Greenpeace activists deny criminal damage after protest at Rishi Sunak's North Yorkshire home

The incident happened at Rishi Sunak's home near Northallerton on 3 August, 2023. Credit: PA

Four Greenpeace activists have pleaded not guilty to causing criminal damage to the roof of the Prime Minister’s North Yorkshire home during an anti-oil protest last year.

Amy Rugg-Easey, 33, Alexandra Wilson, 32, and Michael Grant, 64, appeared at York Magistrates' Court over the demonstration, which saw banners draped over Rishi Sunak’s house in Kirby Sigston, near Northallerton, on 3 August, 2023.

A fourth protester, Mathieu Soete, 38, appeared via video link for the hearing on Thursday, 21 March.

The four defendants denied the charge of damaging roof slates to a value of less than £5,000, belonging to Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty.

District Judge Adrian Lower set a date of 23 July for the start of the two-day trial.

The four defendants were granted bail with the condition not to enter the parish of Kirby Sigston.

A Greenpeace spokesperson said the hearing came as the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords next week.

They said that this was "the very policy that the peaceful protest at Sunak’s mansion last year was warning against".

Mel Evans, the charity's UK Climate Campaigner, added: "The government can try to silence protest, but not the weather, and the damage and cost will keep racking up so long as we stick to the same self-destructive policies."

At the time of the protest, Greenpeace said that no damage was caused to the property and they had chosen to carry it out when the Prime Minister and his family were on holiday in California.

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