Six Just Stop Oil climate change protestors have today been spared jail after a track invasion which risked ‘risk of death’ to Formula One drivers and marshals at last year’s British Grand Prix.
Louis McKechnie, Emily Brocklebank and Bethany Mogie, who were among five campaigners who were dragged off the circuit at Silverstone as two Formula One cars passed close by, were given suspended jail sentences at Northampton Crown Court on Friday.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Garnham also handed 12-month community orders to fellow protesters David Baldwin, Alasdair Gibson and Joshua Smith.
Gibson and McKechnie, both 22; Mogie, 40; Baldwin, 47; Brocklebank, 24; and 30-year-old Smith all claimed the protest, which started after a red flag was signalled to halt the race, had followed a ‘meticulous’ safety plan.
But they were found guilty of causing what the Crown said was ‘an immediate risk of serious harm’ by sitting ‘in the face’ of fast-moving vehicles.
Brocklebank, of Yeadon, Leeds; Gibson, from Aberdeen; Mogie, from St Albans; McKechnie, from Manchester; and Smith, from Lees in Oldham, went on to the race circuit during the protest.
Baldwin, of Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, was found in a car park along with glue, cable ties and a Just Stop Oil banner and was said by the Crown to have been ‘in it together’ with his co-defendants.
McKechnie and Brocklebank – who have a joint previous conviction for gluing themselves to the frame of a £70 million Van Gogh painting days before the F1 protest – were given suspended prison sentences of 12 months and six months respectively, both suspended for two years.