CPS drops case against arms factory protest after High Court declares injunction void

Monday 7 December 2015

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.

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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.

The case has received local and national media attention, including by the International Business Times, the BBC, the Birmingham Mail, the RT, and the Express and Star.

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.

Owen Greenhall of the Garden Court Crime and Civil Actions Teams acted pro bono in the High Court proceedings. He was instructed by Anna Thwaites of Bindmans Solicitors.

Owen Greenhall and Tom Wainwright, also of the Garden Court Crime Team, both acted in the criminal proceedings. They were instructed by Mike Schwarz of Bindmans solicitors.

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