UK

Animal Rising protester pleads guilty after disrupting Epsom Derby

(Mike Egerton/PA)
(Mike Egerton/PA) (Mike Egerton/PA)

An Animal Rising activist has pleaded guilty to causing public nuisance after running on to the track at the Epsom Derby.

Ben Newman, 32, appeared on Thursday at Guildford Crown Court in Surrey where he pleaded guilty to causing public nuisance.

He was filmed running on to the course as the major race began on June 3.

Derby Festival 2023
Derby Festival 2023 The incident happened as the Epsom Derby started (Mike Egerton/PA)

Newman, from Homerton High Street, Hackney, east London, was chased by police as the crowd jeered before officers tackled him and pulled him away about a minute before the horses ran past.

The protest happened after the Jockey Club, which owns Epsom Downs, was granted an injunction banning the Animal Rising group from intervening in the event.

Newman was produced from custody and appeared in court dressed in a grey sweatshirt.

He was one of 31 people arrested on the day of the race, including 12 on the racecourse grounds.

Katie Boulter walks away as ground staff clear confetti from court 18
Katie Boulter walks away as ground staff clear confetti from court 18 Katie Boulter walks away as ground staff clear confetti from court 18 at Wimbledon (Adam Davy/PA)

On Wednesday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman held a summit at Downing Street with police and sports bodies including the Lawn Tennis Association, the Premier League and the England and Wales Cricket Board to discuss plans to step up security at summer sporting events.

That afternoon, Just Stop Oil protesters threw orange confetti and jigsaw pieces on to court 18 at Wimbledon, stopping play twice.

It came after members of the group invaded the pitch at Lord’s last week during the Second Ashes Test.