Just Stop Oil Protestor who sprayed New Scotland Yard sign cleared of Criminal Damage

Friday 17 May 2024

Owen Greenhall, of the Garden Court Protest Team, acted for the protestor, instructed by Simon Natas of ITN Solicitors.

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Owen Greenhall acted for a Just Stop Oil protestor who sprayed the revolving sign outside New Scotland Yard allegedly causing over £10,000 damage. She was found not guilty by a jury at Southwark Crown Court.

The protestor accepted that she sprayed the sign with orange paint from a modified fire extinguisher. She did so to protest about the police imprisoning peaceful climate activists and the government granting new oil and gas licences. In her defence it was argued that her actions did not damage the sign, that any risk of damage was reasonable in the circumstances of the climate crisis and that a conviction would be a disproportionate interference with the human right to freedom of expression.

This is understood to be the first case since the decision in Attorney General’s Reference (No 1 of 2022) [2022] EWCA Crim 1259 (‘the Colston Statue case’) where the defence of proportionality has been left for a jury to consider.

The case received national media coverage, including in: The Daily Mail, Evening Standard, The Telegraph, The Independent

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