Steve Fay, Neuro-physiotherapist and member of Health for XR outside City of London Magistrates court where he was acquitted of criminal damage this week.
In her summing up the Judge stated that there was no dispute that the action was peaceful and that these were important issues, recognised by government and accredited scientists, about which the defendant had strong beliefs: “So when I weigh up your right to protest against the damage caused, I find you not guilty as it would be disproportionate to convict you because of the lack of evidence on damage put before me by the prosecution”
Following the verdict, Steve wrote the following to share with his supporters:
“The future of the natural world , on which we all depend, is in our hands”. Sir David Attenborough
Yesterday I was found “Not Guilty” of criminal damage by a judge at Central London Magistrates Court.
I sprayed a model of a Titanosaur with edible orange dyed cornflower at the Natural History Museum on the 26th October.
In my statements to the court I cited the “Planetary emergency” as declared by the Natural History Museum and the words of Sir David Attenborough “The future of the natural world , on which we all depend, is in our hands”.
I emphasised that climate breakdown is happening now, not in the distant future, and that people are dying today because of the consequences of climate change.
I would like to thank all those from Health XR who have supported me and my legal team who were truly amazing. I would also like to thank the judge who listened to our words.
Dr William Stableforth, Consultant gastroenterologist, outside City of London Magistrates Court
I also want to thank Dr William Stableforth, my brave co-defendant who, due to other pressures, sadly felt he had no choice but to plead guilty prior to the trial, and who was handed the lowest possible penalty of a conditional discharge by the Judge. In Will’s words; ‘I’m guilty only of causing a little hoovering’. In reality, this not guilty verdict should belong to him also.
As I sat below the Dinosaur replica on the day of the action I delivered a warning that we are in grave danger of following in the footsteps of the dinosaurs to extinction.
We know we are in a climate emergency with increasing breakdown of our weather patterns and the deaths and suffering of millions on the near horizon, yet our government pursues ever greater exploitation of the Earth’s resources. If we don’t act now the repercussions will grow ever larger.
As a health professional I have made the decision to take non violent direct action because I have a moral obligation to raise awareness, and to do all that I can to prevent harm.
Support health-workers like Steve and Will with their court costs
The cost of legal representation in the case above was over £6000 for each defendant, without considering travel costs and loss of earnings. The action is among HXR’s most impactful actions, with coverage in both the tabloid and broadsheet media.
Several other Health for XR members are also undergoing litigation following similar action to bring the health and climate crisis to the public’s agenda. Our hope is that if all members give what they can, we can significantly ease the financial burden of those undertaking these stressful actions.