Nine of the Defendants were represented by members of the Garden Court Crime Team – Dexter Dias QC, Tom Wainwright, Owen Greenhall, Terry Munyard, Susan Wright, Abigail Bache and Jacob Bindman, all instructed by Raj Chada of Hodge, Jones and Allen.
The Stansted 15 took action to prevent a deportation flight removing people from the UK and taking them to countries where their lives were at risk due to their sexuality. Having stopped the flight taking off, at least eleven people were able to have their immigration applications heard and were found to be entitled to remain in the country. A number of those individuals were found to have been victims of human trafficking.
Following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, these fifteen defendants were convicted of Endangering Safety at an Aerodrome contrary to s.1(2) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, an offence associated with terrorism and carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Grounds of appeal against conviction have been lodged.
After hearing mitigation, the trial judge was persuaded that although this was an offence which would normally carry a custodial sentence that, in light of their Article 10 and 11 rights under the ECHR and their positive good character, none of the defendants would be sent to prison. Twelve defendants were given community orders and three were handed suspended sentences.