Animal rights activists admit trying to stop Scottish Grand National

The case called at Ayr Sheriff Court on Wednesday (John Linton/PA)
The case called at Ayr Sheriff Court on Wednesday (John Linton/PA)

Two animal rights campaigners have admitted trying to stop the Scottish Grand National from taking place by entering the track.

Rose Paterson, 34, from London, and Joshua Parkinson, 27, from Leeds, were among 24 people from the Animal Rising group charged by police after disruption on the day of the race in Ayr in April.

Lawyer Clare Ryan, representing Paterson and Parkinson, entered guilty pleas on their behalf to a charge of committing a breach of the peace by conducting themselves in a disorderly manner and forming part of a disorderly crowd to overcome security and enter the racetrack.

They admitted entering the track at Ayr Racecourse when a race meeting was in progress equipped with glue, piping and other implements designed to enable people to secure themselves to jumps, fences or railings on April 22.

They denied a second charge of trespassing at Ayr Racecourse on the same date, which was accepted by the Crown when the case called at Ayr Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Sheriff Siobhan Connelly said the pair, who were excused attendance, will be sentenced next month.

Procedural hearings also took place for a number of others who face the same two charges, and were also excused attendance on Wednesday.

Gemma Barnes, 23, from Norwich; Miranda Courtney, 39, from Leeds; Jamie Carter, 28, from Norwich; Nathan McGovern, 24, from London; Benjamin Stevenson, 23, from London; Zuki Paul, 23, from Reading; Imogen Robertson, 22, from Stirling; Alex Hamil, 55, from Bath; Robert Houston, 44, from London; Jennifer d’Netto, 54, from Malvern Wells; Joshua Lane, 26, from Alfreton; Calum Marshall, 25, from Edinburgh; and Claire Smith, 25, from Leeds, maintained their not guilty pleas through their lawyers and will stand trial next month.

The Scottish Grand National was not delayed and the 18-horse race, which started at 3.38pm, was won by Kitty Light.