FOUR Southampton climate change protesters who were part of a protest in which activists were chained to a bath tub while on a major road have been punished by the courts.

It comes after Extinction Rebellion members caused hours of traffic disruption, including on a nearby motorway, when they carried out the protest in July.

The protest took place in Bristol, where activists were filmed walking onto Newfoundland Street on Wednesday, July 17.

Some chained themselves to a pink bath tub using a system of tubes, carabiners and metal chains and had to be freed by a specialist protest removal team.

The disruption lasted more than eight hours.

Imogen Phillips, 20, of Warsash in Southampton; Christelle Blunden, 37, of Tremona Road in Southampton; Elliot Cuciurean, 21 from Dorset Avenue in Cheltenham, and Timothy Miller, 37, of Imperial Avenue in Southampton, were found guilty of obstructing a highway following a trial at Bristol Magistrates’ Court.

All four were given a 12 month conditional discharge and told to pay court costs between £180 and £250.

Ch Insp Mark Runacres said: “The deliberate actions of these protestors directly led to lengthy delays on the M32, causing major disruption to the public.

“The action they took on crossed the line and we took immediate action.

“The true cost to members of the public caught up in the resulting disruption will never be known.”

Eight people were previously found guilty of obstructing a highway following trials on 9 and 11 September.

They glued themselves to the road and bath tub during the same protest.

All were also given 12 month conditional discharges and told to pay court costs.

They were, Helen Miller, 42, Imperial Avenue, Southampton, John Boxshall, 51, of Lower Church Road, Weston-Super-Mare, Sue Jones, 54, of Creech St Michael, Taunton, Madeleine Wakeling, 22, of Ham Street, Glastonbury, Theo Garfath-Gibelin, 24, of no fixed address, Klaudia Van Gool, 54, of Cornwall, Melanie Phelps, 55, of Beach Road, Kewstoke, Ben Misrahi, 23, of West End, Stroud

Two others, Michael Jones, 54, of Harberton, Totnes and Jane Augsburger, 54, of Summer Street, Stroud admitted the offence of obstructing a highway and received a 11 month conditional discharge.

Extinction Rebellion is a socio-political movement which aims to prompt the government into action over climate change.

The group has carried out protests in a number of cities, including in Southampton.