AN OXFORD woman is about to go on trial, accused of attempting to stop a mass deportation of migrants by blocking their plane from taking off.

May MacKeith, 32, from Botley, was one of 15 people who entered Stansted Airport last year, delaying the plane’s departure from the runway for up to 10 hours.

They have been charged with ‘endangering an airport’, a terrorism related offence which could result in life imprisonment, and aggravated trespass.

It is the first time this act has been used against protestors taking direct action since the law was passed in 1990, following the Lockerbie bombing.

The flight, destined for Nigeria and Ghana, was grounded and eventually cancelled.

It was one of a number of secretive night time flights, chartered by the government, to remove migrants from the country and transport them back to their home countries.

The flights, which take off from undisclosed locations come with a heavy security presence and don't carry regular passengers.

In 2016, some 1,536 people were reportedly expatriated to Albania, Jamaica, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana on chartered flights, at an average cost of £5,210 per person.

The activists’ trial will take place at Chelmsford Crown Court from Monday and is expected to last between four and six weeks.

Bill and Angela MacKeith, May's parents, are travelling from Oxford and plan to attend the trial.