Activist on trial after repeatedly trying to talk to Sir David Attenborough
A climate activist was arrested after she repeatedly tried to get in to an upmarket seaside restaurant to speak to Sir David Attenborough, a district judge has heard.
Poole Magistrates’ Court was shown body-worn police camera footage of how Emma Smart, 45, refused to leave the shop under the Catch at The Old Fishmarket restaurant in Weymouth, Dorset, in November last year.
The district judge watched on Friday as the footage showed the restaurant manager explaining to two police officers that Smart was demanding to speak to the veteran broadcaster, who was eating upstairs with his production team, and had refused to leave the shop.
After asking the defendant several times to leave and discussing the situation with her, the two officers eventually dragged the uncooperative Smart from the premises with the help of the restaurant owner.
Outside, the footage showed Smart continuing to shout up at the restaurant from the pavement.
She shouts: “David Attenborough, my name is Emma Smart. I’m a scientist. I’m a biologist.
“Please come and speak with me. Just five minutes.”
Smart continues: “David, I wrote to you from prison. There are 35 climate activists in prison right now. Please stand up for us. Please support us.”
As she continues to shout up at the building, the defendant says: “I’ve looked up to you and listened to you my entire life.
“Please listen to me now.”
She says: “Our nature is in crisis. We are in danger of losing everything. They are coming to arrest me. You can stop that.”
The footage shows the officers eventually issuing Smart with a dispersal order telling her to leave the town centre.
They then arrest her for refusing to comply.
On Friday, Smart went on trial accused of failing to comply with a Section 35 dispersal order, which she denies.
Defending herself, she questioned Pc Callum Hall, whose body-worn camera footage was shown in court.
She asked the officer if he thought she was a threat to Sir David.
Pc Hall replied: “Potentially, yes. You continued to shout and didn’t listen to what we said.
“I didn’t know what your intentions were.”
As he left the witness box, Smart, of Rodwell Street, Weymouth, said to the officer: “I apologise. But I’m doing this for you too, actually.”
She was refused permission to call Sir David as a witness at a previous hearing.
Smart was jailed for four months in November 2021 after an Insulate Britain climate protest.
The trial will continue on Friday afternoon.