Greenpeace oil rig protestors sentenced

Greenpeace oil rig protestors sentenced

Greenpeace protest on rig

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Greenpeace

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The protest in June prevented the rig Paul B Loyd Junior from leaving the Cromarty Firth

Five Greenpeace campaigners who occupied an oil rig for almost four days have been sentenced to carry out unpaid work.

They boarded Transocean’s Paul B Loyd Junior while it was in the Cromarty Firth awaiting a tow to a BP oil field.

The three men and two women chained themselves to the rig preventing it from leaving the Highlands firth during June’s protest.

They pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at Tain Sheriff Court.

Appearing back at the court for sentencing on Monday, Andrew McParland, 52, from Epsom in Surrey, Peter Chan, 50, from Reading, and Thomas Johnstone, 35, from Rhos-on-Sea in Conwy, Wales, were ordered to complete 135 hours of unpaid work.

Joanne Paterson, 53, from Munlochy on the Black Isle, was sentenced to 100 hours and Meena Rajput, 39, from London, to 80 hours.

‘Criminal act’

Police, RNLI and coastguard were involved in work to make sure no-one came to harm during the occupation.

The court heard that the protest led to most of the rig’s 99 crew being confined to their quarters.

Sentencing the group, Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov said: “I may or may not have sympathy for your beliefs. But that is for another forum. A criminal act was committed here.

“What concerns me is that the RNLI and the coastguard were taken away from a possible legitimate emergency elsewhere.

“We have all sorts of terrorist acts these days and some people on the rig would not have known this was a benign action.”

The rig was eventually towed out to the North Sea.

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