Two of 'The Barclaycard Six' found guilty for their role in Extinction Rebellion protest at Barclays' Northampton headquarters

David Lane and Luke Adams were found guilty of causing criminal damaged to Barclays' headquarters in Brackmills last year

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 9:27 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 11:54 am

Two out of six protesters from 'The Barclaycard Six' were found guilty of causing criminal damage to the Barclays' headquarters in Brackmills, Northampton, during a demonstration.

The other four protesters were found not guilty.

The demonstration took place on the morning of February 26 last year.

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Five of The Barclaycard Six outside Northampton Magistrates Court today (Thursday, June 17).(left to right) Martyn Lyman, David Lane, Alan Heath, Linda Davidsen, Luke Adams Photo: Leila Coker
Five of The Barclaycard Six outside Northampton Magistrates Court today (Thursday, June 17).(left to right) Martyn Lyman, David Lane, Alan Heath, Linda Davidsen, Luke Adams Photo: Leila Coker

David Lane, 56, who represented himself, and Luke Adams, 25, who was represented, were found guilty of causing criminal damage to a Barclays sign in the building's main foyer.

Northampton Magistrates' Court heard today (Thursday, June 17) how Lane and Adams walked into Barclays and sprayed a black watery liquid - which represented oil and was not harmful - from fire extinguishers onto the blue logo for about 15 seconds.

Mark Fielding, prosecuting, said in his closing statement: "It must be clear as a pike staff they intended to spray this substance on the sign and it must be clear as a pike staff that, given the accuracy of the extinguishers, they also deliberately sprayed it on the area around the sign."

The court heard how after spraying the sign, Adams and Lane started to play a game of cards to represent 'Barclays gambling with the future of the earth'.

This is the scene from the protest on February 26 last year, which shows the Barclays logo was sprayed black and banners were unveiled

Five of the six, not including Martyn Lyman, told the court the main focus of the protest was to highlight Barclays' investments in fossil fuels and hoped the demonstration would encourage the firm to divest from the industry, which they say could slow down the effects of Climate Change.

Police later arrived and the pair were arrested along with three other members that day, the court heard.

The defence solicitor for Adams said: "Mr Adams and the others were trying to protect the threat to life, and they were trying to draw the attention of Barclays to act.

"Given the nature of how they approached it, they didn't head straight past the barriers into people's offices to try and force and compel them to stop investing. No. They put signs which had the information that was relevant, and used symbolism and spray to let them know the effects [of Barclays investing in fossil fuels]."

Lane, a project manager of 15 years, said in his impassioned closing speech that he was 'compelled' to take action that day.

He told the court: "I had taken cause and time to ensure what I was to do was grab their [Barclays'] attention in the best way I possibly could, because everything else has not worked.

"This, I had to do. I did not want to do it. I had to do it. And I felt compelled to do it."

Magistrates said: "By their own admission, [Adams and Lane] carried the fire extinguishers and did spray and cause damage to the reception area, necessitating significant cleaning and replacement. These actions did not amount to lawful reasonable excuse or proportionate or necessary."

Martyn Lyman, who entered the building first that day and filmed the event, was found not guilty because as 'a professional content producer, he was there to film, live stream and report the events', the magistrates said.

Mr Lyman's defence solicitor said in her closing statement: "There is a word for states where you can be convicted for simply supporting, encouraging or filming protests, they are called police states. We do not live in one. We live in a democratic society which respects our right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly."

Daniel Shaw, 35, who entered the building just after Mr Lyman, was found not guilty for his role in the events as a 'de-escalator', which involved walking into the building and explaining to the Barclays receptionists what was about to happen and that they were not in any danger, the court heard.

Linda Davidsen, 51, and Alan Heath, 58, were next to enter the building that day. They were also 'de-escalators' but also stood and unveiled two large banners in the foyer. The magistrates found them not guilty of criminal damage.

The magistrates said: "Whilst they were part of the action as de-escalators and support the aims of Extinction Rebellion, there is no clear evidence they led the protest on criminal damage."

Lane, of Kingsley Avenue in Kettering, and Adams, of Monks Park Road in Northampton, must now pay £620 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service and were both fined £125.