Extinction Rebellion protesters guilty of obstructing highway
Four Extinction Rebellion campaigners who caused hours of traffic disruption at a climate change protest have been found guilty of obstructing a highway.
Imogen Phillips, Christelle Blunden, Timothy Miller and Elliot Cuciurean chained themselves to a pink bath tub near the M32 in Bristol on 17 July.
The disruption lasted more than eight hours and police said a "specialist protest removal team" had to free them.
All were given a 12 month conditional discharge and told to pay court costs.
Police said the four protesters were filmed walking onto Newfoundland Street, at the junction with Temple Way, just before 07:00 BST on 17 July.
They said they "chained themselves to a pink bath tub using a system of tubes, carabiners and metal chains".
Ch Insp Mark Runacres, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: "The deliberate actions of these protestors directly led to lengthy delays on the M32, causing major disruption to the public.
"Throughout the Extinction Rebellion protests in July, our intention was to work with the organisers to allow peaceful and lawful protests to take place, but we were very clear on what we would not tolerate.
"The action they took on Wednesday 17 July crossed the line and we took immediate action."
The four defendants found guilty at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Wednesday were:
- Christelle Blunden, 37, of Tremona Road, Southampton
- Elliot Cuciurean, 21, of Dorset Avenue, Cheltenham
- Timothy Miller, 37, of Imperial Avenue, Southampton
- Imogen Phillips, 20, of Warsash, Southampton
All four were given a 12 month conditional discharge and told to pay court costs between £180 and £250.
Police said eight other people, previously found guilty of obstructing a highway following trials on 9 and 11 September, had also glued themselves to the road and bath tub during the same protest. All eight were also given 12 month conditional discharges and told to pay court costs.
Two others, Michael Jones, 54, of Harberton, Totnes and Jane Augsburger, also 54, of Summer Street, Stroud, admitted obstructing a highway and received 11 month conditional discharges.
They were told to pay court costs totalling £271 each.