Court cleared five DSEI arms fair protesters last week

Stratford Magistrates' Court dismissed the case against Sophia Lysaczenko. Picture: Alastair Binnie-

Stratford Magistrates' Court dismissed the case against Sophia Lysaczenko. Picture: Alastair Binnie-Lubbock - Credit: Alastair Binnie-Lubbock

All five protesters tried last week for blocking a road leading to a major international arms fair at the ExCeL have been cleared.

Defendant Sophia Lysaczenko outside Stratford Magistrates' Court. Picture: Sophia Lysaczenko

Defendant Sophia Lysaczenko outside Stratford Magistrates' Court. Picture: Sophia Lysaczenko - Credit: Sophia Lysaczenko

Les Gibbons, 59, and Sophia Lysaczenko, 28, were both acquitted of one count of wilfully obstructing a highway at Stratford Magistrates’ Court.

They join three similar rulings on Thursday.

The five were arrested on September 7 for having obstructed Seagull Lane, Royal Docks, in demonstrations against the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) weapons show.

The case against Gibbons, who walked in and out of traffic to prevent military equipment reaching the exhibition centre, was dismissed on Wednesday.

Sophia, who lay down in the road connected to a suitcase filled with concrete, was acquitted two days later after District Judge Alison Rose deemed her actions “reasonable” and protected by her rights to freedom of assembly and expression.

“I’m a very excited human being right now,” she told the Recorder after the decision.

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