Section 14 - Guilty: 20/05/21

Court date



City of London Magistrates C3

Hearing date:


20th May 2021

Bench (DJ or JPs)



Charged with:


Section 14, Parliament Square, 1st September 2020

Represented by:


Freya Colvin (Hodge Jones & Allen)

Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.




- Due to the restrictions put in place as to where protestors could be on the day (only in Parliament Square), the defendant decided to sit in the road and protest as he was able to socially distance. They said it would have been impossible to keep 2m apart within the square itself due to the number of people there.


- The police did not place adequate measures (for people to protest and remain socially distance) in place for the number of people they expected to attend that day.


- In not allowing him to stay in the road, this was prohibiting from restricting his right to protest.




- Defendant did not make an effort to check if it was possible to socially distance throughout his time there – he was sitting down, did not stand up to check and would have had little/no visibility of the people in the gardens.


- Defendant’s chosen place of protest was not the only place he could have protested.


Was defence evidence submitted in writing?






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




- Defendant said that there was no point of him going somewhere else to protest where he could keep 2m from people (e.g. Hyde Park) as the point of the protest was to be outside Parliament.


- Defendant provided evidence of XR Facebook page with the amount of people registered as interested/going. Used this to argue of the large amount of people doing. The Judge commented that these people wouldn’t have necessarily been there all at the same time, and they could have come and gone throughout the day.


- Defendant explained how XR actions have been effective in the past, and used this to justify disruption as a precursor to positive change.


What was the verdict?



What was the sentence?


9 month conditional discharge

£775 fine and victim surcharge of £22 (3 months to pay)

What costs were awarded?


As above

Please add anything else relevant.