Obstruction of the Highway - Guilty: 29/04/21

Court date



City of London Magistrates’ Court, 1 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4N NXY.


Hearing date:


29th April 2021

Bench (DJ or JPs)


Two JPs. Lead JP was Mrs Fraser. I didn’t get the name of the second one, but Mrs Fraser was very much in control of the proceedings.

Charged with:


Obstructing the highway on 08/10/2019

Represented by:


EFBW. Audrey Cherryl Mogan was the barrister from Garden Court Chambers who represented Defendant.

Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.


Prosecution case:

  • Defendant was causing an obstruction by sitting in the road and preventing traffic from passing and repassing.
  • It was intentional because he had glued his hand to the road.
  • Defendant could not have been removed quickly due to being glued to the road, whereas the police cordon could have been lifted as soon as it was safe to do so.
  • The police cordon was only in place for the safety of the protesters i.e. it was there to stop cars trying to drive through the protesters in frustration.
  • Defendant’s right to protest was not absolute and had to be set against other people’s rights to go about their business.
  • The defendant’s right to protest was not infringed because he could have gone to Trafalgar Square and protested there lawfully.

Defence case:

  • The road had been cordoned off by the police before the Defendant arrived, so had already been obstructed and therefore Defendant was not causing the obstructing. There was therefore no case to answer.
  • The prosecution needed to prove more than just that Defendant was physically obstructing the road but failed to do so.
  • As the arresting officer arrested Defendant a few minutes after discovering that he was glued to the road, Defendant had not been given the chance to protest elsewhere.
  • Defendant was only there for a limited amount of time which was proportionate.

Was defence evidence submitted in writing?


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


Defendant was questioned by both prosecution and defence.

What was the verdict?



What was the sentence?


Nine-month conditional discharge.

What costs were awarded?


Costs of £500 plus £21 victim surcharge awarded. The JP put collection order on the costs and gave Defendant 14 days to pay the first installment of £50. The prosecution had asked for £775 costs, but these were reduced by the JP due to Defendant’s circumstances.

Please add anything else relevant.


Defendant was originally arrested for S14 and obstructing the highway, but only the obstruction charge was tried in court.


The arresting officer failed to turn up on time for the hearing at 10:00 due to him confusing the various orders he had been given. The prosecution asked for an adjournment so that the police officer could get to court, but the defence sought to have the case dismissed on the basis that cases should be heard as listed. The JP chose to adjourn to 13:00 to allow the officer to travel in.