Eco-protester yelled at David Attenborough at Weymouth fish restaurant, court hears
An eco-activist barracked Sir David Attenborough as he dined at a Michelin-star restaurant for not doing enough about climate change, a court heard today.
Emma Smart, 45, allegedly shouted ‘at the top of her lungs’ towards the broadcaster as he tried to enjoy a meal at the Catch at the Old Fish Market in Weymouth, Dorset.
In police bodycam footage shown to magistrates, Smart appeared to criticise the 96-year-old for not doing more to support her and fellow activists.
Smith, a marine biologist, shouted at him: ‘The town I love, Weymouth, will be underwater and you sit there in this restaurant having dinner.’
The court heard Smart, an activist with the Animal Rebellion and Insulate Britain campaign groups, entered the upmarket fish restaurant on November 17 last year.
Emma Smart arrives at Poole Magistrates’ Court in Dorset this morning for her trial to begin
Sir David Attenborough was dining in a Michelin-star restaurant at the time of the incident
Staff blocked her from climbing the stairs to the second floor where Sir David was sitting before calling the police.
She shouted up at the naturalist, pleading with him to support activists like her.
The video showed her hollering: ‘David Attenborough! I’m Emma Smart, I’m a biologist. I’m a scientist. There are 35 climate activists in prison right now.
‘David, please stand up for us and support us. David, I have looked up to you my entire life and listened to you.
‘The town I love, Weymouth, will be underwater and you sit there in this restaurant having dinner.
‘I have spent my whole life just like you David. You said that you understood me. Are you risking everything? You can stop this. Don’t let them arrest scientists.’
Emma Smart smiles as she arrives in the rain at Poole Magistrates’ Court in Dorset this morning
Smart was wearing a jacket with the phrase ‘deeds not words’ as she arrived at court today
Smart turns around and smiles as she enters Poole Magistrates’ Court in Dorset this morning
Police officers repeatedly asked Smart to leave before they arrested her for causing a disturbance.
Victoria Hill, prosecuting, said: ‘The defendant was demanding to speak to David Attenborough who was in the restaurant that evening.
‘She was told by the police officers that she was not going to be able to speak to him and asked to leave the premises.
‘When she didn’t she was removed from the premises and once outside, and while inside being escorted out, she was shouting towards him.
‘As a result she was arrested, when she was interviewed by the police she offered no comment.’
PC Callum Hall told how Smart dropped to the floor like a ‘dead weight’ and had to be carried out by her arms and legs.
He said: ‘We got there at around 8pm and spoke to Emma’s partner outside the restaurant.
‘He told us that they had technically kidnapped his wife by locking her in the restaurant.
‘We entered the building and there was a member of staff blocking the way for Emma to get to the second floor where David Attenborough was.
Smart was alleged to have refused to leave the restaurant in Weymouth last November
The incident happened at the Catch at the Old Fish Market restaurant on November 17 last year
Sir David Attenborough had been filming in Weymouth at the time for a fishing documentary
The incident happened at the Catch at the Old Fish Market eatery in Weymouth (file image)
‘The member of staff looked stressed because they had a high-profile guest and they wanted it to go smoothly.
‘Emma continued to shout at the top of her lungs even after we repeatedly asked her not to. The manager said that he was going to have her removed if we didn’t.
‘We warned her again but then she dropped to the floor like a dead weight so I carried her legs and my colleague carried her arms.
‘When we got outside she still continued shouting as loudly as she could.’
As she was being escorted out, she continued ‘shouting’ that she wanted to speak to Sir David as loudly as she could.
Smart was arrested for failing to comply with a Section 35 order under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to disperse from the area.
Smart, who is from Weymouth, denied the charge and has gone on trial at Poole Magistrates’ Court.
She represented herself and described the police statements as ‘completely factually incorrect’.
She argued that she was never in the restaurant itself but in the shop on the first floor. Smart said: ‘At no point in the footage was I in the restaurant, I was in the shop.
‘In the footage I was polite and calm. I would claim that the force which was used to remove me was assault.’
The trial continues.