Former Paralympian who glued himself to plane in XR protest has sentence cut


Paralympian who glued himself to plane wins court appeal
Judges dismissed James Brown’s appeal against conviction but agreed to reduce his sentence (Picture: PA)

A former Paralympic athlete jailed after gluing himself to the roof of a plane as part of an Extinction Rebellion protest has had his sentence reduced.

James Brown, of Exeter in Devon, was jailed for 12 months in September after being convicted of causing a public nuisance.

But now three appeal judges have today ruled the sentence should be cut to four months.

Lawyers representing Brown, who has been registered blind since birth, claimed when lodging the appeal in December there had been no reason to charge him with causing a public nuisance.

They argued the sentence was ‘manifestly disproportionate’ and said Brown suffered ‘unique hardship’ in prison due to his disability.

They added he could have been charged with aggravated trespass and claimed custody was not justified on the facts of the case.

The three judges – Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Goss – ruled at the Court of Appeal to cut Brown’s sentence but dismissed his appeal against conviction.

At a previous hearing they said Brown, who is in his late 50s, could be released on bail pending their ruling.

File photo dated 24/09/21 of Extinction Rebellion activist James Brown who has been given a 12-month jail sentence after supergluing himself to the roof of a British Airways plane at a London City Airport in a bid to draw attention to the climate crisis has begun an appeal. Issue date: Wednesday December 8, 2021. PA Photo. The former Paralympic athlete was jailed by a judge at Southwark Crown Court in September after being convicted of causing a public nuisance at an earlier trial. See PA story COURTS ExtinctionRebellion . Photo credit should read: Helena Smith/Extinction Rebellion/PA Wire
Brown, of Exeter in Devon, was jailed for 12 months in September (Picture: PA)
Handout photo dated 10/10/19 of Extinction Rebellion activist James Brown, 56, on top of a plane on the morning of October 10 2019 during a protest against flying at London City Airport. Issue date: Wednesday July 28, 2021. PA Photo. The former Paralympic athlete who is registered blind, has been found guilty of causing a public nuisance at Southwark Crown Court in London after he superglued himself to the roof of a British Airways plane. See PA story COURTS ExtinctionRebellion. Photo credit should read: Extinction Rebellion/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Brown pictured on top of the aircraft in October 2019 (Picture: PA)

But they imposed a bail condition which banned him from entering any airport where commercial flights operate.

Brown, who is a double gold medallist from Belfast, livestreamed his protest attempt for an hour while he was on top of the British Airways plane on October 10, 2019.

He climbed onto the aircraft at London City Airport before gluing his right hand to it, then wedged his mobile phone in the door to prevent it from closing.

Southwark Crown Court was told during his trial that 337 passengers saw their flights cancelled, and the disruption cost the airline around £40,000.

year prison sentence for climbing on top of an airplane at City Airport as a protest to draw attention to the climate crisis. 08 Dec 2021 Pictured: year prison sentence for climbing on top of an airplane at City Airport as a protest to draw attention to the climate crisis. Photo credit: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA TheMegaAgency.com +1 888 505 6342
Extinction Rebellion protested against Brown’s jail sentence (Picture: Zuma Press / Mega)

Judge Gregory Perrins, who originally jailed him, said when passing sentence Brown had ‘cynically used’ his disability and put his ‘own life at risk’ to carry out the stunt.

Brown, who represented himself at his trial, denied one count of causing a public nuisance and claimed he had ‘to do something spectacular’ to bring attention to the climate crisis.

He was found guilty after a jury deliberated for less than an hour.

Brown represented Great Britain in cycling and athletics, before going on to represent Ireland in cross-country skiing.

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