Jurors trying Insulate Britain protesters fail to reach verdict | Insulate Britain

Three climate protesters who stopped traffic to bring rush hour chaos to the City of London face a possible retrial.

Dorset councillor Giovanna Lewis, 65, horticultural worker Amy Pritchard, 37, and screenwriter Paul Sheeky, 46, blocked traffic between Bishopsgate and Wormwood Street.

Lewis, from Portland, Pritchard, of Walthamstow in east London, and Sheeky, of Warrington, all deny causing a public nuisance.

Jurors trying the three Insulate Britain protesters at Inner London crown court on Thursday announced they were unable to reach a verdict.

Judge Silas Reid told them: “You really went on until there was no chance of reaching a verdict.”

The prosecution will announce whether it seeks a retrial on 31 March.

The three were part of a large group of Insulate Britain protesters who glued themselves to the ground, bringing rush hour traffic to a standstill on 25 October 2021.

Lewis, Pritchard and Sheeky were among 25 arrested while experts cleared solvents from the streets that had been used to remove superglue.

In his closing speech to the jury, Sheeky said: “Some drivers were keen to get through the roadblocks, but we also saw [from video footage shown in court] they found alternative routes when they realised they couldn’t. Who is to say how many vehicles did this? It’s all out of sight of the cameras.

“There is no real evidence being presented of someone being stuck in traffic for 40 minutes. If there was, and they were so annoyed by this, why haven’t they come forward to give evidence?

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“I was out of the road by 8:49am, the road was fully clear by 8:55am. According to Transport for London the incident was not yet severe … no buses had to be diverted.

“So, what stopped [the road] being open? … A police van, they could have parked in numerous places without blocking the road. Remember this was October 2021 when things were still not back to ‘business as usual’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic … more people were working from home and less taking public transport.

“Even if 5, 6 or 7,000 people were affected, that is still 0.1% of the population of London. Twenty minutes out of the 960 minutes [we are awake] in the day is only 2.08% of the day. I was there to get dramatic attention from the media and as a screenwriter I knew that would mean creating a dramatic situation.”

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