Crown Court Report – XR Case



Climate activist group: Scientist’ Rebellion, is a group with over one thousand members across 32 countries. Members range from science students to full professors across a variety of scientific backgrounds. 


The two co-founders, Mike Lynch-White and Dr. Tim Hewlett were charged for the criminal damage taken place during their non-violent September 2020 protest action at the Royal Society in London.

The two had spray painted phrases such as ‘inaction is denial’ and ‘billions to starve’ in green on the pillars of the royal society building. They flicked white pain over the doors and held a cardboard piece which read, ‘it’s been 3 months with no response, it’s an emergency endorse, civil disobedience.’


The royal society is the oldest scientific academy whose main purpose is to promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

Their goal was to warn everyone about the ongoing issue about the climate crisis and how it is not being taken seriously.


Dr. Hewlett and Mr. Lynch-white used the legal defence of consent to pursue the change of climate action and they both argued that the royal society would have consented to the damage had if they had understood the potential of scientific activism to make political change.

By the end of this hearing, both scientists were found not guilty for the non-violent criminal damages.


However, in a second case which was heard by the same jury, they were both found guilty of criminal damage for taking part in an April 2022 protest at the Shell headquarters in London.

During the case, the human rights’ legislation: ‘right to life’ was ruled out of by the judge. They were accused of throwing balloons which contained paint and water, at the Shell petrol headquarters.


Dr. Hewlett was found guilty and Mr. Lynch-white currently remains in custody whilst waiting for another upcoming trial in March.

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