No penalty for Pocock's Maules Creek protest

No penalty for Pocock's Maules Creek protest

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Rugby player David Pocock received no penalty in Gunnedah Local Court for his part in the blockade of Maules Creek Coal Mine in Leard State Forest

Rugby player David Pocock received no penalty in Gunnedah Local Court for his part in the blockade of Maules Creek Coal Mine in Leard State Forest

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FORMER Wallabies captain David Pocock entered a guilty plea and avoided penalty for his protest of Whitehaven's Maules Creek coal mine.

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FORMER Wallabies captain and ACT Brumbies player David Pocock is good at avoiding penalties on the rugby field, and has now done the same in court after pleading guilty to a charge over his protest at Maules Creek coal mine.

Pocock and his wife Emma both appeared in Gunnedah Local Court today, after they both took part in a blockade of the coal mine in the Leard State Forest in November.

Pocock chained himself to a digger for 10 hours with local farmer Rick Laird, and was later arrested and charged with entering and staying on enclosed land without lawful excuse and hindering the working of mining equipment.

A representative of Gunnedah Local Court said these charges were withdrawn and replaced with a lesser charge of hiding tools, clothing, or property to unlawfully influence a person.

"They were both guilty pleas (for David and Emma Pocock), and were convicted but no penalty," the court representative said.

The court ruled a Section 10(1)(a) dismissal, she said.

This allows a court to proceed without a conviction, and find a person guilty of an offence while making an order that the relevant charge be dismissed.

Pocock has previously stated he joined the protest to help support the community and local farmers who were opposed to the project, and to held further the conversation about climate change and coal.

The story No penalty for Pocock's Maules Creek protest first appeared on Farm Online.

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