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

Court date



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 9/10/19 at Whitehall.

Represented by:


Mr. Jake Carr (barrister for Birds)

Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.


NG plea.

She had been on Manchester Council as Environment Councillor. She had to sign off on all protest plans. She had working experience of protest marches. She placed herself on the road because the police had already cordoned it off, preventing traffic flow. That way she did not hinder pedestrians on the pavement. She wanted to protest outside Downing St and the Cabinet Office because that’s where the decision makers were. She was unconcerned about the blocking of Whitehall because she knew the police were used to closing it off for official functions.

Defence went through Obstruction, Wilful, Lawful Excuse and Necessity – all to no avail.


Was defence evidence submitted in writing?


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

She was the only defence witness.

What was the verdict,
sentence, costs?


Guilty: 9 mths c/d; £775 costs; £21 v/s in 3 months
Obstruction? She sat on highway. Wilful? Deliberately chosen. Necessity? She didn’t pass Ziegler’s balance test of protest vs community.

Please add anything else relevant.