The former LUSU President is on trial over terrorism charges

She was arrested after blocking a deportation flight of asylum seekers


Lancaster's former SU President is on trial over terrorism charges and could face prison.

Laura Clayson, 28, an ex-student of Lancaster University, attempted to block a deportation flight to Nigeria and Ghana in 2017.

Clayson, along with 14 others, were involved in cutting through the airport's perimeter fence, securing themselves around a plane preparing to take-off, a court heard. They were said to have attached themselves around the nose wheel and wing of the Boeing 767. The group allegedly put their arms inside pipes and filled them with expandable foam, jurors were informed.

Back in 2014, Clayson was elected the Lancaster University's Student Union (LUSU) President saying she "would be sixth self-defining woman president in LUSU's history". Since then, Clayson has been a consultant to the NUS on Fossil Fuel Divestment, looking into what students' money is being used to support.

Now, Clayson could face prison after "endangering an airport" following the incident in March 2017 along with 14 other activists called the 'Stansted 15'.

Police were called to Standsted Airport after they blocked a plane that was supposed to deport 60 asylum seekers and other migrants from UK Detention centres back to Nigeria and Ghana.

"They placed the safety of the airport in a likelihood of danger," prosecutor Tony Badenoch said, as well as incoming flights having to be deported to other airports.

The group went to trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on October 1 and face charges under the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act.

The Campaign group End Deportations say is the first time the terror-related offence has been used against people taking non-violent direct action. If found guilty the group could be facing many years in prison.

The trial is expected to last for six weeks and each member of the group are pleading not guilty.

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