Derby protester Ben Newman spared jail after receiving suspended sentence for storming Epsom track | Racing News

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An Animal Rising activist has been spared jail after running on to the track at the Betfred Derby a minute before the horses galloped past.

Ben Newman, 32, was filmed entering the course at Epsom as the premier Classic began on June 3.

After pleading guilty at Guildford Crown Court on Thursday to causing public nuisance, he was criticised by the judge for “endangering” the lives of police and security guards who managed to drag him off the track just before the horses ran past.

Newman was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years and fined a total of £1,356.

The protest happened after the Jockey Club, which owns Epsom Downs, was granted an injunction banning the Animal Rising group, which Newman was a part of, from intervening in the event.

A protestor is detained by police after getting onto the track at Epsom ahead of the Betfred Derby
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Police remove Newman from the track shortly before the Derby field make it to the final straight

He was produced from custody and appeared in court dressed in a grey sweatshirt.

He was one of 31 people arrested on the day of the race, including 12 on the racecourse grounds.

Footage played at court showed Newman running on to the track as police and security guards darted after him before wrestling him to the ground and dragging him to one side.

About a minute later, the horses sprinted past, prosecutor Wendy Cottee told the court.

Police liaison officers monitor the situation at Epsom
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Police liaison officers monitor the situation at Epsom

She said: “The Derby was due to start at 3.30pm. Horses were let out just after that. This defendant then ran across the track. The horses were around a minute away. He was apprehended and taken off the track.

“The defendant admits that the public were angry with him – several were jeering at him.”

On Wednesday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman held a summit at Downing Street with police and sports bodies including the Lawn Tennis Association, the Premier League and the England and Wales Cricket Board to discuss plans to step up security at summer sporting events.

A Just Stop Oil protester is carried off court 18 after throwing confetti on to the grass during Katie Boulter's first-round match against Daria Saville on day three of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon.…
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A Just Stop Oil protester is carried off court 18 at Wimbledon after throwing confetti on to the grass

That afternoon, Just Stop Oil protesters threw orange confetti and jigsaw pieces on to court 18 at Wimbledon, stopping play twice.

It came after members of the group invaded the pitch at Lord’s last week during the second Ashes test.

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