Custodial sentence imposed on appellants following public nuisance was manifestly excessive


Re: Roberts & Ors v R (Liberty and Friends of the Earth Intervening) [2018] EWCA Crim 2739

The applicants were convicted of public nuisance arising out of their conduct in protesting against the authorisation to Cuadrilla by the Oil and Gas Authority to begin hydraulic fracking.

Held, allowing the appeal, the immediate custodial sentence imposed on the appellants was manifestly excessive. By the time of the hearing, the appellants had been in custody for three weeks meaning that they had served a sentence equivalent to six weeks. The Court concluded that it would not be appropriate to impose a community order with a punitive element. The time in custody represented adequate punishment.

Ken Macdonald QC, Blinne Ni Ghralaigh and Jessica Jones were involved in this case.