Just Stop Oil activist who ran on to British Grand Prix track said protesters were acting 'in love'

Just Stop Oil activists take to the track at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix
Credit: Paul Howard
Protesters sat down on the Wellington Straight to disrupt the race. Credit: ITV News Anglia

An environmental activist who ran on to the track during the British Grand Prix has told a jury that she and her fellow protesters were acting "in love to protect".

Bethany Mogie, 40, is standing trial alongside five other protesters accused of posing a risk of serious harm to F1 drivers and marshals during the event at Silverstone in July 2022.

A jury at Northampton Crown Court retired on Wednesday to consider its verdicts.

Earlier Mogie, defending herself, spoke directly to the jury, telling them: "I’d like to say thank you and say sorry that you have all had to take three weeks out of your lives.

“You may think that we don’t have much in common but I think it’s easy to see what we do have in common more than what sets us apart. Because at the end of the day we are all the same - we are mothers, fathers sons and daughters and we love our families," she said, reading from a statement.

“To love is to protect and I hope you can see that’s what we set out to do that day at Silverstone. I would never take part in something that could hurt anyone - none of us could.”

Ms Mogie said the jury had been told the protesters' motivations were not relevant - but she spoke about the number of children Unicef says are at risk from climate change.

“And you saw me get very upset last week because I do think it’s relevant and I don’t want to live in a world where it isn’t," she said.

“We could never act to harm or be reckless, we act in love to protect. I hope in your hearts you can see this and find us not guilty.”

Marshals had to remove the protesters from the track. Credit: PA

Standing trial alongside Mogie are David Baldwin, 47, Emily Brocklebank, 24, Alasdair Gibson, 22, Louis McKechnie, 22, and 29-year-old Joshua Smith, who all all deny causing a public nuisance at the Northamptonshire circuit.

The charge includes actions that creates a risk of, or causes, serious harm to the public or a section of the public.

Those points were addressed this morning by defence lawyer Nadesh Karu, who represents Brocklebank and Smith.He said: “Intending to cause a risk of serious harm was the furthest thing from their minds. They knew the line of the track the cars take. They knew they would not be on the side of the track they would be on.”“They knew they weren’t going to be on the track for very long. They knew their actions would cause a red flag. It wasn’t acting recklessly - it was carefully planned, carefully executed.”

He said the crown’s case "simply does not come close to proving they had created a risk of harm or that a section of public was at risk".

“It’s a private track with 17 of the best drivers in the world and they are not even racing they are slowly making their way back to the pits as the rules require. There isn’t a risk of serious harm at all.”

The case continues.

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