Success Stories

Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment protest win

By Amy Cox  |  01.08.2017

Cecilia Goodwin assisted one of the appellants in this successful High Court appeal.

We are delighted to have secured victory at the High Court for Angela Ditchfield in this important case involving protest against Trident. Ms Ditchfield had been prosecuted for wilfully obstructing the highway contrary to s 137(1) of the Highways Act 1980.

During a protest against Trident on 27 June 2016 at around 6:18am she, jointly with others, had laid down at The Mearings and Reading Road, Burghfield, Reading, preventing access to two entrances to the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Burghfield. Ms Ditchfield and her co-appellants were connected together using “lock-on” tubes and two of the group had also used superglue to glue their hands together.

The appeal related to a small section of The Mearings where each of the Appellants lay down to form the “lock on”. The High Court was invited to determine whether:

  1. The trial judge had been entitled to conclude that the part of The Mearings on which the Appellants were located was a highway?
  2. Whether the trial judge was entitled to conclude that any obstruction was not de minimis.

The High Court found in favour of the Appellants. Cecilia Goodwin of this firm and Adam Payter of 6KBW acted for Ms Ditchfield.

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