Seven acquitted in s14 conditions protest trial

17 February 2024

Alex and Mira

Seven people who were arrested during a Palestine Action demonstration at a UAV Tactical Systems (U-TacS) site in Leicester have had their cases dismissed following a successful submission of ‘no case to answer’ from GCN’s Mira Hammad and Alexander McColl.

The seven were charged under section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986, which gives the police the power to impose conditions on public assemblies. Any conditions imposed must be reasonable, clear, necessary and proportionate in order to be lawful, and those affected must either be aware of the conditions or they ought to have known.

Through cross-examination of police officers in the case, including the Chief Constable of Leicestershire, and extensive submissions on the lawfulness of conditions, the defence were able to show that there were multiple deficiencies in the Crown’s case. The district judge found that the notice was not lawful and the Crown had not been able to show that the defendants were aware or ought to have been aware of them.

The trial took place over four days at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.

The defendants were represented by Mira Hammad instructed by Kellys Solicitors, Alexander McColl instructed by Alastair Lyon of Birnberg Peirce, Nicola Hall of Robert Lizar and Katie McFadden of Hodge Jones & Allen.

Our Crime & Protest Rights team is recruiting! We are one of the only dedicated protest rights teams outside of London dealing with contemporary protest issues.

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