Protesters on trial

Submitted by on 17 August, 2002 - 12:05

The trial of four supporters of the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign following a protest at Shoreham dock last December has been adjourned until September.

Farah Bishnani, Crispin Dowler, Sarah McLaughlin and Carly North are being charged under Tory anti-union laws following a protest at the dock where Simon Jones was killed in 1998. They face a maximum sentence of six months in jail if found guilty.

Colin Chalmers of the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign says: "This dock is a death trap and now four people face going to jail for trying to get the authorities to do something about it. When we approached the Health and Safety Executive with first hand evidence of their own safety rules being broken we were told that we were 'wasting a lot of their time with this' and our pleas for action were ignored. Dozens of firefighters recently fought a major blaze at the dock, where gates aren't locked, there are no security guards and there is nothing preventing small children from playing with heavy machinery.

"It's almost impossible to end up in court for killing your employees in this country. Since Simon's death in 1998 over 2,000 people have been killed at work and no director has gone to jail. Now we see Thatcher's anti-picketing laws being used against campaigners for who are trying to get safety laws enforced. We don't think that trying to save lives is a crime and we'll be making that case very forcibly in court."
Anne Jones (Simon's mother), Emma Aynsley (Simon's girlfriend at the the time of his death) and Sean Currey (who was working with Simon when he was killed) are expected to be giving evidence at the trial.

The next hearing is set for 2.15pm on 3 September at Worthing Magistrates Court, Christchurch Road, Worthing. The trial will take place some time after that date, and there will be a picket outside the court.

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