Vegan protesters fined over abattoir standoff
VEGAN protesters who stormed a southeast Queensland abattoir, chained themselves to fixtures and took three sheep have been fined by a Brisbane court.
Melissa Donald, Jessica Lunardon, Scott Miller, Marilyn Orr, Melanie Hinkseman, Miranda Webster, Lyndal Carmichael and Amie Joseph-Hall, today pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to trespass after they entered the Carey Bros Abattoir, near Warwick, after midnight, wearing camouflage on April 8.
"The activists entered past a no unauthorised entry sign... they said that they would leave peacefully if he (owner) supplied three sheep to them, at that time they did not supply any money, the complainant said he did not want to but did so under duress," Police prosecutor Kathy Clark said.
Ms Clark said the business owner had to pay his 20 employees for four hours overtime due to the protest.
Defence lawyer Mark Glaser, who represented the eight activists this morning, said all defendants were cooperative and courteous with police.
"No one damaged property, while we accept profits were lost... six of the defendants have no criminal history and the two that do are Ms Orr and Mr Miller and their criminal history is not significant," he said.
"Two of the defendants were not in the building and did not chain themselves, they made a conscious decision.
"All defendants work either full-time or part-time and have stable work, their prospects of employment in the future and their ability to earn income...will be impacted by conviction."
All defendants except Orr were ordered to pay fines ranging from $450 to $500.
They were also ordered to pay an additional $180 in restitution.
Orr was given a $600 fine as she had previously been convicted of similar offending, the court heard.
Outside court this morning she said "the focus" should not be on the activists.
"Please put the focus back on the animals, not the activists," she said.