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Activist who had sentence cut says justice system ‘torn’ over climate protesters

An Extinction Rebellion activist who had his jail sentence cut by attraction judges after being convicted of inflicting a public nuisance at an airport says the “criminal justice system” is  “deeply conflicted” over climate disaster protesters.

Former Paralympic athlete James Brown of Exeter, Devon,  was given a 12-month jail time period after supergluing himself to the roof of a British Airways airplane at London City Airport in a bid to attract consideration to the climate disaster.

Three attraction judges on Friday cut the sentence to 4 months.

Brown, who had been jailed by a decide at Southwark Crown Court in September, stated after the attraction ruling: “We will never be intimidated and never give up”.

James Brown on prime of the airplane at London City Airport (Extinction Rebellion/PA)

(PA Media)

Lawyers representing Brown, who has been registered blind since beginning, challenged his conviction and sentence at a Court of Appeal listening to in London in December.

Three attraction judges, Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice; Lord Justice Singh; and Mr Justice Goss dismissed Brown’s attraction in opposition to conviction.

They had allowed Brown to be launched from jail on bail on the December attraction listening to.

“We’re seeing a criminal justice system deeply conflicted over the prosecution of those peacefully resisting the destruction of life on earth,” Brown stated.

“Juries are refusing to convict, magistrates are throwing cases out of court, and now the Court of Appeal has rejected a crown court’s attempt to impose a ‘deterrent sentence’ on my act of nonviolent civil disobedience at City Airport.

“It’s clear that the Government’s desperate attempt to re-exert control with its police and sentencing Bill will fail, not only because we will never be intimidated and never give up, but because not even the courts of this country will accept such a fundamental violation of our rights and our democracy.”

Brown added: “The real criminals are those knowingly destroying the conditions which make the planet habitable.”



The proper to peaceable protest mustn’t result in tolerance of behaviour that’s far faraway from conveying a strongly held conviction however as an alternative seeks to trigger chaos and as a lot hurt as attainable to members of the general public

Lord Burnett

In a written ruling, Lord Burnett stated folks who triggered main disruption at airports and have been convicted of inflicting a public nuisance ran “a substantial risk” of going to jail.

But he stated attraction judges had thought of whether or not a 12-month jail time period was “manifestly excessive” within the mild of Brown’s conduct, antecedents and incapacity.

He added: “Taking account of all the circumstances, we have concluded that the sentence should be one of four months’ imprisonment.”

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett (PA/Kirsty O’Connor)

(PA Archive)

Lord Burnett stated the judges’ “starting point” took under consideration the “impact” of Brown’s conduct, in addition to the “broader intention to cause wider disruption and the need for deterrence”.

He added: “The right to peaceful protest should not lead to tolerance of behaviour that is far removed from conveying a strongly held conviction but instead seeks to cause chaos and as much harm as possible to members of the public.”

Lord Burnett stated judges concluded that Brown’s conviction was not “unsafe”.

Judge Gregory Perrins, who had jailed Brown, stated when passing sentence after the trial that he had “cynically used” his incapacity and put his “own life at risk” to hold out the stunt on October 10 2019.

The double gold medallist climbed onto the airplane, which was destined for Amsterdam, earlier than gluing his proper hand to the plane and wedging his cell phone within the door to stop it from closing.

He livestreamed the protest till he was eliminated after an hour.

Brown, whose household is from Belfast, represented Great Britain in biking and athletics earlier than occurring to characterize Ireland in cross-country snowboarding.

Some 337 passengers had their flights cancelled resulting from his protest, with the disruption costing the airline round £40,000, Southwark Crown Court was instructed.

Brown, who represented himself at his trial, denied inflicting a public nuisance and stated he had “to do something spectacular” to attract consideration to the climate disaster.

He was discovered responsible after a jury deliberated for lower than an hour.

Solicitor Raj Chada, who represented Brown and relies at regulation agency Hodge, Jones & Allen, stated the agency is “disappointed that his conviction has been upheld”.

He added: “We will be reviewing the judgment carefully and considering our appeal options.”

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