Obstruction of the Highway - Guilty: 28/04/21

Outcome
Court date

Court:

 

City of London Magistrates’ – Court 3

Hearing date:

 

Wednesday, 28th April, 2021

Bench (DJ or JPs)

 

Lay Bench

Charged with:

 

S137. Wilful Obstruction of the Highway on 8/10/19 at Millbank.

Represented by:

 

Mr. Alison (Bierenberg-Pierce)

Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.

 

NG plea.

This was the “Faith Bridge” where they intended to carry a large model of Noah’s Ark onto Lambeth Br.  and hold prayers and climate speeches there. The police on the south bank prevented them from getting onto the bridge, but escorted them to the north side via Westminster Br. Defendant helped to carry the Ark.

The problems started when their procession arrived at the roundabout on the Millbank end of Lambeth Br. The escorting police had to stop the procession while they talked to the police protecting the roundabout. They sat down, waiting for instructions from the police when another line of police came down Millbank, behind them, and arrested Defendant while she stood next to the Ark.  It was not even wilful obstruction. She panicked at being arrested, her legs and body were shaking.

 

Was defence evidence submitted in writing?

Yes

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

She was the only defence witness.
Yes.
Yes

What was the verdict,
sentence, costs?

 

Guilty: 9 mths c/d; £775 costs; £21 v/s
Because Defendant didn’t leave the Ark, she was wilfully obstructing the highway. Their intention was to block the bridge. She was not working, husband on pension.

Please add anything else relevant.

 

An obvious example of police cock-up resulting in a very frightened lady being blamed for the police’s bad communication. Then to award the full £775 to a lady of limited means was horrendous.  I led her crying from the court.