Palestine Action 5 Plead Not Guilty

The five from ‘Palestine Action’ who allegedly were responsible for the paint thrown at me, the police and a building (77 Kingsway, London) on 10 October 2020 pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ at Southwark Crown Court this morning. Their trial (5-7 days) begins on 19 April 2022. The Crown’s skeleton argument has to be submitted by mid-May and the defence statement by mid-June. There is a case management hearing on 9 August.

The five are Jocelyn Cooney, 25, Greenwich; Doone Zoe Stormonth Darling, 26, Lambeth; Flora Thomas, 26, Lullington, Somerset; Joley Thomas, 26, Hackney; Anthony Bardos, 56, Reading.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage and criminal damage. Given the number of police who were present with body cameras, their defence is unlikely to be ‘mistaken identity’. Rather, it seems likely to be ‘lawful excuse’ – that is, they were committing a crime in order to prevent a greater crime being committed.

Their barrister was Tom Copeland. His Chambers specialise in Protest Law.

Miss Wilson the Prosecution Counsel mentioned the ‘Thacker’ case to His Honour Judge Beddoe. No way can this be a precedent. The ‘Stansted 15’ were freed on appeal because they were accused of an inappopriate offence. The offences of which Cooney, Darling, Thomas x2 and Bardos are accused are entirely appropriate. One wonders who is paying their legal fees. Presumably all Palestine Action vandals are told that their legal fees will be paid – if not, they would be acting irrationally.

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