Kent

Extinction Rebellion Dover: John Lynes, 91, denies disobeying police

John Lynes at Folkestone Magistrates' Court
Image caption Ninety-one-year-old John Lynes was among seven protesters who denied disobeying police

A man of 91 and an 83-year-old woman are among seven people who have denied offences connected with a road protest by Extinction Rebellion in Dover.

John Lynes, from St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, denied failing to comply with a police officer's instructions during a blockade of the port.

Ursula Pethick, 83, also denied the public order offence when they appeared at Folkestone Magistrates' Court.

Some of the group will face trial on 5 December and the others on 10 December.

The court heard the protesters were arrested during an environmental demonstration near the Kent port on 21 September.

They occupied one side of the A20 dual carriageway, in an area cordoned off especially for them.

But District Judge Justin Barron was told police had warned them they faced arrest if they tried to block lorries heading for the ferries on the opposite carriageway.

Image caption Protesters were given an area of the A20 in which to demonstrate but some are accused of disobeying a condition not to occupy the opposite carriageway

An eighth defendant, Bethany Nelson, 24, of St Albans, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a police condition at a public assembly.

Nelson, who was given a 12-month conditional discharge, told the judge she felt it had been "a necessary course of action".

But Mr Lynes, who appeared in court walking with a cane, pleaded not guilty to the same charge.

He was bailed to appear for trial at the same court on 5 December, along with Ms Pethick, of Robertsbridge, East Sussex, and John Halladay, 61, from Canterbury.

Tobias Jackson, 48, and Jessica Luby, 38, both from Hastings, Luke Mallett, 22, of Canterbury, and Ronald West, 67, from Lewes, East Sussex, who also denied the charge, are due to be tried on 10 December.

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