The ArgusCaroline Lucas MP arrives in court for fracking trial (From The Argus)

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Caroline Lucas MP arrives in court for fracking trial

The Argus: Caroline Lucas arrives at court to hear verdicts Caroline Lucas arrives at court to hear verdicts

Caroline Lucas MP arrived at Brighton Magistrates' Court this morning expecting to learn her fate after being arrested during an anti-fracking protest.

Verdicts are due to be returned in the trial of the Brighton Pavilion MP and four co-defendants who were arrested during an anti-fracking protest in West Sussex.

The Green Party member was arrested outside energy company Cuadrilla's exploratory oil drilling site in Balcombe on August 19.

She was among a group of protesters who had linked arms outside the site, which became a national focal point for anti-fracking protests last summer.

During the trial at Brighton Magistrates' Court alongside her four co-defendants, Lucas said she "wanted to express solidarity" by protesting peacefully.

The 53-year-old told the court that she felt it was important to protest about fracking in a bid to prevent the UK being locked into using more fossil fuels.

She said: "I'm haunted by the idea that my children and my children's children will turn round to me and say 'What did you do about this overwhelming threat?'

"And I want to do all I can do peacefully to address that before it's too late.''

Lucas told the trial that governments were failing to urgently address the issues surrounding climate change.

She denies two charges - wilful obstruction of a public highway and breaching an order under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.

Josef Dobraszczyk, 22, from Bristol; Ruth Jarman, 50, from Hook, Hampshire; Sheila Menon, 42, from north east London; and Ruth Potts, 39, from Totnes, Devon, also deny both charges.

Jarman is expected to give evidence this morning.

District Judge Tim Pattinson is due to return verdicts on all five defendants this afternoon.

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