Judge who jailed fracking protesters with 'excessive' sentence has family links to oil and gas firm
  • 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.

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