Two Just Stop Oil activists plotted to take King Charles waxwork ‘hostage’ before they slapped vegan chocolate cake in figure’s face and left Madame Tussauds with £3,500 clean-up bill
- Two Just Stop Oil activists have been convicted of criminal damage for the stunt
- Eilidh McFadden, 20, and Tom Johnson, 29 vandalised a statue of King Charles
- The vandals told the court they ‘considered holding it hostage’
Two Just Stop Oil activists who smeared vegan chocolate cake on a waxwork of Prince Charles in Madame Tussauds told the court they had ”considered holding it hostage’
In October last year, Eilidh McFadden, 20, and Tom Johnson, 29, wore Just Stop Oil t-shirts to the London gallery and vandalised the expensive statue.
Self-employed artist Johnson, who along with McFadden denied charges of criminal damage, told Westminster Magistrates Court that they had ‘been brainstorming other plans for the demonstration.
He told the court: ‘I’m surprised it’s even been brought to this level – however, we are here.
The pair didn’t reveal they were with Just Stop Oil until they in sight of the statue
Eilidh McFadden, a 20-year-old from Glasgow and Tom Johnson, 29, a painter decorator from Sunderland were both fined
Onlookers could be heard shouting ‘stop’ during the bizarre protest
‘I think the level of disruption and damage felt by Merlin Entertainment should be considered seeing as they are one of the largest firms in the entertainment sector; they own Legoland and Disney World, and this is really minor for them.
‘When we were designing the action, we considered other actions such as holding hostage the figure of King Charles III and broadcasting his own words.
‘We agreed that could’ve been extremely disturbing or frightening to anyone on the scene.
‘So we decided to stand next to him and calmly quote his words.
‘Unfortunately, the noise level in the room was quite loud and we had to shout but the substances we used were carefully chosen to cause as little damage as possible.’
Eilidh McFadden (right) and Tom Johnson (left) denied causing £3,500 of criminal damage. Pictured: the pair at Westminster Magistrates Court January 31, 2023
However prosecutor Jonathan Bryan accused the pair of being ‘trivial.’
He argued: ‘Your actions have done nothing whatsoever to help those persons affected by climate change, have they?’
‘Putting a custard pie on a waxwork model of King Charles is not going to convince anyone about climate change, it is a totally trivial action.’
Following the incident the model – which can cost in the region of £75,000 to £200,000 to sculpt- was removed from the gallery to be cleaned.
The court heard that as a result of the stunt some staff had to work an extra five hours to prepare the model to be seen the next morning.
Sentencing, District Judge Neeta Minhas said she was satisfied that they had caused ‘significant damage’ and convicted them of causing £3,500 of criminal damage.
Johnson was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,750 compensation and £250 costs.
Meanwhile McFadden, who already had three previous convictions for aggravated trespass, was ordered to pay the same amount of compensation and costs, and handed a 12-month community order, including 80 hours of unpaid work.