Shina Animashaun of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Team successfully overturned XR conviction for client Neil Traynor. He was instructed by Adeela Khan of Edward Fail Bradshaw & Waterson.
Following on from the successful appeal on behalf of Amelia Halls last week, today Neil Traynor had his conviction overturned at the Central Criminal Court.
The client, Neil Traynor, was initially convicted in April 2021 for wilful obstruction of the public highway at the City of London Magistrates Court. In October 2019, our client was protesting in Millbank, London.
The client appealed on the basis that no obstruction actually took place and they had not been told where they could protest. Our client also relied upon their article 10 and 11 rights (freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association) and the recent decision of the supreme court in DPP -v-Zeigler  UKSC 23.
The prosecution did not contest the appeal. They confirmed that in light of the Supreme Court’s decision and they had no basis to continue with the case and withdrew the case against Mr Traynor.
HHJ Dennis QC remarked:
“I am disappointed by the casual approach of the CPS to these appeals… precious court time is being lost which could have properly been used for jury trials and defendants awaiting trial in custody”.
Following the successful appeal, Edward Fail Bradshaw & Waterson's Head of Protest, Adeela Khan commented:
“The CPS recent reviews of the appeals at the Old Bailey are a positive step towards protecting our fundamental right to protest during a time where the Government are seeking to increase police powers and impose additional draconian legislation on protesters. However, they chose to continue to pursue 1000s of cases against Extinction Rebellion defendants during the pandemic. This added to the increasing backlog of cases and unnecessarily used Court time for people who were genuinely trying to avert the climate crisis which the recent IPCC report and global events have emphasised to us is happening now. We urged the CPS then to discontinue cases on public interest grounds. We continue to urge the CPS to review all Extinction Rebellion cases, including those where defendants have already been convicted in the lower courts and all future cases.”