Court clears Sheridan after arrest in naval base anti-nuclear protest

THE Scottish socialist leader Tommy Sheridan was yesterday found not guilty of causing a breach of the peace during a mass demonstration outside the home of Britain’s Trident nuclear submarine.

The 37-year-old Glasgow MSP was among hundreds of people arrested as they protested at the Faslane naval base on the River Clyde earlier this year

But during an hour-long trial yesterday, Justice of the Peace Anthony Stirling found in Mr Sheridan’s favour, stating mass arrests at peaceful demonstrations infringe people’s human rights

After his court hearing at Argyll and Bute district court in Helensburgh, Mr Sheridan said he hoped the verdict would encourage others to protest against nuclear weapons. "This is a significant ruling that shows that people taking part in peaceful protests against the barbarism of these weapons do not deserve to be arrested."

Mr Sheridan was one of 340 people, including the Labour MP George Galloway and several church ministers, arrested at the so-called Big Blockade at the naval base on 12 February.

Recording a not guilty verdict yesterday, Mr Stirling JP told the court: "Throughout the whole evidence here it appears that everyone at this demonstration behaved in a perfectly proper way and that the authorities were well aware of what was going on.