Gantry climber, Cressie Gethin 22, found guilty

Just Stop Oil supporter and gantry climber, Cressie Gethin, has been found guilty. Cressie took action in July 2022, demanding the UK government immediately halts all licensing and consents for new fossil fuel exploration and extraction. [1]

The trial began on the 5th February at Isleworth Crown Court, with Judge Duncan presiding. The jury has found Cressie guilty by a majority of ten to two. Cressie, 22, a music student from Hereford, will be sentenced on the 3rd of May with two others. They face a possible ten year custodial sentence. [2]

During the trial Cressie was prevented from talking about her reasons for taking action and was denied any legal defence by the judge. The court heard a witness testimony from acclaimed naturalist and television presenter, Chris Packham, who commented that those taking action like Cressie “should be commended for sounding a vital alarm”. He added: “I am attending court to support Cressie Gethin because I don’t think she is getting a fair trial. I think, along with the UN, that the UK’s protest laws and sentencing of protesters are unjust, draconian, and in conflict with our basic human rights.” [3] [4]

Cressie climbed a motorway gantry above the M25 on the 20th July 2022, two days after the governments’ net zero strategy was declared unlawful, and one day after the UK recorded its highest ever temperature of 40.3 degrees celsius, a milestone that scientists previously thought was impossible. 61,000 excess deaths were recorded across Europe as a result of the extreme heat that summer, whilst the UK government continued to licence new oil and gas. [5]

Speaking before the action in 2022, Cressie said:

“I am terrified by the extreme heat in the UK this week, knowing that this will only get worse as we continue to extract and burn more and more fossil fuels. This country has the technology and money to begin a just and rapid transition to renewable energy immediately, but our government refuses to do so. I feel it is my duty as a human being to demand change in a way that cannot be ignored.

Thousands of people will die this week as a result of the extreme temperatures we are experiencing in the UK. We are in this situation because of increasing global temperatures caused by the emissions from burning fossil fuels. Against this backdrop, the UK government plans to open new oil and gas fields. I am dumbfounded by their negligence.

I am thinking of the countless people across the country and abroad who are now experiencing illness and death as a result of the climate crisis. People are angry that our government is continuing down the path of destruction, and we will not simply stand by and let this happen.”

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson commented:

“It would be extremely convenient for everyone if the climate crisis could be removed from our lives by the ruling of a Judge. If we could imprison the wildfires, if we could arrest famines, or if we could legislate against the rising sea waters that will leave parts of Britain submerged, that would be a fantastic outcome – but the reality is that we can’t and rapid decarbonisation is the only way of preventing these horrifying outcomes.

However, the judiciary – like the police – is proving to be an effective arm of the oil and gas industry, by silencing and imprisoning members of the public taking nonviolent action against climate collapse. Future generations will be disgusted by rulings such as this.”

As the world passes tipping points that threaten the breakdown of ordered civilization, world leaders, captured by the interests of oil lobbyists and big business, are failing to protect our communities. British citizens are sick of being led by liars and crooks. Until we stop Tory oil, supporters of Just Stop Oil will continue taking proportionate action to demand necessary change. Sign up for action at


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Notes to Editors

[1] Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to demand that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK. Just Stop Oil is a member of the A22 Network of civil resistance projects.

Just Stop Oil ‘Blue Lights’ policy: our policy is, and has always been, to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with siren sounding and ‘blue lights’ on.