Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

Eco activist ‘shouted’ at David Attenborough as he dined in restaurant

Sir David Attenborough receives Knight Grand Cross

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A woman is facing police charges after she allegedly shouted at David Attenborough while he dined at a Michelin-star restaurant. Emma Smart, 45, allegedly shouted at “the top of her lungs” at the presenter for not doing enough about climate change. Mr Attenborough had been dining at the Catch at the Old Fish Market in Weymouth, Dorset. In police bodycam footage shown to magistrates, Smart appeared to criticise the 96-year-old for not doing more to support her and fellow activists.

Smith, a marine biologist, shouted at him: “The town I love, Weymouth, will be underwater and you sit there in this restaurant having dinner.”

Smart, who is an activist with the Animal Rebellion and Insulate Britain campaign groups, entered the restaurant on November 17, 2022.

She had attempted to reach the second floor where Mr Attenborough was sitting but staff blocked her way, leading to her shouting up at the naturist as she pleaded with him to support activists like her.

The video showed her hollering: “David Attenborough! I’m Emma Smart, I’m a biologist. I’m a scientist. There are 35 climate activists in prison right now.

“David, please stand up for us and support us. David, I have looked up to you my entire life and listened to you.

“The town I love, Weymouth, will be underwater and you sit there in this restaurant having dinner.

“I have spent my whole life just like you David. You said that you understood me. Are you risking everything? You can stop this. Don’t let them arrest scientists.”

Police asked her to leave the restaurant, but her refusal led to her arrest for causing a disturbance.

Smith, a marine biologist, shouted at him: “The town I love, Weymouth, will be underwater and you sit there in this restaurant having dinner.”

Smart, who is an activist with the Animal Rebellion and Insulate Britain campaign groups, entered the restaurant on November 17, 2022.

She had attempted to reach the second floor where Mr Attenborough was sitting but staff blocked her way, leading to her shouting up at the naturist as she pleaded with him to support activists like her.

The video showed her hollering: “David Attenborough! I’m Emma Smart, I’m a biologist. I’m a scientist. There are 35 climate activists in prison right now.

Victoria Hill, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was demanding to speak to David Attenborough who was in the restaurant that evening. She was told by the police officers that she was not going to be able to speak to him and asked to leave the premises. When she didn’t she was removed from the premises and once outside, and while inside being escorted out, she was shouting towards him. As a result she was arrested, when she was interviewed by the police she offered no comment.”

PC Callum Hall told how Smart dropped to the floor like a “dead weight” and had to be carried out by her arms and legs.

He said: “We got there at around 8pm and spoke to Emma’s partner outside the restaurant. He told us that they had technically kidnapped his wife by locking her in the restaurant. We entered the building and there was a member of staff blocking the way for Emma to get to the second floor where David Attenborough was.

“The member of staff looked stressed because they had a high-profile guest and they wanted it to go smoothly. Emma continued to shout at the top of her lungs even after we repeatedly asked her not to. The manager said that he was going to have her removed if we didn’t. We warned her again but then she dropped to the floor like a dead weight so I carried her legs and my colleague carried her arms. When we got outside she still continued shouting as loudly as she could.”

Smart continued shouting as she was removed from the upmarket restaurant. She was arrested for failing to comply with a Section 35 order under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to disperse from the area.

Smart, who is from Weymouth, denied the charge and has gone on trial at Poole Magistrates’ Court.

She argued that she was never in the restaurant itself but in the shop on the first floor. Smart said: “At no point in the footage was I in the restaurant, I was in the shop. In the footage, I was polite and calm. I would claim that the force which was used to remove me was assault.”

The trial continues.

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