Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Appeal bid as Fathers 4 Justice man awaits sentencing

By Clare Alexander
July 14, 2009

LAWYERS representing the Fathers 4 Justice protester who brought the M25 in Surrey to a standstill have lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Geoffrey Hibbert, from Farnborough, is due to be sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday.

He was remanded in custody last month after being found guilty of causing a public nuisance and endangering motorists.

The desperate father, of Clayton Road, spent more than eight hours dressed as Batman at junction 14 of the motorway near Stanwell, causing tailbacks stretching back for 55 miles on August 15 last year.

Fathers 4 Justice launched a petition after the 49-year-old was remanded in custody in June. It has been signed by 67 people.

Members of the campaign group, which lobbies for better child access rights for fathers, are expected to be in the public gallery at Thursday’s hearing but, at the request of Hibbert's family, have agreed not to protest.


Hibbert was also said to have ended his hunger strike at Wormwood Scrubs on Monday. Fathers 4 Justice claimed he had only been accepting fluids at the prison.

A spokeswoman for Hibbert’s solicitors, Jung & Co, confirmed they had lodged an appeal against his conviction, which will not be heard until after he is sentenced.

If the appeal was successful, the spokeswoman said they would then appeal against the sentence.

Ron Reid, Hibbert’s 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.”



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