Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News and Other Busyness

Aggravated Press Pass

Squall 13, Summer 1996, pg. 9.

TWO JOURNALISTS arrested under the CJA while covering an anti-quarry action in Leeds had their cases thrown out of court in April - after film evidence showed police evidence to be wrong.

Six other activists received fines and suspended sentences under Sections 68 and 69 of the CJA - aggravated trespass and failure to leave a site.

Journalist Ursula Wills-Jones and photographer Justin Cooke were covering a demo against an open-cast mine at Garforth, Leeds, for the Big Issue in June last year. They were arrested along with 19 other demonstrators.

Ursula’s case was thrown out of court after filmed evidence (shot by the police) showed she was arrested by a woman police officer, not the policeman who claimed in court to have arrested her.

“Our lawyer shredded them,” she told Squall.

Justin Cooke, arrested under Sections 68 and 69 of the CJA, had his aggravated trespass charge thrown out and was found not guilty of failing to leave the site.

“It was thrown out because we had no interest to stop the work and there was no evidence we had stopped work,” he said.

Six activists who appeared in court on the same day were found guilty under Sections 68 and 69 of the CJA. They all received 12 months suspended sentences and were fined between £130 and £170.