TWO anti-fracking protestors who blocked off a road with a makeshift tower have been found guilty of obstructing the highway.

Julia Collins, 40, and Ronald Holloran, 52, sat on top of the wooden tower in Habton Road, near the entrance to the hydraulic fracturing site, in Kirby Misperton and refused to come down.

They were found guilty of wilfully obstructing the highway at York Magistrates’ Court this week, following the first trial related to protest activity at Kirby Misperton.

Collins and Holloran, both from land near Kirby Misperton, were each sentenced to a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £200 and a £20 victim surcharge.

DC Vincent Formosa, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Police officers have been facilitating safe and peaceful protest for many months at Kirby Misperton.

“However, when the balance tips from peaceful protest to acts that go beyond what is reasonable, the public would rightly expect us to take action.”

There have been 85 protest-related arrests at the site since September 2017.