Court discharges anti-road protestor

A PROTESTOR arrested during anti link road demonstrations has been given a conditional discharge.

Rosamond Palmer is the first of 19 arrested protestors to discover their fate after her trial at Hastings Magistrates Court.

The 61-year-old writer, of Paynton Road, St Leonards, was arrested back on December 17 last year and charged with aggravated trespass.

Palmer, who has become something of a poster girl for the protestors after her story appeared in a national newspaper and photographs of her being apprehended on the site made front page news locally, was convicted and given a nine-month conditional discharge.

She was not ordered to pay any costs.

Representing herself, Palmer told the court she had not intended to obstruct the work but merely wished to make clear her opposition to what was happening.

Speaking after the verdict, she said: “I showed my opposition to the Link Road by sitting in a tree, and my arrest helped generate media coverage and raise awareness.

“The judge twice asked the prosecutor whether it was in the public interest to continue the trial, and each time prosecutor chose to do so.

“In the end, I got a nine month conditional discharge and the Crown Prosecution Service got a large bill.

“It is a Pyrrhic victory for East Sussex County Council.”

A second defendant, 19-year-old Dominic Langford from Cardiff, will discover the verdict in his case on September 23.

Langford was the first person to be arrested on the site when he spent five hours at the top of a telegraph pole in Crowhurst Road, where tree-felling was taking place.

He was charged with wilfully obstructing a highway, and resisting arrest following his January 8 arrest, but pleaded not guilty to both accusations.