Obstruction of the Highway - Guilty: 13/05/21

Outcome
Court date

Court:

 

CLM Court 2

Hearing date:

 

13/5/21

Bench (DJ or JPs)

 

Dr Lynne Gailey + 2 others

Charged with:

 

Willful Obstruction of the Highway and S14  7.10.19 junction of Birdcage Walk and Horesguards

Represented by:

 

Georgia Lassoff barrister at Kelly’s

Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.

 

There was an XR protest of about 50 people blocking this area, starting at around 9am. Defendant joined the line of protesters holding the banner. PC Chung asked him to leave so that a vehicle could gain access.  Defendant did not go.  He was read the 5 stage appeal and arrested at 9.24,am,  handcuffed and taken to Lewisham Police Station There was a detailed analysis of the BWV by the Barrister.  Defence hinged on the fact that Defendant had just joined the protest for 3 minutes and in fact was just standing off to the side with his arms folded and only held the banner for 21 seconds.  She argued that there was only one vehicle and no other traffic as it had already been blocked off by police.  The arrest was also conducted very quickly and was not fully audible and in a fairly threatening manner.  It should be treated as ‘de minimis’ and the trial should be called off at half time.  The magistrates disagreed.  Defendant argued that he had wandered in to support the others and didn’t willfully do anything.  Georgia argued that it was required to prove three things 1. Obstruction more than de minimis.2. intention. 3. Necessity.  There was a detailed analysis of the BWV.  And was the protest proportionate?  Georgia was persistent and clever.  Althea Moore, the CPS, was also very good.

Was defence evidence submitted in writing?

 

Skeleton argument agreed.

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

 

Yes. Pleaded not guilty.

What was the verdict?

 

Guilty of Willful Obstruction of the Highway

What was the sentence?

 

9 months conditional discharge. 

What costs were awarded?

 

Costs £500 + £21 paid at £40pcm.

Please add anything else relevant.