Climate change activists who occupied Heathrow runway avoid jail

Thirteen climate change activists who occupied a Heathrow Airport runway today escaped jail as a judge gave them suspended sentences.

The 'Plane Stupid' protesters were warned to expect prison sentences when they were convicted last month of aggravated trespass.

The District Judge at Willesden magistrates court, Deborah Wright, said the demonstration disrupted 92,000 passengers.

She sentenced the 'Heathrow 13' to six weeks in jail, suspended for a year.

They were also banned from going within 500m of terminal buildings at Heathrow and within 5m of the airport perimeter fence.

Ten of the protesters with no previous convictions were ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work.

Three others, all with criminal records, were ordered to do 180 hours.

The court said we should prepare for immediate custodial sentences, the court said they were almost inevitable, but all the support we’ve received seems to have changed their minds.

Now we’re asking all those who supported us to support stopping new runways. Cameron has changed his mind before on this, it shouldn’t be too difficult to change it again.

– Graham Thompson, activist