Rosalind Burgin: Seven acquittals in three consecutive protest trials

7 February 2023

Rosalind Burgin

Rosalind Burgin, of our protest rights team, secured acquittals in each of her three protest cases in January.

9-12 January, Wolverhampton Magistrates Court

On 9 January Rosalind achieved two acquittals, after legal argument, the prosecution decided to offer no evidence.

On 12 January a further defendant was acquitted and Rosalind was also successful in achieving lenient sentences for two further defendants in the trial.

The five defendants were charged with joint enterprises offences relating to either attempting to cause criminal damage or going equipped to cause criminal damage as part of a Palestine Action protest.

16-18 January, Liverpool Magistrates Court

On 17th January, at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, Rosalind, alongside Anthony Williams and Benjamin Ramsey from Central Chambers, secured acquittals for four defendants, aligned to the Extinction Rebellion campaign, who were charged with aggravated trespass after staging a protest at Newsprinters, the printers of The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Times and the Evening Standard.

All four were acquitted on day two of trial. This case had been running for over two years.

23-25 January, Wolverhampton Magistrates Court

In her third trial of the month, 23-25 January at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court, Rosalind again secured acquittal for her client and two unrepresented protestors by extension – this time on the charge of aggravated trespass after staging a protest at an oil depot where the three defendants attached themselves to the top of a fuel tanker as part of a Just Stop Oil protest. The site was shut down for over 11 hours.

Certain maps and documents made up a fundamental part of the prosecution case. On day two, it was argued by Rosalind that the court didn’t have evidence to explain where the prosecution’s documents came from. This argument was rejected by the judge. However, on day three, the prosecution provided a clarification that, in fact, the documents weren’t from the official source as they had thought, and the documents instead had been made or commissioned by the company targeted by the protestors.

After the record had been set straight, all three defendants were acquitted.

Rosalind is a member of our highly-regarded Protest Rights team. In coming weeks, Rosalind is appearing alongside Mira Hammad and Aarif Abraham also of Garden Court North.

We are considered as one of the leading sets in the country dealing with contemporary protest issues and offer full advice and representation to protestors in both criminal and civil litigation matters.


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