Nuclear protest gran upset at not being prosecuted

Janet Fenton. Picture: Craig Stephen
Janet Fenton. Picture: Craig Stephen
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A GRANDMOTHER-of-nine has hit out at the Crown Office – for refusing to prosecute her.

Janet Fenton was one of four people who were arrested and charged with breach of the peace on Monday after blockading Faslane submarine base.

The 67-year-old was kept in custody for 32 hours and was due to appear before Clydebank Sheriff Court the following day.

But the veteran campaigner against nuclear weapons and her three fellow protesters were suddenly released on Tuesday afternoon with “no explanation”.

Ms Fenton, from the Capital, claimed she had been released for “political” reasons.

She said: “I wanted the chance to challenge the court. Trident is illegal. We have no paperwork – we weren’t given any charge sheets or anything.”

“It’s not in the interests of justice. I suspect the reasons are political.”

Ms Fenton – who admits to more than 20 previous arrests related to anti-nuclear protests – managed to shut down the North Gate at the base on Gare Loch, Argyll and Bute, by chaining herself to four other activists.

Police had to use angle grinders to cut them free.

The protest was to highlight the dangers of nuclear weapons after the No vote on independence.

Ms Fenton’s daughter, Mary McCarthy, a 34-year-old midwife based in Bristol, said: “We’re all very proud of mum. She has been a brilliant gran and has worked her entire life to try and get rid of nuclear weapons.”

She added: “I was a bit worried she wouldn’t make my wedding this weekend so I’m really glad they let her go early.”

The Scottish Conservatives backed the Crown Office decision not to prosecute the campaigners.

West of Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw said: “We heard all through the referendum that a vote for Yes was a vote to get rid of Trident. Considering the outcome, these individuals are clearly in a minority.

“However, it’s worth considering that they will have spent time in custody. And it’s better to meet the inconvenience they cause with inconvenience caused to them, than to be unduly heavy-handed when it comes to sentencing.”

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The procurator fiscal at Dumbarton received a report relating to an incident involving three men aged 53, 56 and 76, and two women aged 56 and 67, said to have taken place at Faslane on September 22.

“After full and careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the report, the procurator fiscal instructed that no proceedings should be taken at this time. The accused were liberated from custody and did not appear in court.

“The Crown reserves the right to raise proceedings in future.”