Fracking protestor who climbed machinery for hours ‘very disappointed’ in appeal dismissal

Dr Peter Whittick was convicted following the protest
Dr Peter Whittick was convicted following the protest

A protestor who was convicted after climbing on a huge fracking rig for hours has said he is ‘very disappointed’ that his human rights appeal failed in court.

Dr Peter Whittick, 53, was arrested at Pease Pottage services in February for stopping workers from moving the machinery.

Dr Whittick on top of the rig

Dr Whittick on top of the rig

His appeal that his actions were justified on human rights grounds was rejected at Hove Crown Court yesterday.

Speaking after the verdict, Dr Whittick said he was ‘very disappointed’ that his appeal had failed and pointed to ‘the threat of climate change and the contribution to it from this new wave of oil and gas exploration in the UK’.

The academic and activist was found guilty in February of hindering a person from driving on their onward journey, at a trial last Tuesday.

The machinery was on its way to Lidsey from the Broadford Bridge drill site.

The fracking rig that Dr Whittick climbed

The fracking rig that Dr Whittick climbed

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He added: “I am proud to be one of many conscientious protectors across the world prepared to take peaceful direct action as a last resort to prevent harm from being done to the earth and to the victims of climate change”.

A spokesperson from local residents’ group Keep Billingshurst Frack Free said: “Peter has lived in Sussex all his life and has campaigned tirelessly and peacefully to raise awareness of the dangers of oil and gas exploration and climate change.

“We look forward to a time when protecting the earth against harm is seen as our duty, not a crime”.

Dr Whittick has not yet said if he intends to take his appeal to a higher court.