XR co-founder who broke window at HS2 protest given suspended sentence

<span>Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

An Extinction Rebellion cofounder was been given a suspended jail sentence after causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to a government building.

Gail Bradbrook, 51, was found guilty by a jury of breaking a window in a protest at HS2 at the Department for Transport in October 2019.

Bradbrook, from Stroud, Gloucestershire, appeared at Isleworth crown court in west London on Monday, where a judge handed her a 15-month prison sentence suspended for 15 months, 150 hours of unpaid work and a year-long supervision order, a court worker said.

Bradbrook, who co-founded the environmental campaign group in 2018 with her ex-partner Simon Bramwell and several others, was joined outside court after the hearing by a group of supporters which included Game Of Thrones actor Jerome Flynn, while others were dressed as suffragettes.

In a statement after the hearing, released by XR, Bradbrook reportedly said the courts were “complicit in marching us off a climate cliff”.

Bradbrook said: “Activists are facing criminal conviction for sounding the alarm about the climate crisis while those responsible for destroying the life support systems of the entire Earth are not being held to account by our failing courts.

“Worse still, corporate courts are allowing fossil fuel criminals to sue governments for climate-friendly policies and punishing injunctions and authoritarian laws crafted by fossil fuel-funded politicians are being used to crush our democracy and our right to protest.”