A climate change campaigner who disrupted traffic on the M25 has been jailed for six months.
Jan Goodey, 57, from Brighton, was jailed after pleading guilty to willfully or recklessly causing a public nuisance after taking part in the Just Stop Oil campaign to disrupt London’s Orbital motorway at the beginning of this month.
He is the first to be sentenced in connection with the disruptive protests, where Just Stop Oil supporters scaled bridges over the M25, the country’s busiest motorway, causing serious disruption to rush hour traffic.
Just Stop Oil said Goodey was arrested on November 7 after climbing a gantry at Junction 16. He was sentenced to nine months in jail, reduced to six months because of his guilty plea.
According to the campaign’s report on court proceedings, the magistrate spoke of wanting to use Goodey’s sentence as a “deterrent” against further disruption of ordinary people going about their “legal business”.
The sentence comes amid talk of a crackdown on Just Stop Oil’s disruptive protest campaign, which has been underway in the UK since April. On Thursday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman will summon police chiefs to Downing Street at the Prime Minister’s behest.
A government source said Braverman had been told to instruct police to use all powers, including those newly given to forces under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act 2022, to “crack down on these groups and bring order in order. on our streets and roads once again.”
Goodey was convicted of the new statutory offense of public nuisance introduced by the PCSC Act, which replaced an old common law offense of public nuisance, carrying a possible 10-year prison sentence.
Responding to Goodey’s sentence, a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said: “This shows that our government would rather shut down peaceful protesters than stop new oil and gas.
“We know the course they are setting will destroy everything we know and love, and that is why we must resist. We will continue to do our best nonviolently to stop this horror. That’s what Jan did.”
Two other Just Stop Oil supporters were due to appear in court on Wednesday, the campaign said. Anthony Whitehouse and Arne Springorum were due to appear at 2pm, also charged with public nuisance.
Police said they were preparing to respond to a new two-week campaign of disruptive protest organized by London-based Just Stop Oil, which began on Monday.