A PENSIONER accused of stopping a nuclear convoy by lying on the middle of the road has been found not guilty of breach of the peace.

Retired classics teacher Brian Quail had appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on charges of bringing to a halt a convoy of four lorries on their way to the Faslane Naval Base after flagging them down at a roundabout in Balloch, West Dunbartonshire.

But he was cleared of the charge after Justice of the Peace Andrew Nicholson decided that his actions last March had not caused fear and alarm.

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Mr Quail, 78, is a well-known anti-nuclear campaigner with over a dozen previous convictions for similar offences and has been in jail five times for failing to pay fines.

At the same hearing Janet Fenton, the vice-chair of Scottish CND, was cleared of contempt of court.

Ms Fenton had been called as a defence witness but was found by Mr Nicholson to be in contempt after she repeatedly refusing to stop speaking when he told her to do so.

But the JP told the Edinburgh-based campaigner he would take no further action against her.

During a lengthy closing statement on Thursday, Mr Quail, of Hyndland in Glasgow's west end, claimed Trident was a breach of international law, which he declared of higher importance than Scots law.

But Mr Nicholson said: “I have taken advice from my legal adviser as to what constitutes a breach of the peace. It must cause a reasonable person to be in a state of fear or alarm, not simply irritation.

"My decision is based on 100 per cent on the law of the Scotland and nothing else. I find you not guilty."

After the verdict, Mr Quail said: “I did not commit a breach of the peace, and I'm relieved the JP saw that.

“I was pleased to get a chance to draw the court's attention to the illegality of Trident, which the courts in Scotland have body-swerved.”

Quail had previously told the court: "This is not a political matter. This is a court of law and I am here to uphold the law.

"There's no dispute regarding the facts of this case. The problem we have is the refusal of the courts to take in the context of the actions taken by me.

"If the vehicle involved was in a bank robbery it would not be an offence and considered justifiable."

He added: "I remember Hiroshima as a boy. As we speak in this court room, a young man sits in front of control panel deep in the ocean ready to fire.

"Please don't defend Trident against me. Please defend me and humanity against Trident."