Student denies arms fair charge

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. PA Photo.
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. PA Photo.
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A Sheffield woman who was among a group of Christians who super-glued their hands together and staged a sit-in outside one of the biggest arms fairs in the world has gone on trial accused of trespass.

Police officers used chemicals to release the hands of the demonstrators who were blocking an entrance of the Defence Security Equipment International arms fair at London’s ExCel Centre last year, Stratford Magistrates’ Court heard.

Chloe Skinner, aged 26, of Onslow Road, Hunters Bar, Sheffield, denies aggravated trespass along with four other defendants.

The PhD student told the court: “Being citizens of Britain, we did not feel comfortable with the fact the Government was subsidising and supporting the trade in which there are myriad weapons being sold and promoted in London, including that which is illegal.”

When asked if she would have considered it ‘reasonable’ if another group had disrupted her own activities, Skinner told the court: “If I was selling torture equipment, I would consider it to be reasonable.”

Last year the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams offered his support to the group.

The trial continues.