athletics canoeing slalom

Olympic gold medallist avoids jail over oil tanker stunt

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Olympic gold-winning canoeist Etienne Stott and four other climate protesters have been cleared of tampering with an oil tanker after a judge ruled the part of it they glued themselves to was not a motor vehicle.The former Team GB athlete, 43, and his co-accused Amy Rugg-Easey, 32, Nichola Andersen, 50, Erika Curren, 65, and Shaun Davies, 32, glued themselves to a Shell tanker as it left a petrol station in Paddington, west London, on April 16, 2022.The Olympian - who triumphed in the canoe slalom C2 category at London 2012 - and his co-accused had to be removed by police “de-bonding” experts following the Extinction Rebellion demonstration.They were found not guilty of one count each of tampering with a motor vehicle at trial after District Judge John Zani ruled they had not bonded themselves to the vehicle itself but the trailer attached to it.He made the ruling on Wednesday afternoon following legal deliberations about the meaning of a motor vehicle and how an oil tanker differs from a horse box or a train carrying coal.He said: “If you have the cab and you have the trailer, the trailer is incapable of self-movement without input from the cab and effectively the linkages which I have been concentrating on are safety features so far as breaking, lighting and alarm.“They don’t, in my view, transform what is at the back into a different form of vehicle.“On the basis of that there is no case to answer here in relation to any of the defendants and the cases against each of the five are dismissed.”None of the defendants reacted in the courtroom as they were cleared, and the judge told them they did not have to be so quiet.The Extinction Rebellion activists were found not guilty Earlier, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard

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