The activists struck in May last year as part of campaign which began in November 2009 when Manchester airport got planning approval to expand its World Freight Centre.

Six protesters calling themselves ‘Manchester Airport on Trial’ were sentenced after a two day trial at Trafford Magistrates’ court.

One defendant received 80 hours of community service and a further five received two year conditional discharges and £310 fines.

All six had pleaded not guilty to the charge of aggravated trespass claiming they acted ‘out of necessity to prevent the higher crime of climate change’.

Speaking after the ruling one of the six   defendants, Iain Hilton, said: “Whatever the  outcome was today, this climate court trial will not be the last.

“Climate change is accelerating at the same rate as it was before and continues to be the biggest threat to life as we know it.

“We have heard in court peer-reviewed Science, public health advocates, witness statements from MPs and we have heard from communities whose homes are threatened by airport expansion plans at Hasty Lane.

“We will not wait for the judicial system to act. Civil disobedience is a duty and a responsibility and we will continue to act to stop climate change.”

Luke Walsh

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