A former Paralympic athlete who had climbed onto the roof of a plane at a London airport during an action by the environmental movement Extinction Rebellion was sentenced on Friday to twelve months in prison, of which half will be firm.
This is the first prison sentence imposed on a member of the movement, said Extinction Rebellion, which announced that it will appeal this decision.
On 10 October 2019, James Brown, a 56-year-old citizen of Northern Ireland, blind from birth, managed to climb onto the roof of a British Airways plane at London City Airport.
The double gold medalist, who represented the UK in cycling and athletics, taped his right hand to the roof of the plane before shoving his mobile phone into the door to prevent it from closing.
An hour spent on the aircraft, which was supposed to cover a route to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, causing, according to the indictment, disruption to more than 300 British Airways passengers, costing the airline 40,000 pounds ($ 54,750).
“The right to demonstrate does not allow you to cause large and widespread disturbances at an airport … simply because you believe it is the right thing to do,” said Judge Gregory Perrins when announcing the sentence in the Southwark court in London.
“You cynically used your disability to put your plan into action,” the magistrate pointed out, adding that he had also endangered his life. AFP (HN)