Obstruction of the Highway - Guilty: 02/02/21

Court date


City of London Magistrates’ Court 3

Hearing date:

2nd Feb, 2021

Bench (DJ or JPs)

D.J. Snow

Charged with:

Wilful Obstruction of Highway on Whitehall/Downing St. on 9th Oct 2019

Represented by:


Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.

Prosecution showed Body Worn footage and had the arresting constable present who did offer them time to consider and an alternate place to protest before arresting him on Section 14. He confirmed Obstruction of Highway was not mentioned.

Defence had 4 points to make:

1) Out of 13 people present on site, together for more than 24 hours, only 5 were arrested.

2) Whitehall had been barricaded by police, so how could they have obstructed the highway?

3) Human Rights: he was demonstrating in the only peaceful way he knew, near Boris Johnson, for a well-known future calamity.

4) He was arrested for Section 14 which has proved to be invalid, so he should have been released, instead they have concocted Wilful Obstruction of Highway.

Was defence evidence submitted in writing?

No, in person

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

He read out his statement, and the judge suggested he read out his closing argument too, in case it contained evidence.

What was the verdict,
sentence, costs?

Guilty: Costs 150, Victim Surcharge £32, Conditional Discharge 9 months.

Please add anything else relevant.

Point (4) is similar to another defendant's case from that afternoon, with Raj (HJA) defending. Raj argued that his client was arrested on an invalid charge so should not have been in custody to be charged with Obstruction of Highway. Raj is considering appealing to a higher court.