Jailed Sheffield man appeals against sentence for anti-fracking protest

A jailed Sheffield man's appeal against his sentence for an anti-fracking protest is to be heard in court today. Â

Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 9:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 9:48 am
Simon Roscoe Blevins, from Sheffield

Simon Roscoe Blevins, aged 26, of Andover Street, Burngreave, was one of three men jailed over a protest outside a fracking site in Lancashire which lasted almost 100 hours.

Simon Roscoe Blevins, from Sheffield

They climbed on top of a convoy of lorries to prevent them delivering supplies to energy firm Cuadrilla's site in July last year.

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The men were convicted of causing a public nuisance with soil scientist Blevins jailed for 16 months alongside teacher and fellow protester Richard Roberts, 36, from London.

Piano restorer Richard Loizou, 31, from Devon, was given a 15 month sentence and a fourth man received a suspended jail term after pleading guilty.

Lawyers for the jailed trio will challenge their sentences before three judges at the Court of Appeal in London today.

Supporters said they will gather outside the court for a '˜silent demonstration' before the hearing.

At the sentencing hearing on September 26, Judge Robert Altham said he could not suspend the jail terms despite accepting the impact of incarceration and the good they did in the community.

He told Preston Crown Court: "I do find they provide a risk of re-offending.

"Each of them remains motivated by unswerving confidence that they are right. Even at their trial they felt justified by their actions.

"Given the disruption caused in this case, only immediate custody can achieve sufficient punishment."

It has since emerged that Judge Altham's parents and sister are directors of a firm which provides supplies to the offshore oil and gas industries.

His sister Jane Watson '“ wife of South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson '“ also signed an open letter supporting the fracking industry.