AN environment expert has no regrets about the anti-fracking protest that may have cost her her career and gave her a criminal record.

“I would do it again,” said Julia Collings, 39, shortly after she and fellow protestor Ronald John Holloran, 51, were convicted of obstructing the highway.

York Magistrates' Court heard they stayed on a wooden tower on Habton Road outside the entrance to the Third Energy site near Kirby Misperton for nine hours on October 16. Their action prevented eight lorries from entering the site.

Collings, who has a doctorate in treatment of toxic water wastes and who used to work with big companies on environment management, said: “I am prepared to physically stand up for what I know to be right and what will one day be seen to be right.”

She said she would now be seen as a “troublemaker” and big companies would not want her to work for them.

Both defendants, of the anti-frackers’ camp near Kirby Misperton, denied the charge, claiming that their actions were reasonable.

They claimed they were justified by the effect they believe fracking will have on the environment.

But district judge Adrian Lower said: “In exercising your rights (to protest) you overstepped the line because you went too far.”

He gave each a six-month conditional discharge and ordered each to pay £200 prosecution costs and a £20 statutory surcharge.

Neil Coxon, for the CPS, said Third Energy had planning permission and a licence to frack for gas on the site and that the protest disrupted their business.

The court saw video of the two protestors coming down voluntarily from the tower after police had erected scaffolding to remove them and they had unlocked themselves from the wooden structure. 

A police spokesman said after the trial: “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.”