Section 14 - Not Guilty: 27/11/19

Court date



City of London Magistrates

Hearing date:


Wednesday 27 Nov 2019 (Day 3)

Bench (DJ or JPs)



Charged with:


Knowing non-compliance with Section 14 (Oxford Circus, 18 April)

Represented by:


Please outline key points of prosecution and defence case(s).


P: S14 order given by CI McMillan for OC. Defendant was warned by PC Overol (in a matey way that was ‘soft policing’, according to Crown) but refused to move from under boat, ignoring and allegedly ‘laughing’ at PC.

Necessity cannot be claimed, the action being too remote from the purported emergency. Even coming to protest in London could be seen as ‘disproportionate’ and ‘unreasonable’.

D: Based on PC’s bodyworn, the condition was not clearly communicated. PC named senior officer as Galvin, when it had been McMillan. Inexperienced as an activist, Defendant had no idea what a S14 was and did not know that ‘you guys’ was addressed to her. Did not take in the piece of paper being proffered. There was noise, she was tired, and on the phone some of the time (denied by PC but corroborated by Evening Standard photo shown to DJ by counsel).

Necessity: CEE awareness, importance of being in a mass movement, reasonable given scale of the predicament. Threat is not remote or indefinite, deaths are already occurring.

Was defence evidence submitted in writing?


No police interview. Counsel submitted articles by John McDonnell and Caroline Lucas as evidence that XR’s strategy had raised public and official awareness and to some extent changed policy.




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




Yes, insisting on ignorance re. crime and sincerity re. presence and action.

What was the verdict?


DJ accepted the legality of the orders imposed. He pondered the contradiction between claiming ignorance of a criminal act and arguing for its necessity. Rejecting Necessity, he nevertheless was not ‘sure’ that #5 had been given proper opportunity to hear and read condition, and tended to doubt arresting PC’s evidence. The Galvin gaffe also counted.


What was the sentence?


Not Guilty

What costs were awarded?


£30 travel expenses.

Please add anything else relevant.


This summary is based on observation of Day 3 of this 5-person trial. I received some notes about Day 1, but did not see bodyworn or police evidence. However, there is so much recapping at every step that I hope it’s a fairly accurate summary of this Defendant’s case.