A WOMAN today has a criminal record because she took “direct action” to try and stop fracking activity.

Caroline Haywood, 56, told York Magistrates Court “all I had left was my body” when asked why she sat in the road which police were clearing so that a convoy of lorries could drive along it to the Third Energy site near Kirby Misperton.

“Voting didn’t get me anywhere,” she said as she gave evidence in two trials in a single day.

Haywood, who gave her address at an earlier hearing as the anti-frackers’ camp outside the Third Energy site, denied charges of obstructing police and resisting police on September 25 and obstructing the highway and obstructing police on November 10, when the joint leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley was present.

District Judge Adrian Lower convicted her on all charges but one. He acquitted her of resisting police on September 25 because the officer who arrested her didn’t caution her immediately on arrest. She had no previous convictions.

The district judge conditionally discharged her for 12 months and ordered her to pay £300 towards prosecution costs.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said Haywood and Mr Bartley were among a crowd blocking the entrance to the Third Energy site on November 10.

As police asked the protesters to leave so the convoy could arrive, Mr Bartley started a speech with a loudhailer, which he continued for more than 10 minutes while police tried to move the protesters on.

The court saw CCTV of police physically removing those protesters who did not leave, including Mr Bartley.

Almost 20 minutes after the initial request to move, Haywood sat on the ground and had to be dragged away by officers. She said she was a Green Party voter and had gone to the gates to listen to Mr Bartley’s speech.

“I am entitled to listen to a political speech, I would have thought that was an entirely human right,” she said.