Mum who nudged protesters with car 'lost her mind' but was 'triggered' by PTSD

7 May 2022, 10:08 | Updated: 7 May 2022, 12:09

Mum who 'nudged' protesters with car 'lost her mind' but was 'triggered' by domestic abuse
Mum who 'nudged' protesters with car 'lost her mind' but was 'triggered' by domestic abuse. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Tim Dodd

A woman who was banned from driving after using her car to 'nudge' Insulate Britain protesters blocking the road says she "lost" her mind as the situation massively "triggered" her post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sherrilyn Speid, from Grays, Essex, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to dangerous driving over the incident last October.

The incident happened at around 8:30pm on October 13. The court heard Speid was driving her black Range Rover Sport during the school run when a group of Insulate Britain protesters had glued themselves to the road.

Prosecutor Ashley Petchey said three demonstrators were sitting across the road and queues of traffic had built up behind them.

Video footage shows Speid getting out of the Range Rover and confronting the protesters. The clip of the confrontation went viral online at the time of the incident.

Andrew Castle said to Ms Speid: "You lost your mind a bit that day didn't you?"

"Yeh I did, I do regret it, of course I do," she replied.

"It was a different time personally, there were a lot of things going on personally for me.

"As a single mum, the pressures of having to provide by yourself, on your own, it can be quite difficult."

Read More: Mum who 'nudged' Insulate Britain protester with 4x4 says conviction is 'huge injustice'

The 35-year-old, who appeared for sentencing at Basildon Magistrates' Court on Friday, was disqualified from driving for a year, handed a community order and ordered to pay a total of £240.

Speid was disqualified from driving for 12 months until March 28 2023 - following an interim ban she received at the previous hearing on March 28.She was also told that she will have to retake her test.

Ms Speid said she accepts that what she did was wrong, but insisted no one is perfect.

"I was suffering from PTSD, I came out of a domestic abuse relationship after 12 years. I was currently leaving home," she said.

"In that situation where you have protesters blocking you and stopping you from going to where you need to be, it takes you back, it triggers you into your past.

"I was in a relationship before where I was stopped from going to work and things like that before, that was a massive trigger for me.

"And I just couldn't really talk about it before because it was quite hard to open up about this stuff."

Ms Speid said that her nudge of the protesters with her car was "more of a scare tactic to get them to move".

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