Shropshire Star

Ten people charged after protests on roads around Grand National

Merseyside Police said significant traffic delays were caused by demonstrators blocking roads, including access to the M57 motorway.

Police at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool

Ten people have been charged after protesters attempted to block roads around Aintree Racecourse on the day of the Grand National.

The steeplechase, held on April 15, was delayed by 12 minutes due to action by rights group Animal Rising which saw activists climb fences to enter the racecourse, while at around the same time a nearby motorway was blocked by protesters.

On Wednesday, Merseyside Police said 10 people have been charged over the protests on the roads.

The force said significant traffic delays were caused after reports of people blocking access at junction two of the M57 motorway at 5.15pm on the day of the race and attempts were also made to block Wango Lane.

The protest on the racecourse is still under investigation, a spokesman said.

Police said Zoe Able, 27, of Leeders Pightle, Norfolk; Tobias Brown, 49, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; James Kelly, 46, of Northwich, Cheshire; Andrew Houghton, 66, of Bedford; Rosa Sharkey, 23, of Enfield, north London; and Sarah Love, 47, Lucia Alexander, 40, Jamie Carter, 29, and Elenor Kenny, 19, all of no fixed address, have been charged with wilful obstruction of a highway.

John Edwards, 49, of Colchester, Essex, has been charged with stopping/causing a vehicle to remain at rest on a carriageway of a motorway.

They were all released on bail to attend court on either November 22 or December 20.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Dyer said: “Merseyside Police respects the right to a peaceful protest and expression of views, but criminal behaviour and disorder will never be tolerated.

“Our investigation into the protest on the racecourse at Aintree on Saturday April 15 remains ongoing and if you have any information, please get in touch.”

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