Former Paralympian who glued himself to plane is released from prison on bail

He will be freed while awaiting the result of his appeal.

12/9/2021 12:46:00 AM

A former Paralympic athlete, jailed for staging an Extinction Rebellion protest where he superglued himself to the top of a plane, has been released while he awaits the outcome of his appeal

He will be freed while awaiting the result of his appeal.

Extinction Rebellion activist James Brown was given a 12 month sentence for gluing himself to a plane (Picture: PA)A former Paralympic athlete jailed for staging an Extinction Rebellion protest on top of a plane has been released while he awaits the outcome of his appeal.

James Brown, 57, superglued himself to the roof of a British Airways jet at London City Airport in October 2019 in a bid to draw attention to air travel’s role in causing climate change.He was sentenced to 12 months in prison in September after being convicted of causing a public nuisance at an earlier trial.

But Brown, from Exeter, Devon, challenged his conviction and sentence at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Wednesday.To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser thatsupports HTML5 videoLawyers representing Brown, who has been registered blind since birth, said he could have been charged with aggravated trespass, a less severe crime, instead. headtopics.com

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They argued that custody was not justified on the facts of the case and the 12-month term was ‘manifestly disproportionate’.Brown won two gold medals for Great Britain while competing in cycling and athletics events before going on to become a cross-country skier for Ireland.

Brown won two gold medals for Great Britain while competing in cycling and athletics events (Picture: PA)His lawyers said he was suffering ‘unique hardship’ in prison because of his disability.Three appeal judges, Lord Burnett – the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Goss, said they would deliver a ruling on the appeal on a date to be fixed.

But they said Brown, who watched the appeal hearing via a video link from prison, could be released on bail pending the delivery of their ruling.Judges imposed a bail condition that bars Brown from entering any airport where commercial flights operate.

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Protests were held in support of Brown by Extinction Rebellion activists (Picture: Shutterstock)Brown glued his right hand to the Amsterdam-bound aircraft and wedged his mobile phone in the door to prevent it from closing.He livestreamed his protest online until he was removed after around an hour. headtopics.com

Judge Gregory Perrins, who jailed Brown, said when passing sentence that the activist had ‘cynically used’ his disability and put his ‘own life at risk’.Southwark Crown Court heard that 337 passengers had their flights cancelled, missing birthday celebrations, important business meetings and family events, with the disruption costing the airline around £40,000.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser thatsupports HTML5 videoBrown will be freed while awaiting the result of his appeal (Picture: Shutterstock)Brown, who represented himself at his trial, denied one count of causing a public nuisance, claiming he had ‘to do something spectacular’ to draw attention to the climate crisis.

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After the appeal hearing, Brown said, in a telephone conversation with the PA news agency from Wandsworth prison: ‘I am thrilled, I am relieved, I am excited to be going home.‘And I am tired. It’s been a hard slog. I’m looking forward to the ruling with interest.’

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