NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Nine guilty of Plane Stupid protest at Aberdeen Airport

Arrest at Aberdeen Airport
Image caption Police had made arrests after the Aberdeen Airport protest

Nine climate change protesters have been convicted by a jury after causing disruption at Aberdeen Airport.

Flights were disrupted before police moved in and made arrests at the airport in March 2009.

Campaign group Plane Stupid was seeking to stop any airport expansion, claiming it would raise carbon emissions.

At the Aberdeen Sheriff Court trial, the nine, from across the country, had denied breach of the peace. Sentencing was deferred until August.

The defendants were Mark Andrews, 26, from Edinburgh; William Boggia, 44, from Ballater, Aberdeenshire; Matilda Gifford, 25, Daniel Glass, 26, Emilia Karwowska, 20, Jonathan Agnew, 24, and Josephine Hanson, 25, all from Glasgow; James Kerr, 35, from Paisley, Renfrewshire; and Katherine Mackay, 21, from Shipley, West Yorkshire.

Seven were detained on an airport taxiway five hours after the protest began. Two others, who had been on the roof of the main terminal building, were detained shortly after.

'Strong message'

A handful of 350 flights scheduled for the day were affected.

Flights to Heathrow, Paris and Amsterdam were among those delayed.

The group eventually ended their action after police said the protest had delayed a private air ambulance taking off.

However, Gama Aviation Ltd had told the jury it was an "operational delay" caused by medics.

An Aberdeen Airport spokesperson said after the verdicts: "This sends out a strong message that the actions of these individuals was not acceptable.

"We fully accept people's right to object to issues such as climate change, and to make their voices heard.

"Demonstrating in this manner however was irresponsible, had the airport not taken prompt action to by closing the flying operation someone could have been seriously hurt."

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