Monday, June 22, 2009

In the UK ~ Fathers 4 Justice lawyers plan appeal

By Clare Alexander
June 22, 2009

LAWYERS representing the M25 protest father from Farnborough have confirmed they are considering lodging an appeal against his conviction.

Geoffrey Hibbert, who is said to be on hunger strike at Wormwood Scrubs prison, was remanded in custody on Thursday after being convicted of causing a public nuisance and endangering motorists.

It took jurors at Harrow Crown Court just 10 minutes to find him guilty after a four-day trial.

The desperate father, of Clayton Road, spent more than eight hours at junction 14 of the motorway near Stanwell, causing tailbacks stretching back for 55 miles.

He is due to be sentenced on July 16 and is currently behind bars at Wormwood Scrubs.

But his solicitors, Jung & Co, are considering putting in an appeal and a bail application pending the appeal.

Fluids only

Fathers 4 Justice, the group campaigning for improved access rights, said on Monday that Mr Hibbert had gone on hunger strike and was only accepting fluids.

Ron Reid, his best friend, said: "I can’t believe it has come to this. Geoff has been my best friend for 24 years and I have never seen him so broken. All he wants to do is see his daughter.”

Jung & Co was unable to confirm whether Mr Hibbert was refusing to eat, but a spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that someone from my office went to visit him this morning [Monday].”

The Ministry of Justice does not comment on individual prisoners.

However, it issued a statement on general food refusal.

“A multi-disciplinary approach to managing those refusing food is encouraged, and healthcare staff should be involved at an early stage in order to assess the prisoner's physical and mental health,” the statement said.

“Healthcare staff may wish to involve their Primary Care Trust for specialist dietary advice.”

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