BREAKING LONDON WESTMINSTER

A man who climbed Big Ben during a protest in October 2019 has been sentenced to Community service

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Benjamin Atkinson, 44  of Ambleside, Cumbria, has been sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work and must pay fines of £865.

On Friday, 18 October 2019 Atkinson had been taking part in a protest outside the Palace of Westminster. He climbed over the fences and scaled the scaffolding of the Queen Elizabeth Tower.

He was up on the scaffolding for a number of hours while specialist police units from the protest removal team negotiated his removal. He had intended to do a live radio broadcast whilst up on the tower while wearing fancy dress.

On coming down from the tower, Atkinson was arrested and then later charged with trespass on a protected site contrary to section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

Atkinson was convicted on Wednesday, 25 November and sentenced to:

A community order to carry out unpaid work for 250 hours

To pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £90.

To pay costs of £775 to the Crown Prosecution Service.

PC Samantha Lloyd, from the Public Order Command and the officer leading the investigation, said: “This was a dangerous and reckless act which could have ended very differently both for the individual but also for the officers who responded to the trespassing call. They are specially trained for situations such as this and it was their skills that brought the safe end to this incident, I would like to thank them for their work in bringing him down.

Trespass is a serious offence and Atkinson will now pay the price of his actions, with a significant fine and unpaid work.”