Judge dismisses idea that R-R work at factory was ‘unlawful’
PROTESTERS appearing in court charged with trespassing on Rolls-Royce property have had one of their main arguments quashed by a judge.
The campaigners blockaded entrances to the Raynesway factory in Derby, on April 28, because they believed the company was breaking international law by producing nuclear submarine parts.
All 10 of the defendants deny aggravated trespass by obstructing a person engaged in a lawful activity but argue that because they believe the activity on the site is unlawful they are not guilty of the offence. Two of the 10 are being represented by solicitors while the remaining eight are defending themselves.
Mary Wilson, 66, of Bridgnorth Grove, Willenhall, Coventry, and co-defendant Kristen Rea, 24, of Shilton Lane, Bedworth, in Warwickshire, were chained to the entrance gate of the factory, while seven colleagues created a human blockade outside a second gate.
They fixed their arms into reinforced concrete blocks, known as Berthas, in an attempt to blockade the factory and prevent workers from starting their shifts.
A tenth person, David Ray, 62, of Victoria Street, Thurmaston, in Leicester, is alleged to have driven them to the site, where Rolls-Royce produces reactor cores for Trident nuclear submarines.
Wilson, in a police interview read out in court, said she was campaigning against “the flouting of international law, crimes against humanity, war crimes and nuclear production.”
Fellow protestor Zina Zelter, of Ingle Street, Leicester, said: “We do not believe the activity we were attempting to disrupt was a lawful activity.”
But at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Judge Caroline Golbourn ruled that the activity at the site was lawful – referring to a similar case involving another company producing parts for Trident submarines, heard at the High Court in 2000.