal by stopping a tanker transporting 37,000 litres of fuel at the entrance. Some protestors climbed on the tanker and attached themselves to it. Others set up a tall structure in front of the gates and some locked themselves together with metal tubes.
Horton and Lee were charged with aggravated trespass when they refused to leave the site, and both were found guilty today (14 November 2022) after a trial at St Albans Magistrates’ Court. They were both given a six-month conditional discharge and told to pay costs of £450 each and a victim surcharge of £22.
Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Olivia Rose of CPS Thames and Chiltern said: "The Crown Prosecution Service successfully made the case that these individuals trespassed on the oil depot’s land and caused disruption to its operations.
“If individuals commit criminal offences whilst protesting then, as this case has shown, a prosecution may follow if our legal test is met.”
Notes to editors
- Ben Horton (DOB 15 April 1973) and Catherine Lee (DOB 26 December 1987) were convicted of aggravated trespass at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on 14 November 2022.
- Ben Horton was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £450 and a victim surcharge of £22.
- Catherine Lee was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £450 and a victim surcharge of £22.
- The court also ordered the forfeit and destruction of the glue and chain used by both Horton and Lee.