Four people who took part in the Aldermaston Big Blockade on 27 October 2008 were found not guilty on Thursday (12 November, 2009) of obstructing the highway by a district judge at Reading Magistrates' Court.
Peter Crabtree ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove that the defendants were in fact on a highway or obstructing a highway. The defendants successfully argued that their blockade took place on the access road to the Tadley Gate entrance to the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston, which they claimed lies on Ministry of Defence land, and that their action to impede the development and deployment of nuclear weapons did not significantly affect traffic flow on the adjacent main road, the A340. The judge did not, however, find that it had been shown that the Atomic Weapons Establishment was engaged in unlawful activity.
The successful defendants, who have each been awarded costs, are Jean Oliver from Lanarkshire in Scotland, David Polden and Emma Sangster, both from London, and Renate Zauner from Switzerland.
The trial took place on 21-22 October, 2009, but the defendants were required to return to court on Thursday to hear the judgment.
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