RECLAIM the Street protesters who had planned to hold vigils following the tragic death of Sarah Everard have said they have been threatened with fines if they breach Covid-19 restrictions.

The Shipley Feminist Zealots and women in Ilkley are planning on holding events to coincide with an event in London later today following the death of Miss Everard after she went missing in Clapham on March 3.

However, a planned socially-distanced vigil in Shipley has been moved online, and organisers said any planned event would by viewed by police as a breach of Covid-19 regulations, meaning they could face a fine of £10,000.

It was confirmed yesterday Miss Everard’s body had been found in Kent woodlands. A serving member of the Met Police was arrested and charged with murder in relation to her death.

She had been walking home from a friend's house through Clapham Common at 9pm when she disappeared, and the incident has re-ignited the debate over why women should have to feel uncomfortable when out alone after dark, and what needs to be done to address the issue.

Sarah Everard vigil in London cancelled and virtual gathering expected

VIDEO: Police officer remanded in custody over death of Sarah Everard

Sarah Cartin, who wanted to create a space for women to pull together in light of the 33-year-old’s disappearance said she was disappointed by the police response and asked if an anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine demo planned for later this month in West Yorkshire would face the same restrictions.

West Yorkshire Police did not confirm whether breaches of restrictions at that event would be handled in the same manner.

Ms Cartin said the perceived difference in approach was “frustrating”.

She told the Telegraph & Argus: “I can’t say I’m surprised.

“Let’s hope people draw the same conclusions.

“I felt that the most transparent and safe thing to do was to contact the police. I said, we’ve had this conversation, people want to show their respects and there’s meant to be a vigil taking place in London. I was initially told by the police that if people were taking their walk or exercise at that time and wanted to pay their respects at 6pm they were entitled to do that.

“That was quickly rebuffed. I told I was the main person and at potential risk of a £10,000 fine.

“I think a national line has gone out across police forces. It isn’t right we wouldn’t be treated the same way as people who actually want to cause harm and damage by not following the Covid rules.

“It’s frustrating but we see hypocrisy all the time.

“The issue of women’s safety isn’t going to go away, it never has.”

During the online memorial service, the names of more than 120 women and trans women who lost their lives to violence will be read out one by one.

But Sarah’s story in particular struck a chord with the group, having seen how they have found peace and solace in Bradford’s outdoor spaces throughout the lockdowns.

It has sparked a renewed campaign for men to call out comments and ‘banter’ which make light out of violence against women.

“There’s huge amounts of conversation online and women are sharing really personal experiences and let’s all open our eyes to what’s being said and take it at face value,” Sarah added.

“That relies on us all watching our own behaviour - are we calling things out that seem quite silly and low level but we know that is a step towards violence against women? Are we all doing as much as we can to change the attitudes and behaviours that can result in violence?

“For me, this week particularly, I’ve felt very isolated. Seeing all the different conversations online about experiences so many of us have had it’s heavy and there’s so much everybody can relate to.

“In normal times there would have been conversations with women on a daily basis but that’ really missing at the moment - to be able to reach out.”

Joolz Denby, an award-winning writer, poet and artist who lived through those fearful years before Peter Sutcliffe was caught, said the conversations around Miss Everard’s disappearance have been a part of women’s lives for years.

“We have been told to stay inside for my entire life,” the author said.

“They have been told not to go out, to be aware of what they dress like. Women have been told these precautions for their entire lives but nobody’s ever told men to stay in or attend to their behaviour.

“All of these precautions are being taken by half the world’s population which when you put it that way it’s ridiculous.

“Can you imagine if men were going ‘I don’t feel safe to walk at night’, ‘I don’t want to park in that multi-storey as I find it very frightening’. You just always have to reverse the roles.

“I feel so sorry for Sarah Everard’s family.

“She’s every woman. She was going home, like we all do.”

The move came as campaigners in London failed in a court bid to win permission to hold a demonstration.

Mr Justice Holgate has refused an application by the organisers of a vigil for Sarah Everard for the High Court to make “an interim declaration” that any ban on outdoor gatherings under coronavirus regulations is “subject to the right to protest”.

He said it would not be “appropriate for the court” to make the declaration sought and ruled that “the requirements of the law have been clearly stated” in previous court rulings, including a challenge to Covid-19 lockdown rules brought by businessman Simon Dolan, which was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in December.

The judge also said: “Given what has happened at the hearing, it may well be that there will be further communication between the claimants and the solicitors they instruct and the police to deal with the application of the regulations and (the rights to freedom of expression and assembly) to this particular event.”

However, he added: “That is not a matter upon which the court should comment.”

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to “understand the strength of feeling” over Miss Everard’s death but urged people to stick to the Covid rules.

His official spokesperson said: “We are still in a pandemic, we would ask people to follow the rules and social distancing rules.”