Because Stop HS2 has faced a real funding crisis in the last few months, we haven’t given enough focus to the Crowd Justice appeal from Sarah Green. Currently, she has raised just over £9,000 against a target of £26,000 as her defence against prosecution fundamentally rests on proving that HS2 Ltd were acting illegally by potentially contaminating the aquifer which provides 3.2 million people with fresh drinking water.
The simplified details of the case is that she is charged with aggravated trespass, as a result of allegedly breaking a court injunction and trying to prevent HS2 Ltd from conducting legal activities and polluting the drinking water supply for around 3 million people. Her defence is that she was preventing HS2 Ltd from undertaking illegal activities, as they have not published any assessment to the impact to water supplies from drilling in an area of known contamination.
We spoke to Sarah earlier today, and the gist of it is that at the moment is will be taking out a personal loan to cover the gap in costs. She has looked into remortgaging her house which is currently owned outright, but cannot get a mortgage because in the last two years her canal barge trips business hasn’t earned enough, because she’s been spending so much time at the Colne Valley protest camp. She would have qualified for legal aid, but the solicitor she’d have got that way would only have tried to defend her aggravated trespass charge without the defence that she was trying to prevent HS2 Ltd from acting illegally, meaning not only would she have lost, but HS2 Ltd would have got away with it and there most certainly wouldn’t be 600 pages of evidence submitted to the court.