Lawless sentenced over protest

Lucy Lawless on board Noble Discoverer. Photo supplied
Lucy Lawless on board Noble Discoverer. Photo supplied
Actor Lucy Lawless and seven other Greenpeace activists have been sentenced to community work and ordered to pay reparation for boarding a drilling ship contracted to Shell Todd during a protest last year.

The group were arrested last February after they boarded the Noble Discoverer at the Port of Taranaki and spent 77 hours up a 58m tower, in protest against Shell's oil exploration operation in the Arctic.

They earlier pleaded guilty to being unlawfully on a ship.

In New Plymouth District Court this morning, Judge Allan Roberts sentenced each of the activists to 120 hours of community work and ordered them to pay $651.44 each in reparation to the port.

But the protesters avoided paying more than $600,000 in reparation sought by police.

Greenpeace climate campaigner Simon Boxer, who was in court to support the activists, said the reparation request was "quite ludicrous".

He said the activists were passionate about their cause.

"It was a stiff sentence but they know what they were doing was right, and they know what matters the most was that they brought a spotlight onto the Arctic drilling plans of Shell.

"As we've seen over this last year, those plans are in disarray at the moment because of that spotlight that started in New Zealand, so they feel it was their duty to act."

The group was initially charged with entering an enclosed area at the Port of Taranaki without authority and with the intent to commit a crime.

Those sentenced today were Lawless, Jan Raoni Hammer, Mike Ross Buchanan, Shayne Panayiotis Comino, Vivienne Rachel Hadlow, Shai Sebastian Naides, Zach Steven Penman and Ilai Amir.

 - Matthew Backhouse of APNZ

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