Environmental campaigners face jury trial over alleged attacks on charity HQs

The four defendants – outside court in Croydon – face a crown court trial Pic: Jonathan Brady

Environmental campaigners are to face crown court trials after a series of charity buildings were targeted and vandalised with paint, Croydon Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.

Roger Hallam 54, co-founder of the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion appeared at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday accused of multiple attacks on buildings such as Christian Aid, Amnesty International and Greenpeace in July of this year. 

Hallam along with Ryan Simmons, 34 , Holly Brentnall, 29, and Valerie Brown, 68, were also in the dock facing the same charges. 

Other offences Hallam was accused of included damages to buildings of major publication companies like The Sun, The Times, and the Evening Standard. 

These incidents were said to have been orchestrated by a new political campaign group also founded by Hallam called Burning Pink. 

Burning Pink, also known as Beyond Politics, are a recent political party that have emerged stating their main objectives as being aimed at bringing down centralized government and replacing it with a citizens assembly.

The party marked its launch with a political stunt statement where members staged a walkout from Camden Sainsbury’s with trolleys full of stolen food. 

Back in August, seven other members were also arrested in connection with another paint-related incident where political party headquarters were allegedly deliberately damaged with paint.

The court heard that in total the damages inflicted on 21 July to all four buildings amounted to an excess of £13,000. 

All four defendants had been due in court yesterday before District Judge Hina Rai, but between them made a last-minute unanimous decision to be tried by a jury in the crown court.

The case was listed for a plea with a trial preparation hearing which will take place at Inner London’s Crown Court on 1 December. 

A large backlog of cases due to the pandemic has meant that various trials including defendants on bail might have to be reviewed as late as 2022. 

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