Martin Deane | 11.07.2014 10:40 | Fracking
The trial of Jon and Val Mager, arrested over fracking in this area, was set for 31st July - but the CPS have just dropped all the charges! The first arrests in the E Yorks for anti fracking protests were of highly respected couple of Beverley residents, Jon and Val Mager - a former Director at East Riding Council, and a nationally exhibited artist.
That story from May here: Respected Beverley residents arrested for meditating.
They state this is due to, 'lack of evidence', despite the whole event being on video online (Facebook). https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=646669745413229
Clearly, they simply just don’t want that sort of publicity! And, clearly, it was an arrest without grounds with the police abusing the law to protect the oil industry and to prevent lawful protest.
Martin Deane, Hull Greens
Statement by Val and Jon Mager
Crown Prosecution Service drop charges through lack of evidence.
Val and Jon Mager have been informed by their solicitors that the Crown Prosecution Service have discontinued the court case which was due to be heard on the 31st.
They would have been charged with “Using violence or intimidating another person or his wife or children or injuring his property with a view to compelling that person to abstain from doing or to do any act which that person has a legal right to do or abstain from doing.”
Val and Jon commented, “We were simply exercising our right to protest at the attempt to drill at Crawberry Hill in order to test for frackable gas prior to high volume unconventional fracking across most of the East Riding. If fracking goes ahead it will devastate one of the most beautiful and productive rural areas of the UK.”
“Anyone who has watched the video of our arrest will agree that we did not behave in a violent or intimidating way. The charges against us were wrong, and it was a waste of public money to have allowed the matter to proceed this far.”
“When we complained about being kept in police cells for 10 hours we were told this was necessary to gather evidence. The police had a video of the arrest. The only conclusion is that we were arrested to stop us supporting the campaign against fracking by the use of bail conditions.”
“Since our first court appearance we have received hundreds of messages of support including personal contact from serving police officers who are “disgusted” by the way we have been treated. There have been packed public meetings in local villages and it is clear that there is growing support for the campaign to stop fracking before it starts. This is not surprising when local residents can go on-line and witness the havoc caused by fracking elsewhere: long-term water pollution, air pollution, earth tremors, with consequent damage to property and farmland, as well as risks to animal and human health.”
“We have been flattered by the support offered to us but of course the real heroes are the Protectors who continue to endure rough conditions by the road side to focus attention on the test drill sites at West Newton and Crawberry Hill. We will continue to give them our full support and urge others to do so.”
“Our solicitors, Robert Lizar Solicitors, are in the process of ensuring that our good character, as existed before our arrest, is re-instated. The CPS have just discontinued the case even though there is no reasonable prospect of success in prosecuting the case. Our good character is tarnished until the CPS formally offers no evidence in court. This is unacceptable.”
“We are particularly grateful for the legal support provided by Simon Pook and Helen White of Lizars. We also value the support of Richard Howarth, Shan Oakes and Bill Rigby of the Green Party and the ongoing work of the Protectors.”