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[James Brown]
[James Brown]

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Protester jailed after gluing himself to plane at City Airport

A protester who caused disruption to hundreds of passengers after gluing himself to the roof of an aircraft at London City Airport has been jailed.

James Brown, 56 (08.10.64), of Magdalen Road in Exeter, was sentenced to one year imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, 24 September. 

He was convicted of a public nuisance offence at the same court on Wednesday, 28 July. 

The court heard how at approximately 13:00hrs on 10 October 2019, Brown was boarding a plane bound for Amsterdam at City Airport when he climbed up the side of the aircraft and onto its roof. 

Officers, who were already on duty at the airport, spotted Brown and made their way to the plane to engage with him. Brown told officers that he was visually impaired and that he would stay there as long as he could.

A team of specially trained protest removal officers were called, and along with the London Fire Brigade, they began the process of bringing him down from the roof. They used a de-icer machine to remove Brown's hand, which he had superglued to the top of the aircraft. 

When back on the ground he was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft, being unlawfully airside and causing a public nuisance. He was taken into custody before being charged with the offence of public nuisance. 

Due to Brown's actions and the potential damage to the aircraft, the plane had to be taken out of service and inspected by an engineer. This meant the flight was cancelled and passengers were delayed for several hours. Several other flights also had to be cancelled as a result of the action.

In total nearly 400 passengers had flights cancelled or delayed. The airport had to close a number of gates and the runway was blocked while the incident was ongoing. 

Commander Karen Findlay, from Met Taskforce, said: “Brown’s actions not only impacted on the business of passengers but also on their families, friends and colleagues with some being left out of pocket for travelling to meet them. Not only that, he endangered himself and the officers who had to work to safely remove him from the aircraft structure.

“Brown’s actions not only impacted on the business of passengers but also on their families, friends and colleagues with some being left out of pocket for travelling to meet them. Not only that, he endangered himself and the officers who had to work to safely remove him from the aircraft structure.

“The Met will always support the right to peaceful protest, but it will not tolerate disruption of this level. Activists do not have the right to cause unreasonable and serious disruption to other people.

“We will always deal robustly with such incidents and look to bring to justice anyone who commits a criminal offence as this sentence shows.”

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