Anti-fracking protester fined for gluing himself to Great Lever petrol pump
AN anti-fracking protester has been fined and ordered to pay compensation after gluing himself to a petrol pump.
Mark Taylor, aged 39, was one of four protesters arrested after chaining themselves to petrol pumps at the garage in Rishton Lane, Great Lever.
The protest took place on Saturday, January 18, and caused £400 damage to the pumps, Bolton Magistrates Court heard.
The group was demonstrating against Total after the firm announced it would invest more than £12 million in the UK’s shale gas industry.
The petrol station, managed by Reezwan Patel, is no longer owned by Total, but the owners had not yet taken down the signs.
Nicola Ormerod, prosecuting, said Taylor and Leanne Fletcher, who was sentenced previously, glued themselves together but got stuck to the pumps.
Mr Patel was forced to shut the business for two hours and switch off the electricity. He is thought to have lost £200 in earnings and damage to the pumps.
Magistrates heard Taylor wanted to take part in a peaceful protest and did not intend to cause any damage.
Taylor, of Wheat Common, Ludlow, Shropshire, admitted criminal damage.
Mr Morrissey, chairman of the bench, said: “There is no reason to object to a free protest. It’s what keeps us as a society.
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“You have every right and we would respect that. I know you aren’t going to change the way you are, but this is criminal damage. Please respect other people.”
Taylor was fined £100, ordered to pay Mr Patel £150 compensation and pay £85 court costs.
The other protesters, Leanne Fletcher, aged 21, Garry Henesy, aged 37, both of Barton Moss Road, Eccles, and Aaron Bell, aged 26, of Norton Street, Grantham, have all previously been ordered to pay £150 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
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