Seven activists fined after Grand National protest

Activists gained entry to the course in April 2023
Activists gained entry to the course in April 2023 - David Rose/The Telegraph

Seven protesters have been fined after trying to block a road near Aintree racecourse on the day of last year’s Grand National.

Activists from Animal Rising tried to block roads around Aintree on April 15 2023 while others gained entry to the course, causing the steeplechase to be delayed by almost 15 minutes.

Lucia Alexander, Tobias Brown, Zoe Able, Andrew Houghton, Sarah Love, Jamie Carter and Eleanor Kenny were found guilty of wilful obstruction of a highway following a trial at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Earlier this month, fellow protesters Rosa Sharkey and James Kelly were fined £690 and £550 in a separate hearing after they too were convicted of wilful obstruction of a highway.

Det Ch Insp Ben Dyer, of Merseyside Police, said: “As with the previous hearing, the seven defendants relied heavily on their right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights during their court hearing. However, they have now all been found guilty.

“Merseyside Police respects the right to a peaceful protest and expression of views but where this crosses into criminal behaviour and disorder it will not be tolerated.

“Such actions put those protesting and other road users at huge risk, and as always has the potential to disrupt emergency services responding to serious incidents.

“I hope these outcomes send a strong message and act as a future deterrent to others.”