Extinction Rebellion protesters sentenced after blocking newspaper printing presses

A serial Extinction Rebellion protester has been fined just £150 after being found guilty of blocking printing presses.

Laura Frandsen, 30, from London, was one of six climate change protesters charged with obstructing the motorway outside the Newsprinters print shop in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire on September 4, 2020.

Appearing at St Albans Magistrates’ Court, Judge Sally Fudge sentenced the defendants, saying that although the protest was ‘peaceful’ it had had a significant impact on businesses’ ability to operate and caused newspapers to lose around £1 million.

The action significantly disrupted the distribution of three and a half million copies of national newspapers, including The Telegraph, The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Times.

Around 100 workers were also unable to leave the factory in their cars and were effectively stranded on the premises.

The judge concluded that the police acted proportionately in arresting the protesters, adding: “The level of disturbance caused by the demonstration was high and the obstruction of the freeway went on for a very long time.”

But in sentencing the six, she granted most parole and gave Frandsen, who has previous convictions for similar offences, a £150 fine.