Four climate activists convicted of causing public nuisance, but no jail term
Four climate protesters, including a man who glued his head to the road in order to block traffic in central London, have escaped jail terms.
Matthew Tulley, 44, Ben Taylor, 38, George Burrow, 68 and Anthony Hill, 72, staged a protest between Bishopsgate and Wormwood Street in the City of London on 25 October 2021. They were convicted of causing a public nuisance by a jury at Inner London crown court. All four represented themselves.
Addressing judge Silas Reid, Burrow said: “I have no plans to be involved in any further actions. I realise hundreds of people involved in climate activism would express support to me and feel outraged that we are unable to speak about our motivations in our defence.”
Tulley said: “The Earth’s temperature will rise above three degrees. We are already seeing some of the effects of climate change. In the lives of our children and grandchildren we will see crop failure, mass migration, war and water crises. We think our normal daily activities are OK, but we are living in an imaginary world. Things are very much not OK.”
Hill said: “I am partly ashamed of myself for not having more courage. I don’t have the courage to go to prison. I haven’t got the courage to commit a contempt of court.”
Sentencing the four activists, Reid said: ‘None of you has any remorse in any real sense. In fact it seems to me that you wear it with some pride. You each in your own way feel that the democratic process has failed. You set yourself above the law as if you were entitled to decide what the whole country does.
“I am sure that you disrupted thousands of vehicles and many thousands of people. Your actions would have cost people time, money or potentially a lot worse.”
The judge acknowledged their strongly held beliefs. “You each care passionately about the situation in relation to the world climate,’ he said.
Burrow was given a three-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months. He will have to complete 60 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 in prosecution costs.
Tulley was given a six-week custodial sentence suspended for 18 months. He will have to pay £3,500 in costs and will have to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.
Taylor was also given a six-week custodial sentence suspended for 18 months. He will have to complete 100 hours of unpaid work. Hill will have to pay £3,500 in costs, but was given a conditional discharge.