Committal for Contempt of Court in open court in London: HS2 -v- Maxey and others

Queen's Bench DivisionCommittal for Contempt of Court

Case No: QB-2021-004465

In the High Court of Justice
Queen’s Bench Division

28 March 2022


The Honourable Mr Justice Linden


High Speed Two Limited


(1) Larch Maxey
(2) Daniel Hooper
(3) Isla Sandford
(4) Juliet Stevenson-Clark
(5) Bethany Cooke


Pursuant to paragraph 13 of the Practice Direction: Committal for Contempt of Court – Open Court

At a hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice on 28 March 2022, Mr Justice Linden approved a consent order in relation to the Claimant’s application, dated 21 December 2021, to commit the Defendants to prison for contempt of court.

The nature of the contempt, in general terms, was that the Defendants each failed to comply with orders of the court, made on 10 and 22 February 2021, to vacate a system of tunnels which had been dug below Euston Square Gardens in London as part of direct action against the building of the HS2 line. To differing degrees, they also failed to comply with requirements to cooperate with, and not to obstruct, attempts to clear the tunnels of all activists.

The Defendants apologised to the court for their actions and undertook not to trespass on land which is being used for the HS2 project, to obstruct or interfere with the Claimant’s operations or to train others to do so. This outcome was acceptable to the Claimant and, in the light of this and for the reasons explained in the judgment of Linden J, the court was persuaded, albeit reluctantly, that it should make the order applied for.

A transcript of the judgment of Linden J has been approved and will be made available to the national media and also to the Judicial Office, for publication on the Judiciary Website.