The InterContinental London Park Lane was forced to evacuate when a climate change protester set off a fire alarm during the annual ‘Oil & Money’ conference.
Tony Booth, a research fellow at the Centre for Commonwealth Education at the University of Cambridge, caused the evacuation of 1,200 people during the conference in October last year, while other members of protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) chanted and played the bongos outside.
Booth appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, where he admitted causing a false alarm of fire to be given.
Julie Idowu, prosecuting, said: “The offence was posted on Twitter. It occurred during the Extinction Rebellion protest on 8 October 2019 and the purpose of activating the fire alarm was to draw attention from the money conference and towards the issue of climate change.
“There were a number of people at the hotel, 1,200 people, and the hotel had to be fully vacated, including the elderly.”
Booth (pictured) had initially entered a plea of not guilty, but confirmed he did not dispute the facts of the case.
His plea was changed after district judge Michael Snow told Booth he would still get a trial and a chance to tell a court his reasoning even if he pleaded guilty.
Prof Booth replied: “So it doesn't prevent it going to trial? Well, that seems fine then. Saves us money. That seems okay.”
The don, wearing a big yellow Extinction Rebellion badge, gave the court a double thumbs as he left the room.
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