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  1. ITV Report

'Stansted 15' protesters who grounded plane appeal against their convictions

Members of the 'Stansted 15' were found guilty back in December. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Fifteen protesters who were found guilty of a security offence after they locked themselves around a deportation plane at Stansted Airport have appealed against their convictions.

The so-called 'Stansted 15' cut through a perimeter fence to get to the Boeing 767 aircraft in March 2017.

The plane had been chartered by the Home Office to transport people from UK detention centres for repatriation to Africa.

The group are due to be sentenced in February, but lawyers representing the activists have now asked for the case to be reviewed at the Court of Appeal in London.

The defendants, who are aged between 27 and 44, could potentially face life imprisonment if the appeal is rejected.

They were found guilty of an Act that was brought in after the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

Members of the group blocked the plane from taking off in March 2017. Credit: End Deportations

"The conviction of the Stansted 15 was a travesty of justice that needs correcting in the appeal courts," Raj Chada from Hodge Jones & Allen said.

"It is inexplicable how these protesters were charged with this legislation, and even more so that they were found guilty.

"It is our strongly held belief that charging them with this offence was an abuse of power by the Attorney General and the CPS.

"It is only right and fitting that this wrongful conviction is overturned."