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Former Student Faces Submarine Charges

A former Warwick University student has gone on trial for causing criminal damage to a nuclear submarine in a peace protest.

Rosie James, aged 25, has pleaded not guilty, along with Rachel Wenham, aged 28, of two charges of criminal damage.

Manchester Crown Court heard yesterday that they hung a banner saying “women want peace” on the HMS Vengeance as it was berthed in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria in February last year.

They then took a hammer to communications equipment, causing damage running into thousands of pounds.

The pair then painted slogans on the side of the submarine, saying “peace, no more death” and “Hiroshima”.

They then gave themselves up to security guards.

Dennis Watson, prosecuting, told the jury that the attack was a publicity stunt.

James, who now lives in London, was one of three members of a peace camp set up to protest at Coventry firm Alvis’ involvement with supplying military vehicles to the Indonesian government.

During her final year at Warwick University she lived in a caravan opposite the factory at Walsgrave triangle.

The peace camp closed when the Alvis factory was shut down and some of its workers transferred to Telford.

Both James and Wenham, who are members of the Trident Ploughshares nuclear disarmament group, claim they are justified in their actions under international law as they believe the nuclear programme is illegal.

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CWN / Crimes, Fires & Accidents / 12 Sep 00
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