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Fortnum and Mason protestors lose appeal
1:15pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
Two Southampton men who occupied Fortnum & Mason during a demonstration against tax avoidance have lost an appeal against their conviction for aggravated trespass.
They were among ten protesters who staged a sit-in organised by campaign group UK Uncut was held at the store on London's Piccadilly in March 2011.
A judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court, who later conditionally discharged all but one of the 10, said the scene was ``chaotic''.
Sebastian Jones, 20, from Southampton, and Oliver Pope, 20, of Pentire Avenue, Southampton, were among a number of protesters who rushed through the doors of the store just before 4pm.
Both were given a six-month conditional discharge and told to pay £1,000 each towards costs.
Over nearly two-and-a-half hours, the group of 130, some of them masked, were shouting and screaming and using megaphones, drums, horns and bagpipes.
Tents were erected, volleyball was played across the displays and some goods were stolen or damaged.
Tape was wrapped around the outside of the store, some staff had their photographs taken and a number of customers were frightened, confused, angry, intimidated and tearful.
At the High Court today, Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker said that on the facts found by the judge, there could be no conclusion other than that each of the 10 was guilty of aggravated trespass.
``They were guilty because they themselves had the intention to intimidate, and because they had committed the conduct element of that offence,'' said Lord Justice Moses.