The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has discontinued criminal charges against 19 protestors for breach of an injunction banning protests outside an arms factory in Staffordshire.
The company, which makes engines for drones exported to Israel, obtained an injunction ahead of a planned protest in July 2015 without giving prior notice to demonstrators. The protest went ahead and those arrested for breaching the injunction faced trial at Stafford Crown Court.
However, when applying for the injunction UAV Engines Ltd failed to inform the Court of the long history of peaceful protest at the site. At a later hearing challenging the injunction, the High Court found there were ‘serious and manifold’ failures in the factory’s duty of disclosure to the Court and ruled that the previous order was ‘discharged ab initio and it is as if the injunction never existed’. Following legal submissions to the CPS, the criminal charges were then discontinued.