Obstruction of the Highway - Guilty: 14/01/21

Court date


City of London Magistrates

Hearing date:


Bench (DJ or JPs)

Lay Bench.  The clerk of the Court thought she could not give me the name of the chair of the bench.  This has never happened before.  She said she would ask the Chair but she did not.

Charged with:

Obstructing the highway (originally Section 14)

Represented by:


Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.

Key points: She was arrested at the same time with 4 other friends. Two were released no charges from the police station.  Two had their charges dropped by CPS. She alone stood trial. Climate crisis necessity. Only in the road for less than 5 mins.

Originally she asked for an adjournment so she could come to court. She is from Bradford and couldn’t stay in London because of COVID-19 and could not get a train to attend a 9.30 session.  She had approached the court a number of times informing them of her situation.  Each time they said they would not be able to give her information until two days before the trial, further limiting her choices and options.

Problems with the trial held on video:

1. Arrest under section 14 and subsequent obstruction matters both featured in the trial but not questioned. She found this confusing.  She also did not realise the relevance of obstruction being mentioned by the arresting officer when she first saw the video.

2. She had not seen the PET form.

3. She asked to see other evidence that was part of her defense and within her statement but she didn’t receive it before the trial.

3. While she was giving evidence the prosecution interrupted and informally addressed the bench, on a point of order.

4. If she had been able to come to court she might well have been tried together with others, who were arrested at Milbank on the same day and had the court cost divided.

Was defence evidence submitted in writing?


Did defence witness(es) give evidence in person? Were they cross-examined?

Only the defendant gave evidence

What was the verdict?


What was the sentence?

9 months conditional discharge

What costs were awarded?

£775 (prosecution costs) + £21 (victim surcharge)

Please add anything else relevant.