Three Climate Siren activists unanimously acquitted at the Old Bailey of public nuisance for the Tower Bridge banner drop

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Anna Morris (instructed by Bindmans LLP) represented Robert Basto, the first defendant, who, on the 1 September 2012, exited the high walkway of Tower Bridge and, along with two others, hung a banner that read, "Climate Change: Our Next Challenge" on top of the Paralympic Games' logo.

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All three were charged with causing a public nuisance, a common law offence with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Mr Basto was also charged with having a bladed article as he had attached a lock knife to his climbing harness that he told the police he had with him for safety reasons. He told the court that, in fact, he had used the knife to disentangle himself from the banner before ascending safely.

Following Mr Basto's evidence, the judge directed the jury that he had no case to answer on this count. After a five-day trial at the Central Criminal Court, all three were cleared of all charges.

Anna Morris is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team and is the co-author of The Protest Handbook (2012).

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