Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024
alert-–-grinning-just-stop-oil-protesters-who-invaded-lord’s-pitch-during-the-ashes-before-one-was-carried-off-by-jonny-bairstow-smile-outside-court-as-they-are-spared-jail-(after-lawyer-said-one-was-‘remorseful’)Alert – Grinning Just Stop Oil protesters who invaded Lord’s pitch during the Ashes before one was carried off by Jonny Bairstow smile outside court as they are spared jail (after lawyer said one was ‘remorseful’)

Three Just Stop Oil protesters who invaded the Lord’s pitch during the Ashes have been spared jail for their eco stunt – and were pictured grinning outside court today.

England cricketer Jonny Bairstow was credited with saving the showpiece test match when he ‘took out’ one of the trio heading for the wicket, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told.

The three eco-radicals threw orange powder across the outfield at the famed north west London venue and one nearly made it to the wicket, before being tackled by wicketkeeper Bairstow.

Daniel Knorr, a 21-year-old University of Oxford biochemistry student was grabbed by the England cricketing ace as he attempted to sprint towards the wicket, before being carted off the pitch.  

Champagne corks and fruit were thrown by cricket fans at fellow protester Jacob Bourne, 21, as he was led off the field. While 69-year-old JSO activist Judit Murray, who the court today heard was ‘remorseful’ for her role in the stunt, was tackled before she could reach the wicket and held down on the grass.

Just Stop Oil protesters, Judit Murray (left), a 69-year-old grandmother from West Ewell, Surrey, 21-year-old Oxford University biochemistry student Daniel Knorr (middle) and Jacob Bourne (right) are pictured grinning outside court today 

England cricketer Jonny Bairstow was credited with saving the showpiece test match when he ‘took out’ one of the trio, 21-year-old Oxford University biochemistry student Daniel Knorr heading for the wicket in June

Knorr and  Bourne (right) are pictured running onto the pitch at Lords on June 28 this year 

The three, who said they wanted to create headlines for their climate change protest and did not want to cause disruption or damage the pitch, were found guilty after a trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court. 

But despite the criminal offence carrying a maximum prison term of three months, the trio were spared jailed during their sentencing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and instead handed 60 hours of unpaid work and fined. They were also banned from the cricket ground for a year.  

The court heard how the protesters got ‘very close’ to the wicket after jumping a 3ft-high metal fence. 

Nick Rowe, security operations manager at Lord’s, said play had to stop for a short period immediately after the incident.

He said he was near the Allen Stand at the ground when ‘an unexpected roar from the crowd, much louder than you would expect from a first over’ alerted him that something was wrong.

He previously told the court: ‘I heard a roar from the crowd. Obviously there were people on the pitch. There was a big cloud of orange powder in the air.’

Mr Rowe said he could see that play had stopped and the stewarding team ran towards the group of people who had been detained.

He told the court one of the men was detained on the ground before being taken away, while another was carried off the grass by Mr Bairstow.

If the powder had got on to the wicket the test would likely have been abandoned, leading to the loss of millions of pounds in revenue. 

A calm and collected Jonny Bairstow lifted Knorr clean off of his feet in June and carried him to the edge of the field, handing him over to waiting security

Nick Collins, the head of security at Lord’s, who said the match was ‘probably the biggest game of our season’, added: ‘It impacts the rest of the day. The biggest worry for me is whether the ground has been damaged.

‘Cricket has wide specifications and a set of rules about the pitch being played on. If the pitch had been damaged in some way, we could not have played.

READ MORE: Revealed: Just Stop Oil protester who spray-painted Oxford University was also carried off Lord’s cricket ground by Jonny Bairstow, got punched in a slow march and was caught with paint next to Dippy the diplodocus

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‘We had to check. We had blowers come on. Everyone was trying to blow the powder away and check the ground was not affected.’

The trio previously admitted they had targeted the Test match at the ‘Home of Cricket’ as they believe it will be one of the sports most adversely effected by the climate crisis.

Taking the stand during the trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court, environmental scientist Bourne, of Hyde Park, Leeds, even wildly claimed that it was ‘climate change’s fault’ that England didn’t win the series, as the weather had had ‘more of an impact’ on The Ashes than their protest.

Bourne and Knorr, wearing white Just Stop Oil T-shirts, climbed the perimeter fence and LED advertising boards to enter the field of play.

As Knorr approached the centre of the pitch, Bairstow, 34, wearing his wicket keeper’s gloves, tackled him to the ground before he reached the wicket.

Murray was tackled before she could get onto the pitch, whilst champagne corks and fruit were thrown at the protesters by cricket fans as they were escorted off the field.

Adeela Khan, defending Bourne and Knorr, said the disruption was ‘minimal’ during the offence as there was a delay of four minutes and there was no damage to the pitch.

Just Stop Oil eco-zealots have avoided prison for their stunt in June. Pictured, left to right, Jacob Bourne, Judit Murray, a 69-year-old grandmother from West Ewell, Surrey, and 21-year-old Oxford University biochemistry student Daniel Knorr outside court on September 28

She said the offence was ‘carefully planned’ in terms of timing to minimise the risk of harm to the defendants, players and security staff.

Katrina Walcott, defending Murray, said the defendants did not touch the wicket, were ‘quickly removed’, and clean-up lasted ‘a matter of seconds’.

She added: ‘She is very remorseful for the actions, she did apologise at the time.’

District Judge Neeta Minhas handed each JSO protester a 12-month community order, with a requirement to complete 60 hours of unpaid work – despite a pre-sentence report suggesting that Knorr, of Oxford, and Murray, from West Ewell, Surrey, were not fit for unpaid work.

The judge also made an exclusion requirement from Lord’s cricket ground for 12 months, banning the three from re-entering the sporting venue. 

Judge Minhas said: ‘Whilst you may not have intended harm and you say you co-ordinated action to minimise any harm, and I accept there was no harm in terms of damage to the pitch or from yourselves towards security officers or players, it’s such a public location where there were so many people who are very much enjoying the activity, who may have been drinking, your action will have an unknown effect on those in the stands.

‘It also causes difficulty for security at that venue who have to control the crowd.

Knorr (pictured here arriving at court in July following the Ashes stunt) was convicted of aggravated trespass, alongside two other eco-zealots

‘It also takes security away from doing the job that they’re supposed to be doing, while they are detaining you and ensuring your safety from the crowd.

‘I recollect evidence about items being thrown from the crowd which they then had to manage.’

The defendants will each also have to pay £330 in costs.

Referencing the footage of the protesters running onto the pitch at Lord’s, the Judge said she was satisfied they had sufficient levels of fitness to complete the community work. 

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