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"Climate Activists" vandalise business jets

AUM = Assets Under Management. It’s not their money, it’s their client’s money they manage in various guises (funds, with-profits insurance bonds, money tied up in life insurance products etc).

Regardles of that, they certainly can pursue the perpretators for compensation (ultimately bankrupting them, I doubt they could even pay the legal fees).

They can also be prosecuted for criminal damage, with deliberate, pre-planned act and high value damage this would be tried in crown court in front of a jury with a sentencing range of 6 months to 4 years. Unfortunately there is now a history of juries refusing to convict, so it is a bit of a hit-and-miss; sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

Here is an example:

The Defendants participated in a Just Stop Oil protest at Clacket Lane Motorway Services on 28 April 2022, whereby they smashed the screens of the fuel pumps with glass hammers and sprayed aerosol paint through the punctures. They proceeded to glue themselves to the fuel pumps.

In a three-week trial at Guildford Crown Court, the Defendants gave evidence that:

  • The damage was necessary to prevent death by climate catastrophe;
  • They acted to prevent crime (fraudulent misrepresentations by BP as to its responsibility for the climate crisis); and
  • ⁠They honestly believed that shareholders of BP were entitled to consent to the damage and would have consented to it, if they had fully understood the consequences of selling fossil fuels on the environment.

The jury unanimously found the Defendants not guilty of causing criminal damage.

The three aguments try to raise two defenses available against criminal damage

  • that the damage was caused in the honest belief that it was necessary to avoid even bigger damage or to save life
  • that the persons causing the damage had the honest belief that the owner of the damaged goods would have consented to the damage

The law is quite clear that “…it is immaterial whether a belief is justified or not if it is honestly held” [Criminal Damage Act 1971 5 (3)]

This has the effect that people now can do damage with impunity as long as they can convince the jury that they are truly and utterly deluded.

Biggin Hill

For most biz jet owners, the jet is a tool which delivers great value. For say 10 people it is probably cheaper than the flexible 1st class tickets.

By coincidence, a group of 9 of my coworkers and I took a shiny company jet on a three day trip this week, operating non-stop between the same airport where I keep my plane and a small regional airport near a company plant located in a rural area. You can’t reach it without a full day of outbound travel including two commercial flights and a two hour rental car drive. For the return flight without the company plane we would leave at noon and get home in time for bed after what typically ends up being a 15 hour day. Meanwhile we would each be billing $300 an hour with overhead for non-productive travel time. In the jet it’s 3-1/2 hours each way plus a 15 minute drive, and I’ve on one occasion made the trip there and back in a single day, working a few hours on site to resolve an emergency issue.

The reasons for building a plant in an area like that are (1) cheap land and somewhat lower local salary costs due to the low cost of living, (2) state and local government development incentives intended to attract business, and (3) the availability of company aircraft and a local regional airport with 7500 ft runway to make it practical. The situation ends up a win-win for everybody.

The only downside of being a group of ten on the company jet is that one guy sits on top of the toilet, but it’s not me anymore, a benefit of getting old and ‘senior’ Perhaps if these “activists” were to get a job at the low end of the totem pole in order to work their way up they’d be able to sit on top of the toilet and learn that the real, productive world doesn’t work as their childishly simple model indicates.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 21 Jun 16:23

Peter wrote:

The ease with which the protesters can get into Stansted, which like all the London airports is H24 patrolled by armed police, probably MP5, shows that the armed police rules of engagement here in the UK are very careful, following some shootings years ago where they got a bit over-excited.

And it’s not the first time, several airports in Europe have shown to be less than secure to such stuff. The implications of that is very serious, not all trying to get into airports like this are armed with spraycans.

For how many years have we aircrews and passengers been harassed and searched before we can access a tarmac, yet those bozos walk in as if they own the place? High time to make sure that those fences are not there for nothing. Otherwise why have them.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

How is it that graffiti artists (even the likes of Banksy in his early days) could be prosecuted for carrying a spray can with the intent to commit a crime on much lesser strict locations yet these people cannot be stopped and prosecuted on entering a high security area on the same charge?


Probably because the security at airports is nowhere near as good as they claim it to be.

Andreas IOM

Cobalt wrote:

This has the effect that people now can do damage with impunity as long as they can convince the jury that they are truly and utterly deluded.

I don’t think these cases are about the technical merits of the defence, although the defence makes those arguments anyway because what else could they try? No-one with a brain would buy the argument about BP shareholders consenting if they knew more about climate change!

These cases (and the Colston statue one) are more likely straightforward cases of jury nullification. The jury is not obliged to explain or justify a verdict and indeed is never asked to do so. It may convict or acquit as it pleases. The courts do not explain this to them because they want a verdict based on the evidence, but juries can and do acquit because they sympathise with a defendant they know is guilty, or because they believe the sentence the judge would impose is too severe.


What pi**es me off is that these vandals are referred to as ‘activists’. Call them what they are: criminals.

No-one with a brain would buy the argument about BP shareholders consenting if they knew more about climate change!

All that is required is that the jury buys the argument that the defendants had no brain and believed it, or at least that the prosecution did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that they did in fact have a brain.

Similar arguments were used in the Coulston statue case. The defendants claimed that, amongst other things, they believed they were preventing a racial hatred crime. The law of self-defence only requires that reasonable force was used in the circumstances as the defendant believed them to be.

The intent of this is to prevent conviction of someone who hurt somebody in self defence when attacked with a toy gun, or someone who smashed a car window to save a baby in a child seat from a locked overheating car only to find out that it was a doll.

We will never know if the juries genuinely thought that the prosecution did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the protesters did NOT genuinely believed that nonsense, or just did not convict out of sympathy for the case.

The result is the same – criminal prosecution of activists is hit-and-miss in England and Wales.

Last Edited by Cobalt at 21 Jun 22:34
Biggin Hill

There is also a tendency for juries to be selected from lower socio-economic groups, apparently because the others are more likely to be on holiday when called up, have more ways to get out of doing jury service (e.g. long cases are capable of destroying the livelihood of a sole trader, but you can’t use that to get out of it, so have to find some other reason), etc. There is an old anecdote that you can get out of jury service pretty effectively by sending a letter to the selection board saying – politely – you want to have nothing to do with [insert your chosen colour, etc]. The result is that a jury is below average likely to understand legal arguments and other technical points

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

172driver wrote:

What pi**es me off is that these vandals are referred to as ‘activists’. Call them what they are: criminals.

That has to do with the motive. The general consensus in the western world (right or wrong, doesn’t matter), is that humans causes climate change, and this is destroying the world. Even among the “ruling class” of politicians, this is taken as a known fact (right or wrong doesn’t matter). The ruling class has stated the “we” must do something about it, and is doing something about it. Again, mostly nonsense and at best token measures that obviously doesn’t help according to measurements of global warming. Activists are those individuals that see right through the hollowness of the governments, and in this case, attacks the objects they can attack, while leaving the “ruling class” stuttering in background. But, but, but, please, this is private property. This is not the way to save the world, it’s illegal. The answer to that is simple, because the methods of the “ruling class” is obviously not working.

A biz-jet is an extreme extravagant polluter in this respect. You have to be pretty brain dead to look at it as something else than that. What is the “ruling class” to do? They have the same motives and convictions of the activists. The pollution has to stop, and reverse. Yet they do nothing about the most extreme forms of pollution, because of “private property” ? We cannot have a world where money can buy you rights to destroy it for the rest of us and future generations. A biz-jet is the symbol (and a very good one at that, for everything that is wrong and is causing global warming), a low hanging fruit.

It boils down to being a part of the solution, or part of the problem. Some have more guts than others when solving that problem (activists vs “ruling class”). Until all the owners of biz-jets start using SAF instead of Jet A1, these activists won’t go away IMO.

The elephant is the circulation
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