British GP track invaders appear in court: Risk of “serious harm” to drivers
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Prosecutors have claimed that they caused “an immediate risk of serious harm to F1 drivers and nearby race marshals last July.During the opening lap of the 2022 British GP, five of the six protesters took to the track.Michael Schumacher vs Lewis Hamilton: The never-ending debate?Video of Michael Schumacher vs Lewis Hamilton: The never-ending debate?Fortunately, the red flag period caused by Zhou Guanyu’s horrific shunt meant that the protesters didn’t directly disrupt the race and they were escorted off the track.A jury at Northampton Crown Court was shown footage of AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon passing the five individuals on the Wellington Straight on Lap 1 at Silverstone.David Baldwin, 47, Emily Brocklebank, 24, Alasdair Gibson, 22, Louis McKechnie, 22, Bethany Mogie, 40, and Joshua Smith, 29, have all denied “public nuisance” at the famous British circuit.While only five of the six actually entered the circuit itself, Baldwin was found in the nearby car park with a Just Stop Oil banner, glue and other materials. The prosecutor, Simon Jones, told the court on Wednesday: “This case concerns the actions of six Just Stop Oil protesters.“The prosecution say that these defendants committed a criminal act of public nuisance. As events unfolded, the F1 Grand Prix had started and it was under a red flag after a serious accident had occurred at the very start.Related F1 2023 launches: When will each team reveal their new cars? A warning for Aston? Ex-teammate claims Ferrari were “splitting” with Alonso“Each of these defendants were present at Silverstone and they were intent on causing a disruption to the race. It is not in dispute that five of the defendants in this case – all of them save for David Baldwin – made it on to the race track and they did not have permission to be there.“There is no dispute as to that, and they sat down in front of the ongoing cars – F1 motor racing cars. They will inevitably say that this was done as an act of protest and in order to bring publicity to the cause and demand they make – of no new oil and gas licences.”“You will then see two F1 racing cars driving past the protesters… while five of the defendants were on the track. You will see marshals having to run on to the track and drag the protesters off to the side.“The prosecution say that there was clearly an immediate risk of serious harm being caused. Plainly they could have been struck by fast-moving vehicles with obvious severe consequences. We say that their actions also caused risk to the drivers themselves and the marshals.”
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