Woman accused of coughing at worker claiming she had Covid-19 during Northamptonshire prison protest

Four others appear in court on aggravated trespass charges following two-day blockade

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 8:25 am
Updated Friday, 23rd April 2021, 8:28 am

A 27-year-old woman has appeared in court accused of coughing at site workers while claiming she had Covid-19 during a prison protest.

Megan Elizabeth Yates was one of five people arrested during a two-day blockade outside the new Five Wells jail, next to the A45 at Wellingborough.

All five appeared at Northampton Magistrates' Court yesterday (Thursday) and were bailed until June 16.

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Police used cutting tools to free protesters outside the new Five Wells prison
Police used cutting tools to free protesters outside the new Five Wells prison

A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said "Yates was arrested at the protest and has been charged with two counts of common assault, relating to coughing at site workers and stating she had Covid-19."

The new prison being built by Kier on land formerly occupied by Wellingborough Prison will hold around 1,680 prisoners and is due to open in early 2022.

Deliveries had to be halted and workers sent home after protesters blocked the site entrance on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Specialist police teams used cutting equipment to remove 'lock-on' protesters from concrete-filled oil barrels outside HMP Five Wells, next to the A45 at Wellingborough.

The protest took place over two days

Around 30 officers and two emergency response unit paramedic teams from East Midlands Ambulance Service attended the scene after the protests started at 7am Monday.

Elena Rose Mann, aged 20 and of no fixed abode, Ross Monaghan, aged 37 from Nottinghamshire, Ella Russell, aged 21 from Aylesbury, and Arune Hopestone, aged 20 of Oxfordshire, are all charged with aggravated trespass and have also been bailed until June 16.