Extinction Rebellion activists spared jail over DLR glue stunt

The trio were found guilty 'with regret'

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Three Extinction Rebellion protesters who glued themselves to a Docklands Light Railway train at Canary Wharf station have been spared jail.

Cathy Eastburn, 52, Mark Ovland, 36, and Luke Watson, 30, were each given a 12-month conditional discharge for halting the service in east London.

The stunt was part of a series of protests across the capital this spring demanding immediate government action on climate change.

The trio had denied the charges of obstructing an engine or a carriage using a railway on April 17 this year, claiming the stunt was justified because of environmental threat.

The campaign group said it was the first trial linked to its demonstrations to be dealt with in a Crown Court, which has higher sentencing powers than a Magistrates’ Court where protesters have usually been tried.

The defendants were found guilty by jurors yesterday after an hour of deliberations, with the foreman adding that the decision was made “with regret”.

Sentencing Judge Silas Reid said that each of them were “clear that you did as you did to raise the alarm of the dire situation” but warned against protesting that would amount to them committing further criminal offences.

“Each of you planned these offences and were prepared to go to prison for committing them,” he said.

The trio had maintained that their actions were not criminal, but Judge Reid said: “You broke the law and that means you are criminals.”

They were all ordered to pay court costs and the conditional discharge means the defendants could face prison if they commit another offence in the next 12 months.

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