Mum banned from driving after admitting 'nudging' Insulate Britain protester with 4x4

28 March 2022, 15:00 | Updated: 28 March 2022, 15:31

By Megan Hinton

A mum who used her Range Rover to try and move an Insulate Britain protester who was blocking the road has been banned from driving ahead of her sentencing.

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Sherrilyn Speid, 35, of Grays, Essex, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving when she appeared at Southend Magistrates' Court on Monday.

She had been on her way to drop her child off at school in her black Range Rover Sport when she came across an Insulate Britain protest near the M25 on October 13 2021 at about 8.30am.

The scene was caught on camera by a passer-by and heavily-bleeped 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 the Ms Speid shouting: "Move out the way. I'm not joking, my son needs to get to school and I need to get to work."

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"I don't care what the issue is, my son is 11, he needs to get to school today," the furious mother is seen shouting in the clip.

"So move out of the way and let me get my son to school!" she says.

The footage also shows the woman trying to nudge protesters out of the road with her vehicle.

Other motorists can be heard cursing the group in the background too, with one saying, "Go on, push them!"

Prosecutor Ashley Petchey said there were three protesters sitting across the road and queues of traffic had built up behind them, Speid got out of her vehicle and "remonstrated" with the protesters, the court heard.

Explaining the dangerous driving count, Mr Petchey said: "It is not an excessive speed as the driver was using the brakes quite heavily.

"This is done on two occasions. The Range Rover stops very close to the female protester."

Mr Petchey said the dangerous driving meant that injury could have been caused.

He said: "Clearly this was an incident where there was a risk, even if no injury was caused."

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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 said it would ask 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.

At least 16 arrests were made during the protests, with activists also blocking part of Junction 31 on the M25 nearby.

Sparking the Government to take out multiple injunctions against Insulate Britain, in an attempt to stop them from blocking key roads and motorways.