Two charged after jets sprayed with orange paint in Just Stop Oil protest

Two women have been charged with criminal damage, aggravated trespass and interfering with national infrastructure after private jets were sprayed with orange paint by Just Stop Oil activists at Stansted Airport, Essex Police has said.

Jennifer Kowalski, 28, and Cole Macdonald, 22, caused more than £5,000 worth of damage, charges outline.

The force said it detained two people on Thursday after they gained access to a private area of an airfield and were “causing damage to two aircraft”.

Essex Police confirmed the private jet of pop star Taylor Swift, which Just Stop Oil said had landed at Stansted “mere hours before”, was not at the airport.

Just Stop Oil Stansted protest
An activist spraying the fuselage and windows of a plane (Just Stop Oil/PA)

The activists entered the airfield and painted two private jets using fire extinguishers filled with orange paint, the environmental group said.

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: “I would like to reassure passengers and the wider public that we are well prepared and resourced to deal with incidents of this nature.

“Almost immediately after we were made aware of this incident, which took place away from the main passenger terminal, we were on the scene.

“We maintain a constant presence at the airport and this presence will be heightened over the summer period.

“We have a good working relationship with Stansted Airport to ensure you can go about your travels with minimal impact.

“We are not anti-protest but we will always take action where criminal acts take place.”

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Just Stop Oil said: “Jennifer and Cole cut the fence into the private airfield at Stansted where @taylorswift13’s jet is parked, demanding an emergency treaty to end fossil fuels by 2030.”

The accompanying video shows an activist cutting a hole in the airfield’s metal fence using an angle grinder.

One activist, wearing a Just Stop Oil T-shirt, can then be seen spraying the fuselage and windows of two parked white planes with orange paint, before both then sit together in front of the planes on the tarmac.

Just Stop Oil Stansted protest
Activists appeared to cut a hole in the airport’s metal fencing (Just Stop Oil/PA)

Officers were called at around 5am after reports of people gaining access to a private area of an airfield at Stansted Airport, the force said.

Two people had entered an area “well away from the runway and main passenger terminal” before causing damage to two aircraft.

The airport and flights continued operating as normal on Thursday.

The group’s latest protest came after two Just Stop Oil activists sprayed orange paint on the prehistoric Stonehenge monument on Wednesday.

Kowalski, of Dumbarton, and Macdonald, of Brighton,  are due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.