Just Stop Oil: Stansted Protestors Charged with Damaging Aircraft

A Just Stop Oil protestor stands in front of a painted aircraft at Stansted Airport.
Photo Credit: Just Stop Oil

Two women affiliated with the protest group Just Stop Oil have been charged with criminal offenses and denied bail following Thursday’s incident at Stansted Airport. The two Just Stop Oil protestors had attacked parked aircraft at the airport as a protest action.

Cole Macdonald, 22, and Jennifer Kowalski, 28, allegedly gained unauthorized access to a secure area of the airfield on Thursday, June 20th.

Prosecutors accused the pair of causing damage exceeding £5,000 to two parked light aircraft.

Both women pleaded not guilty to the charges of criminal damage, aggravated trespass, and interfering with national infrastructure.

A Just Stop Oil activist with a painted private jet at Stansted Airport
Photo Credit: Just Stop Oil

The women entered their plea during a hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, June 22nd.

The judge refused bail for the two protestors, who will remain in custody until their next court date. They will appear before the Chelmsford Crown Court on July 22nd.

Stansted Airport Incident

The two members Just Stop Oil protestors had forced access to the airport in the early hours of Thursday morning.

They managed to enter by cutting a security fence with a circular saw. The pair then defaced two parked light jets with orange paint sprayed from a fire extinguisher.

Stansted Airport confirmed that the incident did not disrupt any flights.

“Shortly after 5am, Essex Police arrested two protestors who had entered the private aviation area of the airfield. This was away from the runway and main passenger terminal.”

“As a precaution, runway operations were suspended for a short period. However, no flights were disrupted, and the airport and flights are operating as normal.”

Essex Police Response

Essex Police responded swiftly to the Just Stop Oil protestors action, arriving on the scene just nine minutes after receiving reports of the unauthorized access.

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow emphasized the force’s preparedness for such situations and their commitment to passenger safety.

Essex Police officers at Stansted Airport

“We were on the scene almost immediately after being alerted to this incident, which occurred away from the main passenger terminal,” stated Anslow.

“Essex Police maintain a constant presence at the airport, and this will be heightened over the summer period.”

“We have a strong working relationship with Stansted Airport to ensure minimal disruption to your travels.”

Anslow further clarified that while the police respect the right to protest, they will take decisive action when criminal activity occurs.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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