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Lucy Lawless fined $547 for trespassing on Arctic oil drilling ship

Lucy Lawless and seven other Greenpeace activists were each ordered to pay US$547 in costs to a port company and complete 120 hours of community service. Lucy Lawless, called the relatively light sentence a 'great victory.'

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Actress Lucy Lawless, third from left, speaks along with Greenpeace activists, from left, Raoni Hammer, Vivienne Hadlow and Shai Naides, outside the central police station in New Plymouth, New Zealand, after their release on bail on charges relating to protesting aboard Arctic oil-drilling ship, the Noble Discoverer last February.

(AP Photo/Greenpeace, Nigel Marple, File)

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 "Xena: Warrior Princess" actor Lucy Lawless says she's won a "great victory" after a New Zealand judge handed her a modest sentence but declined to order costs sought by oil company Shell for her role in a protest aboard an oil-drilling ship.

Lawless and seven other Greenpeace activists were each ordered Thursday to pay 651 New Zealand dollars ($547) costs to a port company and complete 120 hours of community service after earlier pleading guilty to trespass charges.

Last February, Lawless and six other activists climbed a drilling tower on the Arctic-bound vessel Noble Discoverer to protest oil exploration in the Arctic. Another protester helped from the ground. Lawless spent four days in February 2012 atop the 174-foot (53-meter) tower, camping and blogging about her experiences. The action briefly delayed the ship's voyage.

“I’m blocking Shell’s Arctic drillship because I believe passionately that renewable energy is the way of the future,” said Lucy Lawless at the time. “We don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to suck out every last drop of oil. Instead we need to smarten up and begin the transition to a clean, green, sustainable energy future and right now that means keeping Shell out of the Arctic.”

Shell Todd Oil Services, which had chartered the ship, sought about 650,000 New Zealand dollars ($545,000) in reparations from the protesters.

Lawyers for the activists contended that amount was excessive. In his ruling, Judge Allan Roberts said the company could pursue its claim through the civil court system.

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