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Home Breaking Just Stop Oil Activists Convicted for Disrupting Wimbledon Matches

Just Stop Oil Activists Convicted for Disrupting Wimbledon Matches

In a recent ruling at the City of London Magistrates’ Court, three members of the environmental group Just Stop Oil were found guilty of aggravated trespass after disrupting Wimbledon tennis matches last year.

Deborah Wilde, 69, Simon Milner-Edwards, 67, and William Ward, 66, were convicted for their involvement in throwing confetti and puzzle pieces onto Court 18 during The Championships, the prestigious tennis tournament held annually. The trio admitted to climbing over a barrier and littering the court with tinsel and jigsaw puzzle pieces in July last year.

Despite their protestations, the defendants were found guilty of trespassing with the intent to cause disruption to the tennis matches. Deputy District Judge Steven Jonas commended the defendants for their conduct during the trial but asserted that their actions had indeed caused disruption to the event.

Milner-Edwards expressed his feelings of peace and resolve during the protest, citing his concern for the global environmental crisis. Similarly, Ward expressed no regrets, highlighting the widespread attention their protest garnered.

The defendants were handed conditional discharges, with Wilde and Ward receiving six-month discharges, while Milner-Edwards received an 18-month discharge.

During the trial, it was revealed that the defendants entered Court 18 during matches between Grigor Dimitrov and Sho Shimabukuro, as well as Katie Boulter and Daria Saville. Wimbledon staff and Boulter herself assisted in clearing the debris from the court following the protest.

Despite attempts by the defendants to justify their actions in light of climate change concerns, the court ruled that such motives could not serve as a defence.

The disruption at Wimbledon followed previous protests by Just Stop Oil at events like the World Snooker Championships and the Ashes Test at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which organizes Wimbledon, allocated significant resources to manage potential protests after previous incidents.

Court 18, where the disruption occurred, is a prominent show court, attracting top-seeded players and extensive media coverage.

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