Anti-drone protesters trial begins at Lincoln court
The trial of six anti-drone protesters who allegedly cut through a fence at RAF Waddington to stage a mass-trespass has begun.
Pensioner Susan Clarkson, 66, drones researcher Christopher Cole, 49, both from Oxford, teacher Henrietta Cullinan, 51, from London, Dr Keith Hebden, 37, from Mansfield, Father Martin Newell, 46, from London, and grandmother Penelope Walker, 62 from Leicester, all deny criminal damage to a fence belonging to the RAF on June 3.
They are standing trial at Lincoln Magistrates’ court.
The trial has started on the 12 year anniversary of the Afghanistan invasion.
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It also falls within the 'Drones Week of Action' which runs between 5-12 October, when campaigners will be touring the UK speaking about what they say is the true cost of drone warfare.
Michael Treharne, prosecuting, said the accused are seeking to justify their actions on the basis that they were attempting in one form or another to protect property or people elsewhere.
“A fence was damaged at RAF Waddington on June 3, which the prosecution is maintaining was caused by bolt croppers," he said.
"As a result of the damage, people were able to go through and into and onto the base at RAF Waddington.
"They were seen variously throughout the morning.
"Their behaviour was polite, there were no threats of any kind.”
The court heard that staff at the base came across the defendants once they were inside.
Most of them were simply walking around with leaflets and cameras with the intent of leaving publicity materials on the base.
The trial continues.