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World News

'If you leave me at liberty, I shall continue to protest': Priest handed suspended jail term over climate protest

by Heather Preston

An Anglican priest has been handed suspended jail terms alongside eight other Insulate Britain members following protests on the M25.

Rev Sue Parfitt was given a two-month suspended sentence by Lord Justice Dingemans and Mr Justice Johnson on Wednesday, following legal action from National Highways. 

The Court heard that the campaigners had breached an injunction and were in contempt of court for blocking highway traffic after previously being barred from staging protests.

Another six members of the climate group received two-month suspended jail terms while the Court handed down prison sentences of two months and 30 days to two protestors.

It comes after Rev Parfitt was applauded by members of the public on Tuesday as she told the Royal Courts of Justice that she would keep blocking roads in protests if she was not jailed.

She told the court: "It is of no consequence to me what you do with me today.

"If you leave me at liberty, I shall continue to protest in whatever way most dramatically draws attention to the plight we are all in - whether that involves breaking the law or not."

The Insulate Britain protest led to tailbacks of 2.5 miles (4km), when activists blocked carriageways on the M25 and glued themselves to the road.

A spokesperson for National Highways said they suspect further disruption from the activist group in the coming year, as the protestors seem to think “the risks attached to breaking the court orders are worth the price of espousing the cause they feel so strongly about."

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