Six Just Stop Oil supporters, including a woman from St Albans, have been found guilty in relation to disrupting the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The Just Stop Oil supporters were demanding that the government halt licensing and consents for the development of any new fossil-fuel projects in the UK.
Louis McKechnie, David Baldwin, Emily Brocklebank, Alasdair Gibson, Bethany Mogie, and Joshua Smith appeared before Mr Justice Garnham at Northampton Crown Court, accused of Causing a Public Nuisance.
The Just Stop Oil supporters peacefully sat down on the Formula 1 track at Silverstone on July 3, 2022, shortly after the race had been halted in the aftermath of a collision.
The court heard how the Just Stop Oil supporters sat on an area of the track, away from the ‘racing-line’ that F1 cars follow, as the final vehicles slowly returned to the pits. Witnesses explained how race circuit staff had been given the ‘all-clear’ before proceeding to remove them from the track.
Speaking to the jury during the proceedings, one of the defendants Bethanie Mogie, 40, a mum of four from St Albans, said: “You may think that we don’t have much in common, but I think it’s easy to see what we do have in common, more than what sets us apart. Because, at the end of the day, we are all the same – we are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters and we love our families.
“To love is to protect and I hope you can see that’s what we set out to do that day at Silverstone. I would never take part in something that could hurt anyone – none of us could.”
Mr Justice Garnham ruled that the defendants had no defence in law, and that the jury must not take into account the defendants’ motivations in reaching their verdict.
Ms Mogie spoke about the number of children Unicef says are at risk from the climate crisis and continued:
“You saw me get very upset last week because I do think our motivations are relevant, and I don’t want to live in a world where children dying is not considered relevant.”
After three days of deliberation the jury found all six Just Stop Oil supporters guilty, sentencing shall be on March 31, 2023.