Obstruction of the Highway - Guilty: 06/05/21

Court date



City of London Magistrates’ – Court 3

Hearing date:


Thursday, 6th May, 2021

Bench (DJ or JPs)


DJ Woodcock

Charged with:


S137, Wilful Obstruction of the Highway on 9/10/19 at Birdcage Walk.

Represented by:


Mr. Robert Leback (barrister for HJA)

Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.


She pleaded NG and attended.

She was part of a support group, providing ”outreach, welfare for Rebels and a safe sanctuary for them to recharge”. She had been there all week with the group.

Asked why she didn’t do all that at home in Stowmarket. She frowned at the prosecutor, saying, “As you know, big protests are successful, small ones aren’t.” And, why not support legally in Trafalgar Square? “Because government spending decisions aren’t made there. They are made where the protesters were, the Treasury Building”. When asked about emergency vehicle access, she said it would be improved because there was no other traffic and all Rebels would ensure it got through quickly!

Defending barrister tried everything, he quoted precedents I’d never heard of, so please treat this list appropriately:
Thacker 2021 (para 97+); Ziegler (paras 63-65); DPP vs Jones (1999) UKLH5; Lord Hoffman (1994).

Her rights vs community’s? She gave genuine reasons, there was no other way to achieve her aim. She could have gone to the pavement but was not given that option.

Was defence evidence submitted in writing?


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

Yes, she was the only defence witness.


What was the verdict,
sentence, costs?


9 mths c/d; £500 costs; £21 v/s to be paid within 56 days.

Please add anything else relevant.


After such a good defence, offering DJ Woodcock many options for NG, he gave the same old excuse: Thacker (2021) doesn’t support necessity in protests because there is no evidence of death or serious injury imminent.

Waiting for evidence from Birds to prove Birdcage Walk is not a highway.