NEWS
06/02/2019 15:17 GMT | Updated 06/02/2019 15:36 GMT

Stansted 15 Sentencing: Anti-Deportation Activists Avoid Prison

Human rights organisations on Wednesday urged judge to show leniency toward the defendants.

The group of activists found guilty of terror-related charges after they stopped a deportation flight at Stansted Airport have avoided immediate jail time.

Three of the so-called “Stansted 15” were given suspended jail terms and 12 were given community orders.

The activists stopped the departure of an aircraft after cutting through the airport’s fence, running onto the apron and chaining themselves together in front of a Boeing 767 jet in March 2017.

The plane was chartered by the government to remove 60 people to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

Kristian Buus via Getty Images
The Stansted 15 pictured outside Chelmsford Crown Court in October last year.

The group were convicted of intentional disruption of services at an aerodrome following a nine-week-long trial at Chelmsford Crown Court last year.

Each defendant denied the single charge against them but all were found guilty following an earlier two-month trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, with prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC telling jurors the activists put the “safety of the airport in a likelihood of danger”.

The offence all defendants were convicted of is the intentional disruption of services at an aerodrome, contrary to section 1 (2) (b) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990.

Human rights organisations on Wednesday urged the judge, Christopher Morgan, to show leniency toward the defendants.

A large crowd of demonstrators gathered outside the court ahead of the sentencing.