Five members of the climate change campaign group Plane Stupid were found guilty today of trespassing in the House of Commons. The group had pleaded not guilty to the charge at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
"The five, Olivia Chessell of Cambridge, Leo Murray, Graham Thompson, Alexander George and Tamsin Omond, all of London, had put forward a defence using Section 3 of the Criminal Law Act.
That section allows for a person to use force to stop a crime being committed but District Judge Nicholas Evans told the court it was not applicable to the case.
All five had climbed onto the roof of the House of Commons in February where they unveiled two banners, one reading BAA HQ and another reading No Third Runway.
Two of the protesters also handcuffed themselves to railings on the roof and the group had thrown paper aeroplanes onto people gathered below as part of a protest against the proposed building of a third runway at Heathrow airport.
Omond was given a conditional discharge for one year and ordered to pay £150 costs.
The other four defendants were all ordered to pay a fine of £150, costs of £200 and a £15 surcharge.
District Judge Nicholas Evans told the five defendants: "On the day of the demonstration you were able to gain entry (to the roof of the House of Commons).
"You caused no damage, you made no threat to anybody and it was a peaceful demonstration and it has no doubt caused embarrassment to those charged with the security of the House of Commons."
Speaking outside the court, George said: "The court costs were £1,900 and they fined us £1,500 and it seems to me the judge accepted our moral argument, if not the legal argument."
He said he and his four co-defendants would now take boxes of evidence to New Scotland Yard where they would ask police to investigate allegations of collusion between the Department of Transport and BAA over the plans for a third runway.
He said: "What we said in court was not contested by the prosecution.
"It is a dossier of dodginess not a dodgy dossier and we will present it to police." "
well done and much love to all involved.