Two Insulate Britain supporters were today jailed for seven weeks after being found in contempt of court and refusing to apologise for telling a jury that fuel poverty and the climate crisis had motivated them to join the 2021 roadblock campaign.
Giovanna Lewis, 65, a town councillor from Portland, Dorset and Amy Pritchard, 37, a horticultural worker, from Walthamstow, London defied Judge Reid’s gagging order on Monday during the ninth jury trial relating to Insulate Britain’s 2021 campaign of nonviolent civil resistance demanding that the government Insulate Britain’s cold and leaky homes 
Today they appeared again before Judge Reid at Inner London Crown Court – the same judge who in February sent David Nixon, a care-worker, to prison for eight weeks, also for for telling a jury that fuel poverty and the climate crisis had motivated him to join the 2021 campaign.
At a brief hearing this afternoon at which she refused to apologise to the court, Cllr Giovanna Lewis told Judge Silas Reid:
“I continue to be astonished that today in a British court of law a judge can, or would even want to, ban and criminalise the mention of the words “fuel poverty” and “climate crisis”.
“I blocked roads to bring the public’s attention to the scandal of thousands of deaths in the UK from fuel poverty and the thousands of deaths around the world due to climate change, which will soon be millions.
There is no choice but to give voice to the truth and not be silenced. I had always believed our courts and judges would encourage truth and thus just and fair criminal trials. I now see how naive I have been.”
Giovanna’s son Stewart said:
“After decades of campaigning all over the country for our children’s futures my 65 year old mother is finally sent to prison.A woman that single-handedly kept Portland Hospital open, that’s one of the main faces keeping the incinerator off the island, who regularly helps out in food banks and with the homeless who has spent her life helping other people out has just got 7 weeks for ignoring a judges gagging order which took away her right to explain the reason why she did what she did.”
Amy Pritchard also declined to apologise saying:
“When the situation is so dangerous, and so called leaders are neglecting their basic duty, to protect life, it’s more important for me to speak up than to follow your ruling. History has shown us that the law is not always in line with justice, and I will not blindly follow your rules.
How can you allow lengthy explanations about traffic data go on, but prevent young people from talking about the threat to their future and their global family?
There will potentially be billions of people in the tropical parts of the world on the move and unable to live during in my lifetime. We are treating large parts of the world as sacrifice zones. I can’t keep quiet about that.
Fuel poverty is part of the same behaviour, where the lives of the poor and vulnerable are sacrificed, for the priorities of those currently in power. And you want me to keep quiet about all that?”
Cllr Giovanna Lewis and Amy Pritchard were today sentenced to seven weeks in prison, of which it is likely they will serve three and a half before being released. They are to be taken directly to Bronzefield prison.
Judge Reid’s gagging order prompted a small demonstration by lawyers outside the court today. Tim Crosland, Director of the climate justice charity, Plan B, said:
“The British courts are clearly conflicted by climate protest. Juries apply their common sense and (if allowed to hear the ‘whole truth’) acquit. Some judges speak openly and praise the protestors. Others ban mention of ‘climate change’ and send the disobedient down to the cells. This can’t go on.”
Yesterday Judge Silas Reid dismissed the jury at Inner London Crown Court after they were unable to reach a verdict on whether Cllr Giovanna Lewis, Amy Pritchard and a third Insulate Britain supporter, Paul Sheeky were guilty of causing a public nuisance by blocking the junction of Bishopsgate and Wormwood Street in the City of London on 25 October 2021. 
The Crown Prosecution Service indicated that they will ask for a retrial. A decision will be made on that at a hearing on 31st March.
Four other trials relating to the very same roadblock have already taken place. In December three defendants were acquitted of public nuisance charges, while so far this year twelve defendants have been found guilty. 
In the eight previous Insulate Britain jury trials for public nuisance charges, two trials so far have resulted in acquittals, four have resulted in a guilty verdict and two have been deferred. The first Insulate Britain jury trial was deferred until June 2023 after Judge Reid dismissed the jury and asked the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether proceeding with the trial was in the public interest. 
The Crown Prosecution Service has chosen to summon a total of 56 supporters to answer at least 201 charges of Public Nuisance across at least 51 jury trials the last of which is scheduled to begin on 4th December 2023. These trials are planned to be heard across Inner London, Hove, Lewes and Reading Crown Courts and we estimate will take up around 1428 hours of court time.
Establishment and Corporate media have been lying about the climate crisis for decades:
High quality photos and video footage available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Kucq-NfhnZLGJWwLx1HX03cWR7M9Y2-m
More info: Insulate Britain is a campaign group that is calling on the UK government to put in place policy and funding for a national home insulation programme starting with all social housing by 2025, and create a meaningful plan to insulate the entire UK housing stock by 2030.
Further information about Insulate Britain and our demands here:
Technical Report on home energy efficiency here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jt5FI-kinEXoqZtPDrCvnAVQ2EFn8Aea/view
Insulate Britain ‘Blue Lights’ policy: our policy is, and has always been, to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with ‘blue lights’ on. https://insulatebritain.com/2023/02/07/insulate-britain-supporter-jailed-for-eight-weeks-for-telling-the-truth-in-court/  https://insulatebritain.com/2023/03/02/breaking-hung-jury-in-latest-insulate-britain-trial-after-two-defy-judges-gagging-order/  http://insulatebritain.com/2021/10/25/breaking-we-wont-stand-by-while-the-government-kills-our-kids/  https://insulatebritain.com/2022/12/09/breaking-three-insulate-britain-supporters-vindicated-after-jury-returns-unanimous-not-guilty-verdict/  http://insulatebritain.com/2022/11/25/breaking-first-trial-by-jury-of-insulate-britain-supporters-deferred-as-judge-questions-whether-the-case-is-in-the-public-interest/
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