THE CASE against two environmental activists from Stroud, charged with aggravated trespass, has been dismissed.

Senan Clifford, an ex-teacher aged 59, and David Lambert, a landscape consultant aged 60, appeared at the City of London Magistrates’ Court today after they were arrested in October at an Extinction Rebellion protest at London City Airport.

The judge, Vincent McDade, said there had been an “abject failure” by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The arresting officer who had been due to be a prosecution witness was not given enough notice about the date of the trial and had booked a holiday.

Speaking before the court appearance, the defendants said their action was designed to draw attention to the damaging impact of the airport and its expansion plans, and the projected doubling in the number of commercial aircraft by 2038.

Mr Lambert said: “City Airport is used predominantly by the wealthy, frequent fliers, business people, for short-haul flights in smaller jets, all of which have disproportionately large carbon footprints. 

"The Civil Aviation Authority says its users have the highest mean annual income of any UK airport. This is the polluter elite, whose selfishness is poisoning our air and destroying our peace.”

Mr Clifford said: “We know that the number of flights is set to increase massively over the next 15 years, and carbon emissions from flying will continue to rise despite increased fuel efficiency.

"Demand is soaring in developing countries which means that in advanced economies such as ours, we have to cut back.

"Instead City Airport is planning a major expansion.

"In a climate emergency that is madness.”