14.12.21 Group photo seven of nine at Temple (Credit_ Helena Smith).jpg

Picture Credit: Helena Smith

INSULATE BRITAIN:THE HIGH COURT WON’T LOCK US ALL UP DESPITE PRITI PATEL’S DEMANDS

15 December 2021, 3:45 pm–for immediate release

Seven 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. The seven were all given suspended prison sentences while a further two people will serve time in prison. Costs of £39,000 in total were awarded against the defendants.

 

Steve Gower 54, Ruth Jarman 58, Richard Ramsden 75, Stephen Pritchard 62, Paul Sheeky 46 and Reverend Sue Parfitt 79 were each given a two month sentence suspended for two years, on condition that they do not break the government’s motorway injunction in that time.  Biff Whipster, 54, who was being charged with contempt in relation to two breaches of the government’s injunctions was given a three month prison sentence also suspended for two years.

 

Dr. Ben Buse, 36, who has served 28 days of a four month sentence on an earlier charge of contempt of court, was ordered to serve a further 30 days consecutively. He is still eligible for early half time release so will likely serve two and a half months in total.

 

Dr. Diana Warner, 62, who yesterday failed to attend court while she blocked a train heading for Drax power station, accepted her guilt and was given a two month prison sentence. 

 

The seven were ordered to pay costs of £5,000 each, with the exception of Biff Whipster who must pay £6,000, Ben Buse who must pay an additional £2,500 on top of costs from his earlier hearing and Steve Gower who has been charged a lower tariff of £500. 

 

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 yesterday a number of the nine 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. 

 

Biff Whipster said:

 

“Each day this government fails to act on these extinction events brings societal collapse in the UK a day nearer. Your pension pots will go, house prices will collapse, prices sky-rocket but wages don’t keep up. Then it gets real... panic buying, but the shops can't restock their shelves, food runs out, people go hungry. Hospitals have no medicines.  People start killing each other... and where's our government in all this? Nowhere to be seen. Our government does not care.”

 

Ruth Jarman 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.”


 

Emma, 44, from Weymouth, Dorset who is serving a four month prison sentence at HMP Bronzefield has confirmed that she is due to meet her MP Richard Drax tomorrow morning (16th December). Emma ended her 26 day prison hunger strike on Monday after receiving a letter from the MP who wrote to express concern for Emma’s welfare and to ask if he could visit her in prison.  She will discuss Insulate Britain’s key demands and ask for Mr Drax to convey the gravity of the climate emergency to the government. [1]


 

ENDS


 

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] 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.