Christian protesters, including a Bradford man, who super-glued their hands together and staged a sit-in outside one of the biggest arms fairs in the world have been found not guilty of aggravated trespass.

Deputy district judge Fern Russell, sitting at Stratford Magistrates' Court in east London, told the five protesters that "on balance" each of them had shown they had a "reasonable excuse" not to have left the site after being commanded to by police.

They were blocking the way to an entrance of the Defence Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair at east London's ExCel Centre last September.

The protesters felt they had another chance to try to negotiate to continue their demonstration even once they had shuffled over a no-go line, the court was told.

James Clayton, 33, 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, who all denied aggravated trespass, hugged each other as the verdict was announced.

The deputy district judge told them: "The police acted courteously at all times. It may be that in acting so professionally, carefully and courteously in a peaceful protest that scope for confusion arose."

Police had been called to a footbridge leading from the Custom House Docklands Light Railway (DLR) platforms to the centre on September 10 shortly before 9am where they were met by a group sitting cross-legged with their arms interlocked. Officers later had to use chemicals to release the hands.