Today at Manchester Magistrates Court, Barton Moss protector, Joe, was acquitted of charges of resisting arrest and obstructing a police sergeant in her duty.
The court was shown video footage of the sergeant in question violently pushing Joe off Barton Moss Road and into a fence on one occasion, and shoving Joe off the road on another occasion that night. She argued that this was for his own health and safety because she feared he may get run over by a (barely moving) IGas worker's van.
Judge Saunders ruled there were other actions the sergeant was obliged to take, rather than shove Joe off the road when he was acting totally peacefully. In the footage the sergeant is also seen running at speed at Joe for a third time. It is then that Joe ducks under her and runs forward to avoid her. He is then tackled to the ground by five Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit (TAU) officers. Two of the TAU officers took the stand to argue that Joe then resisted arrest. However Judge Saunders ruled that because the sergeant had acted outside her lawful duty, none of the charges could apply, and this was an unlawful arrest.
Joe's acquittal brings the total number of Barton Moss protectors who have had their cases dropped, dismissed or been found not guilty to 23 – with only a few convictions.
Last Friday, Simon Pook, of Robert Lizar Solicitors which has defended the vast majority of Barton Moss cases, questioned the Crown Prosecution Service's continuation of the trials…
"Our concern is the escalating cost to the public purse of the ongoing failures of these cases" he said.
* Over five thousand people have signed an HM Government e-petition calling for a public inquiry into the policing of the Salford Barton Moss anti-fracking protests - see here
See also previous Salford Star articles:
* Case Against Barton Moss Salford Schoolgirl dropped - click here
* Four More Barton Moss Protectors Cleared - click here
Additional reporting and photo by Climate James