Extinction Rebellion co-founder cleared of one charge over paint-throwing stunt

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam has been acquitted of conspiracy to damage property after taking part in a protest which involved throwing pink paint over several charity buildings.

The 56-year-old was cleared of the count along with three other protesters involved in demonstrations at the headquarters of Christian Aid, Amnesty International, Greenpeace and Friends of Earth on July 21 2020.

Hallam and fellow activists Ryan Simmonds, 36, Holly Brentnall, 31, and Valerie Brown, 70, were each cleared by a jury at Wood Green Crown Court in north London – though all but Brown still face further allegations.

The Extinction Rebellion creator previously told the court the quartet, who are part of Burning Pink group, targeted the charities because they felt they were not doing enough to tackle climate change.

At each charity premises, they asked to a hand in a letter before launching the paint and attaching copies of the letters to the buildings.

Nine environmental protesters have also been cleared by the same jury of a separate count of conspiracy to damage property.

This was in relation to a stunt which saw them spray pink paint over the headquarters of the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Parties on or before August 13 2020.

Simmonds and Brentnall were found not guilty of the charge, along with Reverend Steven Nunn, 58, Dr Diana Warner, 63, Nicola Stickells, 52, Stefan Lindon, 59, Nicholas Cooper, 40, Genevieve Scherer, 76, and Richard Barnard, 50.

Some of the defendants stifled expressions of joy and embraced as Judge Andrew Holmes told the court: “Those who have been acquitted on the counts they are here for are free to go.”

Hallam, Brentnall, Cooper, Warner and Nunn will return to the same court on Tuesday over further charges relating to protests.