Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court (Gareth Fuller/PA)
25 May 2022

Pair convicted over fuel depot blockades

25 May 2022

Two more people have been convicted for their involvement in fuel protests which saw activists blocking access to oil terminals, demanding that the Government stops new oil and gas projects.

Louis McKechnie, 21, and 22-year-old Matthew Powell both admitted at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court to aggravated trespass at Exolum Storage in Thurrock, Essex Police said.

McKechnie, of Clearmount Road, Weymouth, Dorset, was ordered to forfeit glue and a chain which he used during disruption on April 11, the force said.

He was ordered to pay a total of £339, including a £200 fine.

Powell, of Lower Bristol Road, Bath, Somerset, was ordered to forfeit a D lock which he used during disruption on April 10, police said.

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £127.

We welcome these convictions, which are our second and third respectively, and our investigative teams continue to build cases against a number of others

The pair are the second and third convictions by Essex Police over the disruption in Thurrock.

Last month, 64-year-old Catherine Maclean admitted at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court to aggravated trespass at an oil terminal in Thurrock.

Maclean, of Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, in West Sussex, was ordered to pay £409 in fines and costs.

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Pavelin, of Essex Police, said: “We have consistently said our priority during this time was to ensure the safety of all those involved in the disruption; be that our own officers, other emergency services colleagues and indeed those causing the disruption.

“Thankfully, in each instance, officers were able to act quickly to ensure the affected sites experienced minimal disruption and fuel supply was not adversely affected.

“We welcome these convictions, which are our second and third respectively, and our investigative teams continue to build cases against a number of others.”

McKechnie and Powell appeared in court on Tuesday alongside 12 other people, who all denied charges against them.

The 12 defendants are next due to appear before Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on August 8.

A three-day trial has been set for the same court to begin on September 20, police said.

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