Heathrow villagers joined demonstrators in a planned rally outside court on Wednesday (August 19) to support Plane Stupid activists appearing in the dock.
Each have been charged with aggravated trespass and entering a security restricted area of an aerodrome, after allegedly cutting a hole in a fence to access the northern runway at Heathrow Airport on July 13.
The first charge of aggravated trespass relates to defendants obstructing a person engaged in a lawful activity by erecting a temporary structure and locking themselves onto it, the court heard.
The court was told the activists chained themselves together, one dressed as a polar bear, and blocked the runway, causing a total of 22 flights to be cancelled.
Speaking before the hearing, one of the defendants, Cameron Kaye, told getwestlondon he moved to Sipson village two years ago with other anti-runway protesters, who were also in court.
He said: “I'm nervous but so excited to continue the campaign against the third runway.
"Sipson will be un-liveable but it's going to affect all of us in London.”
Crowds of supporters demonstrated outside the courthouse on Wednesday morning and packed the public gallery during the hearing – some wearing badges and protest t-shirts.
They cheered on the defendants as they arrived at court, chanting: “No ifs, no buts, no third runway.”
Among those outside was Bryan Tomlinson, committee member of the group Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE).
He said: “We [SHE] are not too involved in this case because it’s an illegal exercise but, as a local resident, I fully support them and I’m honoured to be friends with Plane Stupid.”
In a statement, Plane Stupid said: “It is critically important that climate change is prominent in the context of any discussion about the future of the aviation industry.”
During the hearing, each defendant spoke to confirm their name, date of birth and address, and each pleaded not guilty to both charges.
All defendants were given conditional bail by District Judge Denis Brennan, and told not to enter Heathrow Airport.
A trial date has been set for January 18 at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court and is expected to last two weeks.
The 13 defendants who will stand trial next year are:
- Rebecca Holly Sanderson, 27, of Newton Road, Machynlleth, Powys;
- Melanie Strickland, 32, of Borwick Avenue, Waltham Forest, E17;
- Richard Steven Hawkins, 32, of Heol y Doll, Machynlleth, Powys;
- Ella Gilbert, 22, of Magdalen Street, Norwich, Norfolk;
- Danielle Louise Paffard, 28, of Blenhiem Grove, Southwark, SE15;
- Graham Edward James Thompson, 42, of Durlston Road, Hackney, E5;
- Robert Anthony Basto, 67, of Blackborough Road, Reigate, Surrey;
- Kara Lauren Moses, 31, of Heol y Doll, Machynlleth, Powys;
- Cameron Joseph Kaye, 23, of Kenwood Close, Sipson, West Drayton;
- Edward Thacker, 26, of Kenwood Close, Sipson, West Drayton;
- Alistair Craig Tamlit, 27, of Kenwood Close, Sipson, West Drayton;
- Sheila Menon, 43, of Pellerin Road, Hackney, N16;
- Sam Sender, 23, of Kenwood Close, Sipson, West Drayton.