Two men who climbed the QEII Bridge at the Dartford Crossing in a protest over the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and sparked widespread disruption have been jailed.
Morgan Trowland (left) and Marcus Decker appeared at Southend Crown Court on 21 April and were given sentences of three years and two years and seven months respectively.
The men, who were members of the Just Stop Oil climate change campaign group, began climbing the bridge stanchions in the early hours of 17 October last year.
They eventually climbed to around 200 feet above the water and remained suspended over the carriageways. Their actions led to the bridge being closed for 41 hours.
Essex police said the protest caused disruption to hundreds of thousands of people on the M25 and surrounding roads, many of whom lost out on salary, missed significant family occasions or could not access medical help when it was urgently needed.
Mike Parr, MD at Perishable goods haulier PML said at the time the actions of the group were “irresponsible, irrational and incredibly dangerous” and added that the ramifications of their actions were massive.
Both men were eventually removed from the bridge by specially trained officers on the afternoon of 18 October.
Trowland, 40, and Decker, 34, were arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance and subsequently charged.
They denied the charges but were found guilty following a trial.
Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe, said: “Trowland and Decker’s actions were completely unacceptable. They were dangerous and they were incredibly disruptive.
“We know they saw their actions as protest – they were not. They caused danger and disruption to many.
“Thankfully, our specially trained officers were able bring the incident to a safe conclusion.”