Squirrel-eating men at Soho vegan food stall fined

Image source, CPS
Image caption,
Gatis Lagzdins wore a T-shirt saying "Veganism = Malnutrition" when protesting outside a vegan food market

Two men who ate dead squirrels outside a vegan food stall in protest against veganism have been convicted of public order offences and fined.

Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22, and Gatis Lagzdins, 29, bit into the furry animals at the Soho Vegan Food Market in Rupert Street, London, on 30 March.

The pair denied using disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at a trial at City of London Magistrates' Court in June.

They were found guilty on Monday.

Natalie Clines, from the CPS, said: "Deonisy Khlebnikov and Gatis Lagzdins claimed they were against veganism and were raising awareness about the dangers of not eating meat when they publicly consumed raw squirrels.

"By choosing to do this outside a vegan food stall and continuing with their disgusting and unnecessary behaviour despite requests to stop, including from a parent whose child was upset by their actions, the prosecution was able to demonstrate that they had planned and intended to cause distress to the public.

"Their pre-meditated actions caused significant distress to members of the public, including young children."

Khlebnikov, of Westminster, was also fined £200. Lagzdins, of Ealing, an anti-vegan protester who has posted videos of similar stunts on YouTube, was fined £400.

He did not attend the hearing, at Westminster Magistrates' Court

A statement from Soho Vegan Market said: "Soho Vegan Market was created so that people, both vegan and otherwise, could try delicious and different plant-based food in a brilliant and easily accessible location in the heart of London.

"We do not condone the actions of known anti-vegan YouTuber Sv3rige, we're disappointed that it disrupted the vibrant and diverse weekly event and are glad to see those involved have been charged for their actions."

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