Crown Prosecution Service
Printable version

Just Stop Oil protestors convicted of criminal damage after disrupting the World Snooker Championships

Two Just Stop Oil protestors have been convicted of causing and attempting to cause criminal damage after throwing orange powder to disrupt the World Snooker Championships in April last year – following a successful prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service.

On 17 April Edred Whittingham, 26, and Margaret Reid, 53, were sitting in the front row at the championships at the Crucible, Sheffield, before jumping the barrier and disturbing the matches.

Whittingham, wearing a ‘JUST STOP OIL’ t-shirt jumped onto the snooker table where play between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry was taking place, and threw orange powder over the table and himself. He was removed by security guards.

At the same time, Reid, targeting the match between Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi, interrupted play but was stopped by referee Olivier Marteel before she could cause further disruption.

Due to the actions of Whittingham and Reid, play was suspended on both tables, with the match between Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi resuming after 45 minutes.

However, the World Snooker ruled that the baise on the table was so damaged in the match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry that a 24-hour suspension was required for repairs to be made. 

Several witnesses at the event reported seeing Whittingham and Reid interrupt the games, which was also being broadcasted live by the BBC. 

Both were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage. When searched two bags of the orange powder were recovered on Reid. The same bag was found in the area where Whittingham had thrown the powder.

When tested, the packages recovered on Reid and at the scene were similar to one another in appearance and chemical analysis.

This evidence, alongside further CCTV and camera footage meant prosecutors from the Crown Prosecution Service Yorkshire & Humberside were able to prove both Whittingham and Reid intended on causing criminal damage.

Both were recently (10 May 2024) convicted at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.

Max Hinchcliffe, of the Crown Prosecution Service Yorkshire & Humberside, said:

“Edred Whittingham and Margaret Reid showed an utter lack of thought or care for the players at the tournament or the fans watching from across the world.

“The law upholds the right to protest – but this must be balanced against the rights of others and this case shows that when lawful protest crosses the line into criminality we won’t hesitate to prosecute offenders.”

They will be sentenced on 10 July. 

Notes to Editors

  • Max Hinchcliffe is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire and Humberside’s Magistrates’ Court Unit.
  • Edred Whittingham [DOB: 30/8/1997]
  • Margaret Reid [DOB: 14/1/1971]

 

Channel website: https://www.cps.gov.uk/

Original article link: https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/just-stop-oil-protestors-convicted-criminal-damage-after-disrupting-world-snooker

Share this article

Latest News from
Crown Prosecution Service

Smart Places & Smart Communities 2024