Five Extinction Rebellion activists have been acquitted for their roles in a protest that sprayed fake blood on the Treasury using a fire engine.

One of the defendants, 66-year-old Richard Garfit-Mottram from Hackney said he was “delighted” by the outcome, adding – “not guilty, on yer way".

The environmental protest group used a second-hand fire engine to try to douse the front of the Treasury, in Horseguards, with 1,800 litres of fake blood on October 3, 2019, but lost control of the hose.

It is estimated that red dye caused damage that cost at least £16,000 to repair.

According to the Daily Mail, six defendants who stood trial denied conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

Garfitt-Mottram was eventually cleared at Southwark Crown Court, alongside Molly Lipson, 29; Daniel Blackmore, 32; Liam Norton, 39; and Cathy Eastburn, 56.

The jury failed to reach a verdict in the case of the sixth defendant – Joel Scott Halkes, 41 – but Judge Justin Cole said it was not in the public interest for him to face a retrial.

Following their acquittal, the defendants read out a joint statement before declaring the court a crime scene and unfurling crime scene tape.

They said: “Let this verdict mark a turning point in British history.

“A time to stop prosecuting the protesters and to start prosecuting the true criminals in government.”

Speaking after her acquittal, Ms Eastburn, a musician from south London, said: “I’m proud to have taken part in this powerfully symbolic and memorable action, which shone a spotlight on the Treasury’s financing of fossil fuel projects around the world.

“I took this action because I want to ensure a liveable future for my children and children everywhere.

“Four years on, the Treasury is still financing new fossil fuels in the North Sea including Rosebank.”

Mark Ovland, 40, who drove the fire engine, admitted conspiracy to commit criminal damage and will be sentenced at the same court on November 24.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that activists Diana Warner, Joel Scott-Halkes, Arainn Justin Hawker and Philip Kingston have each accepted a 12-month binding over order.

This instructs the individuals “not to spray paint on any buildings as a form of protest”.

Failure to comply could result in them having to return to court and a £2,000 fine.