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Nineteen to stand trial accused of trying to stop Scottish Grand National

The group appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court on Monday.


Nineteen animal rights campaigners accused of trying to stop the Scottish Grand National from taking place are to stand trial in September.

It is alleged they entered the race 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 this year.

They were among 24 people from the Animal Uprising group charged by police after disruption on the day of the race.

The 19 who appeared at court on Monday were charged with 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 race track.

They also face a second charge of trespassing at Ayr racecourse and it is alleged they did “overcome security, enter the race track and attempt to prevent a horse race from taking place”.

Miranda Courtney, 38, from Leeds; Rose Paterson, 33, from London; Katrielle Chan, 21, from Glasgow; Joseph Moss, 20, from Sale; Tatum Paul, 20 from Manchester; Alexander Dunnet, 23, from London; Thomas Foy, 24, from Ripley; Osian Dixon, 25, from Machynlleth in Wales and Sarah Foy, 23, from Alfreton, appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Nathan McGovern, 24, from London; Benjamin Stevenson, 23, from London; Zuki Paul, 23, from Reading; Imogen Robertson, 22, from Stirling; Alex Hamill, 55, from Bath; Robert Houston, 44, from London; Joshua Parkinson, 27, from Leeds; Joshua Lane, 26, from Alfreton; Calum Marshall, 25, from Edinburgh, and Claire Smith, 25, from Leeds, also appeared and denied all charges against them.

Warrants were issued for four people who did not attend and another court date will be set for one who has Covid and could not appear.

Sheriff Shirley Foran granted bail to the 19 people who appeared at court on condition that they stay away from horse and dog racing venues north of the border.

She told them: “The special bail condition is that you will not enter or attempt to enter any horse or dog racing venue in Scotland.”

There will be further court hearings in August and their trials will start on various dates in early September.

The event was not delayed on April 22 and the 18-horse race started at 3.38pm and was won by Kitty Light.

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