Mansfield vicar ‘vindicated’ following drones protest at air base

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A Mansfield vicar has told the Chad he feels ‘vindicated’ after he and six others were ordered to pay just £10 in compensation to the RAF, after they broke into a Lincolnshire air base during an anti-drones protest.

Rev Hebden, based at St Marks, broke into RAF Waddington, where military personnel pilots the unmanned drones, on 3rd June this year.

Lincoln Magistrates Court heard today that the six, who staged their protest as part of International Child Victims of War Day, were finally detained after civilian police were called to the base.

By then the group had planted a peace garden, which consisted of a fig tree and a vine, as well as handed out leaflets to RAF staff.

The group told the court that the use of unarmed drones was contrary to international law, and they believed their action were justified to prevent a war crime.

Rev Hebden said: “I think the judge has done everything he can, short of acquitting us. I’m absolutely delighted by the result - it’s not the best possible news, but it’s wonderful news all the same and I feel completely vindicated.”

The defendants were ordered to pay £10 compensation to the RAF, and £85 in court costs and charges.

Full story in Wednesday’s Chad.

Pictured: Rev Hebden protesting outside a London arms fair last month.