PROSECUTION TRIES AGAIN WITH JONES & MILLING
-The 'FAIRFORD TWO'
Robbie Manson (solicitor) - 01239 821 066 / Mob. 07812 681 083
Paul Milling - 01539 436 691 (H) / Mob.0776 583 6150
Margaret (Monica) Jones - 0117 946 6885
THE STORY SO FAR
Three out of five Iraq war activists who tried physical damage to stop B-52bombers taking off from RAF Fairford in March 2003 have been found NOT GUILTY at Bristol Crown Court. This leaves the 'Fairford Two' - Paul Milling and Margaret Jones - to face re-trial.
Jones and Milling, charged with damage to US military vehicles, had their first trial for conspiracy to commit criminal damage last year. A re-trial was ordered when the jury failed to reach a verdict.
Lawyers have now asked the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the case. But the prosecution is determined to press on. The trial starts at Bristol Crown on Monday.
Jones, from Bristol, and Milling, from Cumbria, disabled dozens of bomb-carryingtrailers and fuel trucks at the RAF base in Fairford, Gloucestershire, in 2003. They admit using hammers and boltcutters to disable the equipment on 13 March, just one week before the invasion of Iraq.
They said they wanted to stop US Air Force B?52 bombers taking off. They weretrying to stop the “murder of innocent civilians” in Iraq.Since the night of their arrest the defendants have claimed they were justified indisabling trailers used to transport bombs for US jets and fuel tankers in order toprevent war crimes being committed.
The defendants deny conspiracy to cause criminal damage, arguing they wereentitled to be acquitted because they were acting to prevent war crimes and thedestruction of property in Baghdad.The two, who were the first defendants in an English crown court to use thedefence of acting to prevent war crimes. They have been on bail for the past four years.
The linked cases of Milling and Jones, Pritchard and Olditch, and Josh Richards,were jointly the subject of a lengthy pre-trial appeal to the House of Lords, over what defence arguments the accused would be allowed to make in court. These appeals had to be completed before the separate trials could go ahead.
The law lords ruled that all five defendants could argue that they were trying toprevent war crimes - but not that the Iraq war was itself a crime.
EARLIER 'B-52' CASES AT BRISTOL CROWN COURT
(1) Josh RichardsAn activist from Bristol, Josh Richards was charged with trying to set fire to thewheel of a B-52 bomber. In the re-trial earlier this month the jury debated for over 9hours and failed to reach a verdict.. The judge then ruled the defendant not guilty.
(2) Pritchard & OlditchThe re-trial of Philip Pritchard and Toby Olditch in May ended in unanimous acquittal by a jury of 11 women and one man. The two were arrested while trying to reach and disable a B-52 bomber.