Obstruction of the Highway - Guilty: 20/04/21

Court date



City of London Magistrates’ – Court 3

Hearing date:


Tuesday, 20th April, 2021

Bench (DJ or JPs)


DJ Brown

Charged with:


Wilful Obstruction Of The Highway on 16/10/19 on Millbank

Represented by:


Laura O’Brien (HJA)

Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.


Argument was that a Section 14 had been created which (later deemed unlawful) prevented him from protesting. It gave no other place to protest. On the day, he was there executing his human right to protest - against the Section 14. The arresting officer started to quote Section 14 but changed his mind when Defendant mentioned Articles 10 & 11. To a layman’s ear, it sounded like the officer was explaining Section 14.

When asked to move to the side of the road or else be arrested under Section 137, Defendant reckoned he could be arrested there under Section 14, so he stayed put, and was arrested for Wilful Obstruction of the Highway.

The DJ could not understand, or failed to understand, why the defence went on about Section 14 when he was arrested under Section 137! Ms. O’Brien tried and tried to explain Defendants dilemma, without success.

Was defence evidence submitted in writing?



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


What was the verdict,
sentence, costs?



9 mths c/d; £200 costs; £21 v/s to be paid at £50 a month, starting in 28 days.

Please add anything else relevant.


This looked like a judge who was told to find all XR protesters guilty but found it hard to put his verdict logically.

A successful appeal would benefit all defendants who were charged when that unlawful Section 14 was in force.