UPDATE: Dorset residents show solidarity with defendant at the Royal Court of Justice

Image copyright Defend Our Juries

On Thursday April 18, 2024 at 8:30am, a group of Dorset residents sat outside Bournemouth Crown Court holding what has become the most contentious sign in the UK legal system. They joined hundreds of others around England and Wales as part of the growing Defend Our Juries campaign, as they did in December 2023. That first occasion was when retired social worker Trudi Warner was charged with contempt of court for holding up a sign outside a court, displaying the well-established principle of jury equity.

On this occasion, the group of local residents were showing solidarity with Trudi Warner, as she appeared in the High Court. The permission hearing for the Attorney General’s application to commit Trudi Warner to prison, was heard in the Royal Courts of Justice and the Judgement is expected on Monday April 22, 2024. Hundreds of people are expected to defend the message of jury equity outside every crown court in England and Wales.

By displaying these signs, the group, like Trudi and two young women who were arrested by the Metropolitan police last October, ran the risk of arrest. Their message to the Judiciary and Attorney General is clear, if you are going to prosecute Trudi Warner, you must prosecute us too.

Explaining why she was prepared to risk arrest for this legal principle local resident, Giovanna Lewis, 66, retiring local councillor and Grannie for the Future’ from Portland, Dorset, said:

“I’m doing this because it’s important that the legal system does not stop people from telling the whole truth in court, and does not stop jurors from making the decision they think is morally right when they have all the information. As thousands die each year in the UK from fuel poverty and around the world from climate change related events, it is more important than ever that rights which have been enshrined in law for hundreds of years are not abandoned.”

Annie Webster, 66, retired cook from Dorchester, also a ‘Grannie for the Future’, added:

“For me, I feel there is a moral responsibility to take part and to be here because, it seems that particularly in the trial of climate activists, there needs to be a safeguard against potential state and judicial oppression.”

In conclusion, Elizabeth Elwick, 71, a grandmother and retired nurse from Bournemouth had this to say;

“I cannot sit by whilst our legal rights are taken away from us by a government determined to silence ordinary people driven to taking action to stop the destruction of our planet.”