A GROUP of Insulate Britain climate campaigners have pleaded not guilty to causing a public nuisance after blocking the M25 last September.

Those who pleaded not guilty to causing a public nuisance at Junction 1B of the motorway on September 13 last year include Alexander Rodger, 32, of Ditchling Road, Brighton, Venetia Carter, 57, of Sutherland Road, Brighton, and Joseph Shepherd, 21, of Percy Road, Horsham.

They are among the first batch of Insulate Britain protesters to appear before the courts.

Also appearing at Lewes Crown Court to plead not guilty were Jessica Causby, 25, of no fixed address, Michael Wiley, 75, of Alburgh Road, Shelton, Staffordshire,  Oliver Rock, 41, of Red Post Hill, London, Susan Hagley, 66, of Tuddenham Road, Ipswich, and Catherine Eastburn, 54, of St Gerard’s Close, south London.

Two further defendants had warrants issued without bail after they failed to attend the hearing.

The Argus: The defendants had previously appeared at Crawley magistrates courtThe defendants had previously appeared at Crawley magistrates court

Gregory Frey, 25, of Manor House, Barway, Ely, Cambridgeshire, informed the court he was unable to attend due to “fatigue”, while Pryiadaka Conway, 60, of Aukland Road, Cambridge, told the court she was on a Buddhist retreat in Snowdonia, North Wales.

Cameron Ford, 31, of The Homing, Cambridge, and Margaret Mulowska, 34, of Wapshott Road, Staines Upon Thames, did not attend court and will enter a plea at their next appearance.

The trial of Rodger, Carter, Eastburn and Ford will take place before a crown court jury on April 17, with the case of Wiley, Rock, Frey and Mulowska being heard on May 8.

Shepherd, Causby, Hagley and Conway will face trial on June 5.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to six months’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

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