XR protestors cleared by jury in DLR trial

Friday 14 January 2022

A Catholic priest, an Anglican Priest and an 85-year-old grandfather have been found not guilty by a jury at Inner London of obstructing a DLR train during rush hour, as part of a protest against the financial service industry’s contribution to climate change.

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In October 2019, two of the defendants used a ladder to climb on the roof of a DLR train at Shadwell Station and engaged in acts of prayer. A third defendant glued his hand to the side of the train.

The defendants each accepted their actions prevented the train from moving and caused consequential disruption. Their defence was that their acts constituted manifestations of the rights to Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly and that it was for a jury to decide whether a criminal conviction would constitute a disproportionate interference with these rights or not.  They were each found not guilty in a unanimous verdict.

Owen Greenhall, joint-convenor of the Garden Court Protest Rights Team, represented all three of the defendants. He was instructed by Mike Schwarz at Hodge Jones and Allen.

Tom Wainwright acted for a fourth defendant whose case was discontinued following legal argument ahead of trial.

The case has been covered on BBC News, ITV News, The Guardian and The Independent.

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