A GREENPEACE protester has been cleared of obstructing a highway after standing against controversial fracking plans across the UK.

Peter Chan, of Waverley Road, Reading, was one of 10 volunteers to be cleared at Blackpool Magistrates' Court on November 3 following a demonstration at a site in Lancashire in May.

Chan, 48, along with five women and four men, sat on the ground in front of shale gas firm in Little Plumpton.

District judge Jeff Brailsford said the campaigners had every right to express their opinion and stand up for their beliefs.

During his conclusion he said: "These defendants hold genuine beliefs and are entitled to express those beliefs, they are, indeed, passionate in support of those beliefs, and those from whom I heard listed the other ways in which they seek to promote their cause.

"[It] would seem to me to show that there was fundamental responsibility being exercised by these defendants.

"I am of the view that the defendants have, on the evidence I heard, sufficiently raised and established ‘lawful excuse’.

Reading Chronicle:

"The prosecution has not shown to my satisfaction the defendants to have been overall unreasonable."

Campaigners linked their arms inside yellow boxes for more than eight hours and hosted a peaceful protest against the promotion of fracking across the UK.

Other defendants included a retired midwife, a retired soldier and a trainee yoga teacher.

Lancashire Police removed two of the protesters on May 3, but the group failed to stop 11 lorries from entering the site.

Elisabeth Whitebread, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “We are thrilled that the action taken by these 10 volunteers has been recognised by the courts for what it was - a peaceful protest acting on the strong belief of concerned citizens that fracking is not good.

"This not guilty verdict, on the grounds that the protest was reasonable, will add to the volume of the rising voices asking the government to stop backing fracking.”

It was the largest trial of its type since protests started at the site.