XR Legal Support Trial Observation
Court: Court 5, Westminster Magistrates Court, Marylebone Road
Hearing Date: Friday 11 October 2019
Bench: Deputy District Judge Clarke
Charged with: Aggravated Trespass
That on Thursday 10 October 2019 trespassed on City Airport DLR land and obstructed paying passengers by gluing yourself to floor with intention to obstruct.
Represented by: Edward Fail Bradshaw Waterson
That XR objective was to disrupt City Airport by obstructing DLR.
About 100 members of XR chanting and obstructing. Request to leave was ignored. DLR management called police - protestors instructed to leave by British Transport Police officers.
All but 22 protestors left at this point.
Defendant plus one other glued themselves together and informed management staff of their action.
They ignored a request to leave and were singing loudly.
Superintendent Case arrested all remaining group members and glue was removed.
Defendant is a man of good character, no prior convictions. He became involved in XR action because he felt he had no choice. Requests to give statement in court. Accepts he attended DLR station; tube of glue handed to him and he took the decision then and there to remain longer - in total only 2 hours from gluing.
Disruption was limited; City Airport was chosen because of concern at expansion plans to the airport and because it is particularly used for business travel.
Defendant took part in both November 2018 and April 2019 actions without arrest.
Since then he felt that having declared a Climate Emergency in April 2019 the government has taken no action. In fact plans for a third runway for Heathrow have been declared since then.
Defendant felt he had to take action.
He works as a chartered environmental scientist and has 13 years direct knowledge of what the Climate Emergency means.
He could be dismissed from his job because of the charge brought against him. Conditional discharge would be suitable in his case.
Although he has income, he has large outgoings due to divorce proceedings.
Was defence evidence submitted in writing? Yes -Defendant's statement submitted in writing
In summary, Defendant proclaimed his love for the biosphere and the future of our children. He felt compelled morally to act and felt his actions were just and fair.
He expressed regret at the cost incurred to the overstretched legal system but in light of the fact that UNIPCC gives us less than 1 year to do something to turn around the direction of carbon emissions, he felt he had to do something.
As a chartered environmental scientist he has a good understanding of the facts. The government has declared a Climate Emergency but has taken no action and has announced the expansion of both City Airport and Heathrow.
He asked, How I could not feel obliged to take action? Do you have children?
Did defence witness(es) give evidence in person? Only defendant himself.
Were they cross-examined? No
What was the verdict? Guilty
What costs were awarded? DDJ Clarke gave credit for early guilty plea; 6 month conditional discharge
£85 court costs plus £21 victim fees
14 day collection order
Defendant has a written copy of his statement in full.