The much-anticipated verdict in the trial of six protesters who were involved in the Silverstone track invasion during last year’s British Grand Prix has finally been reached. The individuals, who were part of the Just Stop Oil environmental campaign group, have now been convicted following a two-week-long trial. The prosecution’s argument was that the actions of the protesters posed a serious threat to the Formula One drivers and marshals who were forced to intervene and remove them from the track.
The protesters, Emily Brocklebank, Louis McKechnie, Bethany Mogie, Alasdair Gibson, and Joshua Smith, had made their way onto the track during the opening lap of the race, causing a significant disruption. Meanwhile, a sixth member of the group, David Baldwin, was found in a nearby parking area with a Just Stop Oil banner, cable ties, and glue. The items were believed to have been used to stage the track invasion.
Despite the disruption caused by the protesters, the outcome could have been much worse. As the drivers made their way around the track, they were forced to slow down significantly due to red flags caused by a separate multi-car incident at Turn 1. In that incident, Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was sent flying into the air and crashing against the barriers, causing significant damage to the car. Thankfully, the Chinese driver was okay.
This slowdown of the Formula One cars, however, allowed marshals to intervene and remove the protesters from the track before any significant harm was caused. All six protesters had denied the charges of causing a public nuisance and also rejected the prosecution’s claims that their actions posed a threat to themselves, the F1 drivers, and the marshals present at the event.
After two days of consideration, the jury reached its verdict on Friday afternoon, finding the protesters guilty of the charges. The protesters will now face sentencing on March 31.