James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Mum who 'nudged' Insulate Britain protester with 4x4 says conviction is 'huge injustice'
29 March 2022, 08:56 | Updated: 29 March 2022, 09:42
A single mum who used her Range Rover to try and 'nudge' an Insulate Britain protester out of the road has told LBC her conviction was a "huge injustice" and claimed she was singled out by the police.
Listen to this article
Sherrilyn Speid, 35, of Grays, Essex, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving when she appeared at Southend Magistrates' Court on Monday.
Speaking exclusively to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, she said she was "frustrated" as she "just wanted to get her son to school".
"They were stopping me from getting where I needed to be," she told Nick.
"I accepted that I could have handled it better, however I was very frustrated.
"I was under a lot of pressure as a single mum, I run my own business, and things have been difficult anyway through the pandemic and so on.
"It was just important for me to get my son to school and get to work."
Her son, who was 11 at the time of the altercation, had just started secondary school and felt "anxious" about the change.
Speid told Nick she feels "let down" by the police and the court system, adding it's a "huge injustice".
"I feel devastated and I feel let down," she said.
"I've got no previous convictions, I've worked hard my whole life and I literally just wanted to get my son to school."
She claims there were other people who dragged protesters out of the road but she is the only one who has been convicted.
She told Nick "the police were called and they didn't arrive", adding she only heard from them a few weeks later asking for her to come in voluntarily to give a statement.
Speid claims she was initially questioned on the basis of careless driving.
She was charged by Essex Police with dangerous driving and assault by beating in December of last year.
The incident unfolded when she came across an Insulate Britain protest near the M25 on October 13 2021.
The scene was caught on camera by a passer-by and the expletive-filled footage was shown in court.
Two members of the group, wearing high-vis jackets, were seen sitting in front of her vehicle as another stood in front of it, holding on to the bonnet.
Confronting members of the group, the footage shows Speid shouting: "Move out the way. I'm not joking, my son needs to get to school and I need to get to work."
The footage also shows the woman trying to nudge protesters out of the road with her vehicle.
Asked by Nick whether she asked the protesters to let her and her son through, Speid claimed she "begged" them to let her past and it went "back and forwards" for a long time.
"I got out of the car and I went up to them and said please can you let me through and I explained my situation. The lady just laughed and she just said 'oh everyone needs to get their children to school, don't they'."
An assault charge against Speid, in which it was alleged that protester Bethany Mogie had been beaten, was dismissed, after the prosecution said it would produce no evidence.
The prosecution asked for £310 in costs and a pre-sentence report was ordered.
Peter Hoche, chairman of the magistrates bench, unconditionally bailed Speid to next appear at Basildon Magistrates Court on May 6 for sentencing.
He also banned Speid from driving by issuing her with an interim driving disqualification.