A judge criticised for handing prison sentences to three fracking protesters has family links to the oil and gas industry.
Now the Daily Mirror can reveal the Altham family business supplies the Irish Sea oil and gas industry.
The protesters climbed on to the roofs of lorries taking drilling equipment to a Cuadrilla fracking site in Little Plumpton, Lancashire, in July 2017.
Three oil rigs in the East Irish Sea – near Altham’s base at Heysham, Lancs – belong to British Gas owner Centrica, which has ploughed tens of millions of pounds into fracking firm Cuadrilla.
A spokesman for the Judges’ Council said: “There are longstanding principles, set out in case law, which guide how judges approach possible conflicts of interest. They ensure that when hearing a case, a judge will be mindful of possible conflicts of interest and can draw relevant matters to the attention of parties in the case.”
Judge Altham did not wish to add anything to the Judges’ Council’s statement.
Hydraulic fracturing – commonly known as fracking – is a technique of recovering gas and oil.