Climate protesters who squashed cake into King Charles waxwork told to pay damages
Eilidh McFadden and Tom Johnson convicted of criminal damage after action at Madame Tussauds and must pay £3,500 compensation
The climate protesters who threw cake into the face of a waxwork of King Charles in Madame Tussauds have been ordered to pay the London tourist attraction £3,500 in compensation.
Eilidh McFadden, 20, and Tom Johnson, 29, were found guilty of criminal damage at Westminster magistrates court on Tuesday for each smashing a vegan chocolate cake topped with shaving foam into the waxwork on 24 October last year.
The court heard the waxwork needed to be repainted after the substances were wiped off, while its jacket, shirt, bowtie and real hair wig needed to be cleaned.
The court heard some staff had to work an extra five hours, while admission was halted for almost an hour, which could have prevented up to 900 people entering during the busy half-term holiday.
Convicting them of causing £3,500 of criminal damage, district judge Neeta Minhas told the pair she was satisfied the damage was “significant” and “not minor or temporary”.
“If the damage is significant, even within a peaceful protest, it would not be disproportionate to have a conviction and I find you both guilty,” she said.
Minhas gave self-employed artist Johnson, who has no previous convictions, a 12-month conditional discharge but ordered him to pay £1,750 compensation and £250 costs.
McFadden, who has 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.
Both had denied the charges.
Jonathan Bryan, for the prosecution, had said: “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.”
Giving evidence in her own defence, McFadden countered: “Shaving foam on a waxwork is nothing compared to the damage we see from the climate crisis.”
COVER PHOTO: The pair were found guilty of criminal damage for each smashing a vegan chocolate cake topped with shaving foam on the waxwork’s face. Photograph: Rich Feldgate/Just Stop Oil/PA