AN eco-protester who found fame as 'Swampy' in the 1990s returned to activism by blocking a road to the Valero Pembroke Refinery.

Daniel Marc Hooper, of Talley, Llandeilo, was fined for joining a blockade of the refinery by laying in the road with his hand in concrete.

Hooper - who became the face of the Newbury bypass protests in 1996 by living in tunnels to disrupt work - pleaded guilty to wilful obstruction of a highway when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday, October 8.

The court heard that he was arrested after he lay on the road at Rhoscrowther on September 19 as part of a protest against Valero, with his hands in concrete in a pipe to prevent vehicles moving in the area.

Hooper, 46, who represented himself said: “I am pleading guilty, I can’t really afford to keep coming to court.

“I was doing it to prevent a greater crime, the eco crime of profit at the cost of the planet.”

Magistrates fined Hooper, £40 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £32 surcharge.

Western Telegraph:

Daniel Hooper speaks with a reporter outside court. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney.

Speaking to the Western Telegraph after the hearing, Hooper said he felt Valero, as one of the biggest refineries in Europe was a ‘legitimate target’ for the protest.

“Since parliament declared a climate emergency nothing has happened. We fell we need to move away from fossil fuels.

“It’s ecocide for profit.”

Hooper added that his court hearing was a ‘by-product’ of an important campaign.

“It’s unfortunate that we are made the criminal and not the people who are messing up the planet. I would like to see the directors of Valero in the dock.”