“I do not regret my actions,” says 50-year-old woman after spending a week in prison for protesting against the use of fossil fuels outside a depot in Warwickshire.

Sarah Webb, from Wallingford, was arrested on April 16 outside Valero Oil Depot in Kingsbury where she sat in the entrance holding a “No New Oil” sign for about 10 minutes.

She was protesting with campaign group, Just Stop Oil, which is demanding the Government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.  

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Herald Series: Sarah WebbSarah Webb

The special educational needs tutor was held for 32 hours for “wilful obstruction of the highway” and while in custody was further arrested for breaching a High Court Injunction granted to North Warwickshire Borough Council banning any form of protest within five metres of the site. 

This injunction carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. Ms Webb was released on bail to return to Birmingham High Court on May 4.  

However Ms Webb returned to the fuel depot instead of attending her hearing and was arrested again for breaking the injunction.

She attended court the following day and was sent to HMP Foston Hall Prison in Derby on remand until a further court hearing on May 11.  

Herald Series: Campaign group Just Stop OilCampaign group Just Stop Oil

Ms Webb, who had no legal representation, pleaded guilty to breaching the injunction and was subsequently released from custody with no fine or custodial sentence. 

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“I do not regret my actions,” she said. “Civil resistance is the only thing we ordinary citizens have left to avert the catastrophic impact of the changing weather patterns which have already started. 

“What will happen to us when farmers can no longer grow our food because of chaotic weather? 

“We all know that burning fossil fuels is killing us, the question is, ‘What do we do about it?’ We cannot rely on a Government who would rather party on the graves of covid victims and lock up peaceful protestors, than address the climate emergency. 

“The Government is currently considering granting over 40 new oil licences for the North Sea - it’s just madness.”

She added: “Some people call us selfish when we disrupt ordinary people’s lives.  It is really sad that we have had to resort to this but we are acting out of desperation for the benefit of all humankind.

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“Does that sound selfish to you? It is painful, both mentally and sometimes physically, to carry out our disruptive actions.  It is not something we do lightly, but we have no other choice.”


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This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland