Bradford man took part in super-glued hands protest to 'strengthen negotiating position'

Stratford Magistrates' Court

Stratford Magistrates' Court

First published in News
Last updated

A Bradford man who was one of five protesters who super-glued their hands and staged a sit-in outside one of the biggest arms fairs in the world claimed it was part of "negotiation" with police, a court has heard.

James Clayton, 33, is standing trial at Stratford Magistrates' Court, after blocking the way to an entrance of the Defence Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair at London's ExCel Centre last September.

Police had to use chemicals to release the protesters’ hands.

Clayton, who had taken a week off work running a community centre in Bradford to take part, claimed he saw it as his "duty" to act in this way and he had viewed the whole process of their contact with police as a "negotiation about how we would continue our legal protest".

"We knew that there was a risk we would be arrested. We did not set out to be arrested," he said.

"I did not believe that I could in good conscience as a citizen and a Christian to allow behaviour that was illegal and immoral to continue."

He told the court: "I super-glued my hands together because I thought it would strengthen our position with the police about how we would go about the negotiation."

Prosecutor Afolake Jaja suggested the group had been arrested because they refused to leave and ignored a police command to stay behind a line.

She said a warning was issued by a chief inspector from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) police for the protesters to leave the footbridge.

Clayton claimed: "We had obeyed the command we had thought we had been given."

Clayton, of Cecil Avenue, Bradford; Symon Hill, 36, of Thayer Street, central London; Chloe Skinner, 26, of Onslow Road, Sheffield; Christopher Wood, 27, of Langleys Road, Birmingham and Daniel Woodhouse, 26, of Recreation Street, Long Eaton, Nottingham, all deny aggravated trespass.

The trial continues

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