Four protestors who chained themselves to a bath tub on a major Bristol Road have been found guilty of obstructing a highway.
The protestors, who were involved in the Extinction Rebellion protests in in July, were filmed walking onto Newfoundland Street, at the junction with Temple Way, just before 7am on Wednesday, July 17.
They chained themselves to a pink bath tub using a system of tubes, carabiners and metal chains and had to be freed by a specialist protest removal team. The disruption lasted more than eight hours.
Imogen Phillips, 20, of Warsash in Southampton, Christelle Blunden, 37, of Tremona Road in Southampton, Elliot Cuciurean, 21 from Dorset Avenue in Cheltenham, and Timothy Miller, 37, of Imperial Avenue in Southampton, were found guilty of obstructing a highway following a trial at Bristol Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday, September 18).
All four were given a 12 month conditional discharge and told to pay court costs between £180 and £250.
Chief Inspector Mark Runacres of 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 crossed the line and we took immediate action.
“We had to call on specialist police resources and equipment to remove the protestors from the bath tub and this operation lasted around four hours.
“The true cost to members of the public caught up in the resulting disruption will never be known. However, it’s inevitable that action like this has the potential to result in unforeseen consequences which can have a significant impact on people’s lives.”
Eight people were previously found guilty of obstructing a highway following trials on 9 and 11 September. They glued themselves to the road and bath tub during the same protest.
All were also given 12 month conditional discharges and told to pay court costs.
They were: Helen Miller, 42, Imperial Avenue, Southampton, John Boxshall, 51, of Lower Church Road, Weston-super-Mare, Sue Jones, 54, of Creech St Michael, Taunton, Madeleine Wakeling, 22, of Ham Street, Glastonbury, Theo Garfath-Gibelin, 24, of no fixed address, Klaudia Van Gool, 54, of Cornwall, Melanie Phelps, 55, of Beach Road, Kewstoke and Ben Misrahi, 23, of West End, Stroud.
Two others, Michael Jones, 54, of Harberton, Totnes and Jane Augsburger, 54, of Summer Street, Stroud admitted the offence of obstructing a highway and received a 11 month conditional discharge. They were also told to pay court costs.