2nd February 2022, 15:50

11 people from Insulate Britain have today been given the lightest possible sentences after being convicted of contempt of court for breaking the government’s M25 injunction on 29th October and 2nd November last year. [1]


Of the 19 Insulate Britain supporters originally summoned to the High Court, 11 were given suspended prison sentences, four will serve up to a month in prison, one will serve an additional month and three had their case dismissed on Tuesday, because of insufficient evidence. DLA Piper acting on behalf of National Highways has claimed costs of £159,216.20 against the defendants.  [2]


Theresa Norton, 63, Dr Diana Warner, 62, El Litten, 35 and Steve Pritchard, 62, were given custodial sentences of between 24 and 32 days for contempt of court after they chose not to attend the hearing on Tuesday afternoon. Instead they chose to show resistance by sitting outside the court, with hands glued together until they were arrested. Diana Warner has already served a two month prison sentence as a result of a previous failure to attend court for a committal hearing in December.  


Ben Taylor, 27, who was due to be released later this month after serving half of a six month prison sentence imposed in November, was ordered to spend a further 32 days in prison.


The case against three of the initial 19 who were summoned to court was dropped yesterday after Lord Justice Davis ruled that there was insufficient evidence of contempt of court. Liam Norton, Arne Springorum and Jess Causby were told they were free to leave after having told the judge that it had been their intention to break the M25 injunction on the day they were arrested. 


The remaining 11 were each given sentences of between 24 and 60 days suspended for two years, on condition that they do not break the government’s motorway injunction in that time.  


The leniency of the sentences was in contrast to the jail terms of between three and six months handed out to the first group of people from Insulate Britain, convicted on November 17th.


During the hearing today a number of the 16 read out mitigation statements in court. Several expressed pride in their actions and argued that the disruption caused was necessary and proportionate to the scale of the crisis we face. 


Ben Taylor 27, said:


“There is a lot I could say about this ridiculous and sad situation. That people are unnecessarily suffering in their millions and dying in their thousands in this country due to fuel poverty.”


“Reducing CO2 emissions is something the government is legally obliged to do. Sir David King, the former chief scientific advisor to the government, said ‘What we do in the next 3-4 years will determine the future of humanity’. I ask everyone in this courtroom to take the time to consider the gravity of our situation.”


Theresa Norton, 63 said:


“A recent report by Scarborough borough council concluded that 25% of the residents I represent are living in fuel poverty. That’s one quarter of my ward who either have to go cold or hungry every winter. Who cannot feed their families, children going to school hungry and struggling to learn. Who cares about them? Certainly not our local Tory MP, Sir Robert Goodwill, who has consistently voted against every motion that has come before him that would help alleviate the suffering of thousands of his constituents.”


“I joined the Insulate Britain campaign because I’ve had enough. And until this government makes good on its own climate commitments I will continue to fight for climate and social justice for as long as I have the breath inside me.”


Stephanie Aylett, 27 said


“I am doing this not just for my children, but all of ours. The people of our world need to know the truth, and that truth will come with difficult and abrupt changes. The longer we fail to act, the greater the challenge that awaits our children. On our current path, their lives will be filled with food shortages, floods and war.”


“We focused on insulation, as our housing energy is responsible for around 16% of total emissions. Unfortunately, it was only by causing some disruption that we succeeded in prompting the media to focus on the issue of fuel poverty in the UK.”


Ruth Jarman, 58 said


“I admit that I broke the injunction - it was a choice I made because I answer to a higher authority, that of love and life. I felt that not joining the Insulate Britain protests would make me a bystander to violence and complicit in the breakdown of abundant and civilised life.


“I am sorry for the impact of our protests on the people who were affected. I hate disrupting people and my actions were aiming to prevent the greater disruption of climate breakdown. So I do not regret breaking the injunction and I cannot promise not to do it again.”




Press contact: 07737 457105  

Email: insulatebritainpress@protonmail.com


High quality photos and video footage available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Kucq-NfhnZLGJWwLx1HX03cWR7M9Y2-m


Website: https://www.insulatebritain.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/insulatebritain

Twitter: https://twitter.com/insulatelove

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8N5mAeeCLbD-AFUqtPaF0g


Notes to Editors


[1] The 11 who received suspended sentences were: Rev Sue Parfitt 79, Ruth Jarman 58, Paul Sheeky 46, Dr Ben Buse 36, Biff Whipster 54, Stephen Gower 55, David Nixon 35, Gabriella Ditton 28, Indigo Rumbelow 27, Stephanie Aylett 27, Christian Rowe 24.


[2] The original 19 named defendants were : Rev Sue Parfitt 79, Ben Taylor 27, Ruth Jarman 58, Steve Pritchard 62, Paul Sheeky 46, Dr Ben Buse 36, Biff Whipster 54, Dr Diana Warner 62, Stephen Gower 55, Theresa Norton 63, David Nixon 35, Ellie Litten 35, Arne Springorum 49, Gabriella Ditton 28, Indigo Rumbelow 27, Jessica Causby 25, Liam Norton 37, Stephanie Aylett 27, Christian Rowe 24.


[3] The four defendants who were handed new prison sentences were Theresa Norton, 63, Dr Diana Warner, 62, El Litten, 35 and Steve Pritchard, 62, while Ben Taylor, who is currently serving the last few weeks of a six month sentence had a further 32 days added to his tariff. 


[4] The case against Arne Springorum 49, Jessica Causby 25 and Liam Norton was dismissed on Tuesday due to insufficient evidence of contempt of court as they had been arrested outside the M25. This was despite the defendants stating that they had intended to break the injunction on the day in question.


[5] About Insulate Britain


Insulate Britain is a new campaign group that is calling on the UK government to put in place policy and funding for a national home insulation programme starting with all social housing. 


We demand the Prime Minister and the government to #getonwiththejob, face up to their responsibility and lead our country through the climate crisis.


We are ordinary British citizens with simple and achievable demands to #INSULATEBRITAIN


The UK government must immediately promise to fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain.


We demand a national home insulation strategy that gives British people the justice they deserve: a future for our loved ones, lower energy bills and safer living conditions.


We are scared: our livelihoods are at risk and the futures of our children are uncertain

The Climate Crisis is a threat to all: we demand the government to act now.


Our Demands

1. That the UK government immediately promises to fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain by 2025;

2. That the UK government immediately promises to produce within four months a legally binding national plan to fully fund and take responsibility for the full low-energy and low-carbon whole-house retrofit , with no externalised costs, of all homes in Britain by 2030 as part of a just transition to full decarbonisation of all parts of society and the economy.

Further information about Insulate Britain and our demands here: https://www.insulatebritain.com/

Technical Report on home energy efficiency here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jt5FI-kinEXoqZtPDrCvnAVQ2EFn8Aea/view


Insulate Britain ‘Blue Lights’ policy: our policy is, and has always been to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with ‘blue lights’ on.