Norfolk climate activists charged over protest to dig up Trinity College lawn
PUBLISHED: 12:16 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:16 19 February 2020
Three climate activists from Norfolk are among six people who have been charged with criminal damage following protests that saw lawn outside a Cambridge University college dug up.
The grass outside the 16th-century Trinity College was targeted on February 17, with the group citing the college's "ties with fossil fuel companies" as a reason for the protest.
Activists also cited the college's role in the proposed development of Innocence Farm at Trimley St Martin in Suffolk.
Extinction Rebellion members had set up a week-long road blockade in Cambridge and last week a meeting had to be abandoned when a protester abseiled into the city council chamber.
About 40 protesters also gathered outside a research centre run by global oilfield services firm Schlumberger, to the west of the city.
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Cambridgeshire Police said six people have been charged with criminal damage and one released under investigation following the protests.
Gabriella Ditton, 26, of Violet Road, Norwich, has been charged with two counts of criminal damage in connection with incidents at Trinity College on Monday and the Schlumberger building in Madingley Road, Cambridge, on February 18.
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Caitlin Fay, 19, of Tudor Rose Way, Harleston, has been charged with criminal damage in connection with an incident at Trinity College on Monday.
Gilbert Murray, 62, of Hawthorne Avenue, Norwich, has also been charged with criminal damage in connection with the incident at Trinity College.
Three people from Cambridge, two women in their 20s and a man in his 60s, have also been charged with offences including criminal damage and obstructing police.
All have been released on bail to appear at Cambridge Magistrates' Court on March 30.
A 53-year-old woman from Bury St Edmunds who was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage relating to the Schlumberger building protest has been released under investigation.
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Trinity College Cambridge has said it "regrets the criminal damage done to its property".
A spokeswoman said: "The college respects the right to freedom of speech and non-violent protest but draws the line at criminal damage and asked the protesters to leave.
"Academics at Trinity are actively engaged in research to understand and develop solutions to climate change, and taking practical steps forward."