Sticky situation: Climate activists in court after gluing themselves to oil tankers in Grangemouth

A group of climate protestors who broke into an oil depot in a bid to halt deliveries of fuel spent hours glued to two defunct tanker lorries – failing to realise the trucks were decommissioned.
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Hannah Taylor, 23, of Glasgow, Alexander Cowtan, 28, of Fintry, Stirlingshire, Gavin Cheyne, 56, of Portobello, Edinburgh, Kate Prasher, 69, of Melrose in Roxburghshire and Julia Redman, 72, of Tayport, Fife, entered the Grangemouth depot of Certas Energy, the UK's largest distributor of oil fuels and lubricants, on July 19 last year.On Thursday, Falkirk Sheriff Court heard the five gained entry to the site at 5am using bolt cutters to make a hole in the fence.

Members of the group then spray painted the windows and tanks of fuel delivery tankers and glued their locks, climbed onto oil tankers and glued themselves to them or pretended to glue themselves to them, and lay down and sat on the ground, causing Certas to shut down their operations.

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Appearing at court for sentence after being found guilty of vandalism and criminal trespass at the site, in South Shore Road, Grangemouth, the five were fined £840 each.

Pictured are three of the protestors who were fined. Pic: Michael GillenPictured are three of the protestors who were fined. Pic: Michael Gillen
Pictured are three of the protestors who were fined. Pic: Michael Gillen

They all denied the offences, but told the court they did not dispute the facts.

Cowtan, a PhD physics student, told the court: "Over the course of the day it became clear that the tanker I had glued myself to was ironically defunct, and had been for two years. I had several conversations with the police and also with some of the employees.

"About 4pm I debonded myself from the tanker by peeling bits of glue off my hands and waited in the car park for the police officers to safely arrest me."The five accused, part of climate change protest group This Is Rigged, said their plan was to "cause disruption to the fossil fuel industry, and signal that time has run out".Sheriff Mark O'Hanlon, who imposed the fines, said: "I appreciate you were protesting about climate change but you committed criminal offences which the court will not tolerate."He warned them that further offences could see them jailed.