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Olympic gold medalist convicted after climate change protest

Etienne Stott said that he acted out of a Credit: PA

Olympic gold medalist, Etienne Stott, has been convicted of a public order offence, following his arrest at the climate change protests in April (2019).

The Nottingham based canoeist was found guilty at the City of London Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, after failing to listen to The Metropolitan Police who ordered protesters to move to another site at Marble Arch.

See the moment Etienne Stott was arrested at the Extinction Rebellion protest.

Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 is a law that gives police the power to impose restrictions at a static protest, including ordering protesters to leave the area.

Stott represented himself in the trial and denied having knowingly failed to comply with a condition imposed by a senior police officer.

He accepted that he was on Waterloo Bridge as part of an Extinction Rebellion protest and aware of the police order.

Etienne Stott was awarded with an MBE for services to canoeing Credit: PA

The olympian claimed that he acted out of a "sense of fear" and a "sense of duty", telling the court that "for me, the stakes are too high and I must get my message through."

"As a good person, with a voice and a platform, I feel it was my duty to act in the way that I did.

We will be vindicated sooner or later and I happen to believe it will be sooner."

– Etienne Stott, Olympic gold medalist

Judge Snow found Stott guilty and handed him a conditional discharge for nine months and ordered him to pay costs of £300.

The judge also described the defendants as "impressive people" and pointed out that Stott was impressive in his own right, and that he acted out of fear, telling him "you are clearly terrified for the future".

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