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Paralympian guilty of Extinction Rebellion stunt

James Brown on the roof of a plane
James Brown on the roof of a plane Image credit:

A former Paralympian and Extinction Rebellion activist has been found guilty taking part in a protest which delayed a flight from London City airport to Amsterdam.

James Brown from Exeter, who has vision loss, superglued himself on the roof of a British Airways plane on the morning of 10 October 2019.

Firefighters had to be called to remove him from the jet delaying take off.

Brown, 56, streamed himself on Facebook gluing his right hand to the plane then pushing his mobile phone on the door jamming it open.

The Paralympian, born in Northern Ireland, represented Great Britain in athletics and cycling during the 1984 games before competing for Ireland in cross-country skiing.

This week Southwark Crown Court heard Brown had cost BA £40,000 and disrupted flights for 300 passengers.

He initially denied being a nuisance, but was later found guilty for his actions.

Brown was "gutted" by the verdict.

"What I did was only a very small part," he said. "There are a lot of people giving up a lot to make a difference and I'm only one of them."

He had booked a seat on the flight and passed through security with a bottle of superglue before being assisted onto the plane because of his disability.

When a cabin crew member asked if he required help leaving his seat he told her his plan to superglue himself to the roof of the plane.

In court the married father-of-four broke down in tears telling the jury:  "I was prepared to challenge myself, to be scared, to face the fear, because the fear of climate ecological breakdown is so much greater."

"My protest, the purpose I hope is clear. My motivation was to maximise media attention to the climate crisis, which back at that time was hardly receiving any"

Brown is due to be sentenced on 17 September.

James Brown is a two-time gold medallist.