Jury finds Just Stop Oil supporters not guilty in petrol pump case

In a unanimous verdict delivered today by a jury at Guildford Crown Court, Just Stop Oil supporters Nathan McGovern, Rosa Sharkey, and Louis Hawkins were found not guilty of causing criminal damage exceeding £5,000. [1]

During the trial, Judge Sellers ruled that none of the defence’s three arguments would be allowed for the jury to consider. Despite this, the 12 member jury made a factual determination and found all three defendants not guilty.

On 28 April 2022, Just Stop Oil supporters blocked the entrances to Clacket Lane Services on the M25 by sitting in the road with Just Stop Oil banners. They also decommissioned the petrol pumps by breaking the display glass and covering it with spray paint. This action was taken in support of their demand for the UK government to end all new oil and gas projects in the country. [2]

Nathan McGovern, 24, one of the three acquitted today, spoke about the outcome.

“Despite Attorney General rulings, despite losing every legal defence, despite the Conservative Party demonising those taking action to protect our communities from the crimes of oil companies – 12 ordinary members of the public have returned a resounding not guilty verdict.

This is a clear sign that the British public sides with those taking action to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown, not BP or the Tory party. 

From a jury in the heart of England, this could not make it clearer where the public lies on the need to end fossil fuels and protect all life”

Until leaders act to protect us, Just Stop Oil supporters will continue to take the proportional action necessary to generate political pressure. This summer airports will be declared sites of civil resistance. Sign up to take action at juststopoil.org


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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.

[2] https://juststopoil.org/2022/04/28/breaking-just-stop-oil-disrupts-service-stations/