Outrage at ‘pathetic’ sentence handed to Just Stop Oil protestors …
Members of the public have expressed their anger and frustration at the “disgraceful” and “pathetic” sentence handed to six Just Stop Oil protestors who invaded Silverstone racetrack last summer. All six were convicted of causing a public nuisance by a jury in Northampton in February.
The climate activists caused “an immediate risk of serious harm” when they sat down on the Wellington Straight during the British Grand Prix last year after the race was red-flagged. At Northampton Crown Court on Friday, March 31, Mr Justice Garnham handed three of them suspended jail sentences and the other three a 12-month community orders.
The decision has since caused outrage, with some on social media accusing Mr Justice Garnham of being “woke”. One person tweeted “you can smell the anger.”
Alasdair Gibson and Louis McKechnie, both 22, Bethany Mogie, 40, David Baldwin, 47 Emily Brocklebank, 24, and 29-year-old Joshua Smith did not deny entering the prohibited circuit but all claimed the protest had followed a “meticulous” safety plan during the trial. Five of them were dragged from the circuit whilst Baldwin, of Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, was found in a car park along with glue, cable ties and a Just Stop Oil banner.
They were all found guilty of causing what prosecutors said was “an immediate risk of serious harm” by sitting “in the face” of fast-moving vehicles on February 13. Two of the group, McKechnie, of Manchester and Brocklebank, of Yeadon, have a joint previous conviction for gluing themselves to the frame of a £70 million Van Gogh painting days before the F1 protest.
The pair were given suspended prison sentences of 12 months and six months respectively, both suspended for two years. Mogie, a mother of four, was given a six-month sentence of imprisonment, also suspended for two years.
Mr Justice Garnham also handed 12-month community orders to fellow protesters Baldwin, Gibson, of Aberdeen, and Smith, of Oldham. Passing sentence, the judge said: “I accept that the motive for all of you was not to cause harm but instead to voice your concerns about climate change. None of you have committed any offence since the commission of this offence.”
He added that the “reckless” track invasion had been carefully planned, was a deliberate breach of the law and had been carried out despite warnings about the danger of going on to the circuit.
But the sentence has been called “disgusting” and “pathetic” by some on social media. Hundreds took to Twitter afterwards, with one saying: “This country doesn’t punish crime anymore.”
GB News pundit, Adam Brooks, said: “Imagine if you or me did that.. would it be the same punishment?… no”. @markafc97 agreed, saying, “I’m sure if me and my mates did this for a laugh we get some sorta punishment.”
Many took target at the risk to life caused by the protest. @bobby1955 said: “The number of lives they put at risk with this stunt is unbelieveable!”, with @RayGower2 adding: “Disgusting. They could have killed a driver with their irresponsible actions,” @beverley_andrea tweeted: “Disgusting disgraceful they could of caused a major incident”
@tudortone said Mr Justice Garnham handed down a “Pathetic judgement!”. Another response read: “I’d like to know why the woke judge did not send them to prison. This gives a green light for this to happen again!”
One person tweeted: “The message from the law maker’s is; as you were. Farcical!!” Meanwhile, @AlanPWig1 made light of the outcry, saying: “Oofff, you can smell the anger.”
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- ^ Silverstone (www.northantslive.news)
- ^ All six were convicted of causing a public nuisance (www.northantslive.news)
- ^ Northampton (www.northantslive.news)
- ^ sat down on the Wellington Straight (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ British Grand Prix (www.northantslive.news)
- ^ Northampton Crown Cour (www.northantslive.news)
- ^ Two boys aged 15 and 16 arrested after teen stabbed in Wellingborough (www.northantslive.news)
- ^ ll claimed the protest had followed a “meticulous” safety plan (www.northantslive.news)
- ^ prosecutors said was “an immediate risk of serious harm” by sitting “in the face” of fast-moving vehicles (www.northantslive.news)
- ^ signing up for our newsletter here. (data.reachplc.com)