Lakenheath protesters in court Tuesday
RAF MILDENHALL, England — Seven British peace activists are scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for allegedly breaking onto RAF Lakenheath last October, authorities said.
The suspects are slated to make their initial appearance at Bury St. Edmunds Magistrates’ Court, according to a British Ministry of Defence spokesman. They are being charged under England’s new law designed to protect sensitive government sites
The seven were charged last week. An eighth person allegedly involved in the Oct. 2 incident did not return to police following her release on bail, said MOD spokesman Steve Partridge.
The seven activists have been charged with criminal trespassing under the Serious Organized Crime and Police Act as well as criminal damage for damaging a fence, Partridge said.
The ministry identified the suspects as: Lesley Anderson, 24, of Muckhart, Scotland; Melanie Harrison, 35, Mettingham, Suffolk; Leslie Grahame, 47, Norwich, Norfolk; Margaret Moss, 56, of Norwich; Peter Lux, 44, Norwich; Irene Willis, 61, Canvey Island, Essex; and Richard Rushmer, 37, Old Lakenham, Norfolk.
The woman who did not return to police was identified only as a 39-year-old from Leicester.
The eight were arrested by MOD police on Oct. 2 after they allegedly breached the security perimeter at RAF Lakenheath and chained themselves to a gate at the home of the 48th Fighter Wing, authorities said.
A British anti-nuclear weapons organization published a statement on the Internet shortly after the eight were arrested, claiming the activists were protesting the storage of weapons of mass destruction on RAF Lakenheath.
RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Menwith Hill are three of the 14 military installations in the United Kingdom included on the list of sites that are protected by the law that went into effect in April 2005, Partridge said.
He added the suspects face a maximum penalty of 51 weeks in jail and a $10,000 fine each.