Its all getting super complicated – but lets run with this – think of it as a Civil Resistance ‘soap opera’, here goes
Tuesday 10th May
We expected 13 cases to be heard, but only six Just Stop Oil supporters were dealt with by Birmingham County Court, which resulted in fines (Stephanie Pride, £400 fine, Catherine Rennie-Nash £400 fine (no costs), Simon Reding, £400 fine (no costs), Gwen Harrison, £900 fine for repeated breach of the Kingsbury injunction, Molly Berry, £450, Vivien Shah, £450 fine).
At one point the Court building was cleared due to a small fire, and ironically all attending were forced to stand outside on the road and wait for the fire brigade! Those held in custody had their cases adjourned for 24 hours.
Wednesday 11th May – it gets more interesting
Eight Just Stop Oil supporters were due in court today, (five adjourned from yesterday) all had been held in custody. The ‘female’ prisoners were late, arriving at 11am. Emily Brocklebank and Amy Pritchard had refused to attend court and remained at HMP Foston Hall. Judge Kelly said she would list their cases tomorrow with a video link to the prison for them to either admit or contest the charges.
Cases for Barry Mitchell and Sarah Benn were then started. Barry’s case was heard first, however he chose to remain in the court cell and not attend in the dock. Mr Jones of Hodge Jones and Allan made a submission on his behalf. Sarah did attend and was ‘allowed’ to make a mitigation statement, but was interrupted a number of times by Judge Kelly for making a ‘political speech’. She kept going, and after a number of warnings Judge Kelly rose and left the court after requesting that Sarah be removed.
As Sarah was carried out she continued “I will not be be silent, I will not comply, I will not be complicit – I will be heard”
Judge Kelly then resumed, taking into account the breaches each defendant has made, considered aggravating factors, mitigating factors, previous convictions – she considered appropriate penalties…
No costs – as the claimant had still failed to provide a schedule
No additional custody as the defendants had effectively served a 16 day sentence!
Next up Simon Milner-Edwards and Margaret Reid, followed by Sarah Webb, and David Nixon, all released from custody with no fines and no costs.
Who knows what is going to happen tomorrow – 10 cases plus Amy and Emily from HMP Foston Hall.