Partially blind former British Paralympic champion who glued himself on to a British Airways Aircraft jailed.
The court noted that his actions disrupted more than 300 passengers and cost British Airways in the region of £40,000.
James Brown, a former Paralympic champion who glued himself to the roof of an Amsterdam-bound plane during an Extinction Rebellion protest two years ago has been jailed for a year.
The visually impaired 56-year-old, who had a ticket for the flight to Amsterdam, climbed atop British Airways plane as passengers were boarding at London City Airport in October 2019.
The court at Southwark Crown Court, who noted that his actions disrupted more than 300 passengers and cost British Airways in the region of £40,000, handed down to him after deliberating for less than an hour.
The court heard that Brown wedged his phone in the door so that it wouldn’t close, before proceeding to use a bottle of superglue he had secreted in his luggage to glue his right hand to the aircraft. The former Team GB cyclist remained on the top of the aircraft for more than an hour before he was able to be removed.
Hearing his case, a trial at which he self-represented, Judge Gregory Perrins said,
“The right to protest does not entitle you to cause major widespread disruption to a major airport… simply because you think it is the right thing to do. This is a case in which you acted together with at least 10 other activists to plan and execute a major act of disruption.
“You intended to cause the maximum amount of disruption possible at the airport, if not shut it down completely.”
Tim Maloney QC, who defended Brown, commented on the regret felt by the activist. He said,
“He has expressed an intention not to become involved in unlawful protest again. He regrets it and is determined not to be involved in such activity again.”
But Judge Perrins was not ready to be lenient. As he handed down a sentence of one year, of which Mr Brown will serve about half, he issued a warning to other activists keen to get involved in disruptive protests. He said,
“You are not entitled to more lenient treatment simply because you were protesting about environmental matters as opposed to some other cause. Everyone in this country has the right to protest and there are many ways in which that can be done without breaking the law.”
Source : Simple Flying