Theresa Norton, a Labour councillor from Scarborough, attended a Magistrates’ Court yesterday to plead not guilty to highway offences committed during her participation in a climate change protest.
Cllr Norton was charged with wilfully obstructing a highway with an non-motor vehicle, an offence which was alleged to have taken place on Saturday 1st May.
Amber Spencer, prosecuting, told the court that the incident happened at around 11am, saying: “Officers state that the defendant walked into St Nicholas Street in Scarborough and sat herself down in the middle of the road surface in front of some traffic lights in order to protest [about] climate change.
“The defendant remained there, obstructing the highway and intentionally preventing vehicles from driving past.”
Police asked Ms Norton, a member of controversial group Extinction Rebellion, to move her protest to the town and away from the road, to prevent potential car accidents or the blocking of emergency vehicles – but the Councillor refused and was thus arrested, the court heard.
Norton has been released on unconditional bail until her trial, which will take place at Scarborough Magistrates Court on November 5. If found guilty she could face a fine of up to £1,000.