Jill Phipps is crushed to death under export lorry

On Wednesday 1 February 1995, 31 year old protester Jill Phipps was crushed to death under the wheels of an export truck carrying baby veal calves into Coventry Airport.

Despite the fact that nearly 100 officers were on duty that day, 10 of the 33 protesters present had broken through police lines and attempted to bring the lorry to a halt by sitting on the road and attempting to chain themselves to it.

Jill and the others mistakenly assumed that police officers and the lorry driver (Stephen Yates) would respect human life a little more than animals, they were wrong. Police on duty allowed the export lorry to continue making progress despite the clear safety problems.

The vehicle was only halted by police once Jill had been crushed beneath the wheels. The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to charge Stephen Yates with Causing death by dangerous driving.

Jill Phipps brother Zab commented, “Jill was crushed and died on the way to hospital. Our mother, Nancy, was with her. The driver has not been charged, not even with driving without due care & attention”.

A protester at the scene commented “Jill died after police waved on the lorry carrying the calves despite the fact that protesters were still occupying the road the lorry was to go down. Despite their public claims to the contrary, Warwickshire police were so keen to protect the business of this filthy firm that they had made little effort to ensure the way was clear.

Assuming the road to be clear after the police had signaled him to move on, the truck driver moved off at speed, knocking Jill down and crushing her under his wheels. Had anyone else made the decision to wave the lorry on they could have faced charges of reckless negligence or even manslaughter.

It is considered unlikely that Warwickshire Police will investigate themselves from this angle. The polices primary duty is to `protect life and property`, it would appear that Warwickshire take the property aspect more seriously than the lives of demonstrators.”

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