'A judge criticised for handing prison sentences to three fracking protesters has family links to the oil and gas industry.
Judge Robert Altham jailed Simon Blevins, 26, Richard Roberts, 36, and Richard Loizou, 31, over their demonstration at a Cuadrilla site.
The trio, known as the “Fracking Three”, are believed to be the first environmental activists to be imprisoned for public nuisance since 1932.
Critics have claimed the punishment was “manifestly excessive”. Now the Daily Mirror can reveal the Altham family business supplies the Irish Sea oil and gas industry.
J.C. Altham and Sons is believed to be part of the supply chain for energy giant Centrica, which has invested tens of millions of pounds in fracking.
Judge Altham’s sister, Jane Watson, put her name to an open letter in favour of fracking, which said, “It’s time to give shale a chance” and claimed it would create jobs.
The judicial code of conduct states a judge’s impartiality may be questioned if family members are “politically active” or have “financial interest” in the outcome of a case.
Lawyers for the protesters are trying to overturn their sentences. Loizou’s mum Sharron, 62, told the Mirror: “I was completely shocked when he was jailed, the sentence is incredibly harsh. We were expecting community service or a suspended sentence.
“It’s quite scary that in this country you can be jailed for a peaceful protest.”'
Read more: Judge who jailed fracking protesters with 'excessive' sentence has family links to oil and gas firm
Did you like this article?
Thank you for your vote!
30 November 2018
Study: Injecting wastewater deep underground is responsible for the surge of earthquakes in Oklahoma and other regions
From our advertisers
7 hours ago
‘Total mobilization’: Strasbourg bans public demos amid massive manhunt for Christmas market gunman
The Brexit Mess Planned All Along To Thwart The Will Of The People - The David Icke Dot-Connector Videocast
6 hours ago
Yemen war: At least six times as many killed in conflict than previously thought, report says
From our advertisers