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Insulate Britain protesters face prison after fresh court summons

A second group of Insulate Britain activists are set to face a High Court hearing, and could be jailed for up to two years.

A group of Insulate Britain protesters are facing jail after receiving a High Court summons for contempt of court hearings.

The fresh round of hearings comes after nine of the group’s activists were jailed earlier this month for between three and six months after breaking an injunction by blocking the M25.

The new hearings will take place on December 14 and the group of nine – which includes a vicar and a GP – faces up to two years in prison.

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One defendant, Dr Ben Buse, is already serving a four month sentence after the previous hearing.

The other defendants are: Ruth Jarman, 58; Biff Whipster, 54; Diana Warner, 62; Paul Sheeky, 46; Richard Ramsden, 75; Stephen Gower, 54; Steven Pritchard, 58; and Sue Parfitt 79.

Speaking after receiving the summons, Gower said: “The government didn’t need to imprison scientists, tradespeople, teachers, pensioners; the government needs to insulate Britain’s leaky homes, to stop thousands dying every winter from fuel poverty, to end hundreds of thousands of families being cold and hungry, and to start really acting on the climate crisis now the UK’s number one public concern”.

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The nine activists jailed earlier in November said in a pre-prepared statement they had been betrayed by the government.

A letter read on their behalf after the hearing said: “By imprisoning us, the government shows its cowardice. They would rather lock up pensioners than insulate their homes.

“They would rather lock up teachers than create thousands of proper jobs.”

One of the jailed activists, Emma Smart, is currently on her second week of a hunger strike. Along with prison sentences, they were each ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

Insulate Britain says a further 17 of its members expect to receive summons imminently.

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