HS2 Protesters Conviction Overturned on Appeal


The High Court has quashed the conviction of an HS2 protesters for an offence under s.241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

ITN Solicitors acted for Sebastian Roblyn after he was prosecuted for preventing the felling of a tree by contractors on an HS2 work site in Denham Country Park, Buckinghamshire in July 2020.  Roblyn had taken the action in order to protect wildlife, believing that both birds and bats had been roosting in the tree. At his trial in March 2021, he argued that the workmen could have committed wildlife offences had they felled the tree because the animals and/or their roosts may have been disturbed or damaged. This was supported by an ecologist, who was called to give evidence for the defence.

Although the District Judge accepted that wildlife offences might have been committed had the tree been cut down, he nonetheless convicted Mr Roblyn, ruling that the felling of the tree would have been a lawful act because the HS2 scheme was itself lawful. However, the High Court determined that the judge had been wrong to conclude that the felling of the tree was an act that the contractors had a legal right to do and therefore “it was not open to him to convict”.

Simon Natas, a senior partner at ITN Solicitors acted for Mr Roblyn with Tom Wainwright of Garden Court Chambers. View more details on our appeals service. 


Share This