Animal Rising Co-Founder Fined £10,000, But Avoids Prison, For Epsom Derby Disruption
Earlier today, Ben Newman gave an undertaking at a Committal Hearing for breaching the Jockey Club injunction that was granted in May of this year. Mr Newman was fined £10,000 and sentenced to 2 months imprisonment (suspending for 18 months).
The hearing came more than 4 months after the Epsom Derby was disrupted by Animal Rising. Mr Newman originally spent a month in prison on remand awaiting a trial where he was convicted of Causing a Public Nuisance’ and sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment (suspended for two years.) He was also ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay total costs and surcharges of £1356 .
Animal Rising claims that injunctions set a dangerous precedent of allowing companies to purchase, so-called, private laws which bypass the right to a trial and result in people being punished twice for the same act.
Injunctions have previously been used to target environmental groups and traveller communities, with Animal Rising previously injuncted by dairy giant Arla   .
This morning at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, Ben Newman attended a committal hearing as a result of his actions to disrupt the Epsom Derby and continue “the national conversation about our broken relationship with other animals and the natural world.” He was fined and handed down a suspended custodial sentence.
Speaking after the hearing, Ben Newman said:
“Disrupting the Epsom Derby put Britain’s broken relationship with animals and nature on centre stage. I believe we are a nation of animal lovers, but the way we treat the horses and dogs in racing, alongside the billion farm animals we use for food each year, does not do us any justice.
I want to feel proud of how we treat animals and nature in this country. For that, we need to support farmers in the shift towards a safe, sustainable plant-based future which would provide us with an abundance of food whilst using far less farmland. This would provide space for the British countryside to recover, and for our precious wildlife and forests to flourish where they once did.”
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