Trial halted after Extinction Rebellion protester glues himself to the dock

Two protesters use bamboo lock-ons to block the road outside the Newsprinters printing works at Brox

Two protesters use bamboo lock-ons to block the road outside the Newsprinters printing works at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire - Credit: PA

A trial over an Extinction Rebellion protest that blocked deliveries of some of the UK's major newspapers had to be paused after an activist glued himself to the dock and filmed inside a courtroom.

Six defendants appeared at St Albans Magistrates' Court on Monday, accused of obstruction of the highway in relation to a demonstration at the Newsprinters printing works in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, on September 4 2020.

The six people due to stand trial, who were alleged to have been part of an Extinction Rebellion protest, are: Liam Norton, 36, of Scarborough, Eleanor Davidson, 33, of Streatham, James Ozden, 35, of Tottenham, London, Tim Speers, 25, of Waltham Forest, Morgan Trowland, 38, of Hackney, and Eleanor Bujak, 28, of Finsbury Park.

However, shortly after the trial began, defendant Liam Norton donned a pink eye mask and began filming inside the courtroom on his iPhone while shouting: "What is going on here is complete corruption."

When asked to put down his phone, the 36-year-old said he had glued it to his hand - although it fell to the floor a short time later - and had also glued himself to the dock.

Police were called to remove Norton, of Esplanade Gardens, Scarborough, the trial was temporarily halted and the courtroom cleared.

Supporters in the public gallery began singing "Climate justice now".

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During the protest last September, activists used vehicles and bamboo lock-ons to block roads near Newsprinters' Broxbourne site.

A second blockade of the company's printing works in Knowsley, near Liverpool, took place on the same day, preventing the distribution of three and a half million papers.

The Newsprinters presses publish the Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp's titles including the Sun, Times, Sun On Sunday and Sunday Times, as well as the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday, and the London Evening Standard.