News and other Busyness
Four Go Down In Lewes
Shoreham protestors jailed, verdict astonishes judge
Squall 15, Summer 1997, pg. 13.
FOUR people jailed for between two and six years at Lewes Crown Court in April on charges connected with events at the Shoreham demonstrations against live exports are to appeal.
Observers say even the judge was astonished at the jury's guilty verdicts because of inconsistencies in evidence presented by the main police witness.
A fifth demonstrator was given a two-year suspended sentence and a sixth was due to be sentenced as Squall went to press.
Mick Roberts, Jo Taylor, Tony Daly and Kevin Chapman were jailed for six, four, three, and two years respectively for conspiring to cause criminal damage. The charges included sub-charges for arson.
Tracy Roberts was given a two-year suspended sentence and Matthew Leyh was awaiting sentence.
Solictor for the six, John Robinson, of the firm Malcolm, Wilson and Gilby, told Squall there was concern over the principal prosecution witness whose "evidence wasn't accepted by the judge as shown in the lenient sentencing".
"These matters will be covered in the appeal," he said.
Observers of the six month hearing, which cost £2 million, told Squall the main police witness was an infiltrator whose credibility seemed to be undermined.
Mick Roberts was a founding member of the highly effective CALF - the Campaign Against Live Freight - which spearheaded the demonstrations. Such were the feelings against the live trade going through Shoreham and the stretch on police resources caused by the demonstrations that eventually the police were forced to reduce their role to escorting only two convoys a week. This forced the exporters to move to Dover.
Mr Roberts also ran a charity which took aid to Bosnia.
The demonstrators were arrested between a year and 19 months ago and denied bail. All six intend to appeal.