THREE Pro-Palestinian protesters caused £600,000 of damages during a 'peaceful protest' at a weapons factory.

Ethan Murphy, 21, Aisling Jackson, 24, and Cat Scothorne, 20, scaled the Thales UK building in Glasgow's Govan.

The trio smashed windows and damaged an air conditioning unit during the early morning raid on July 11 2022.

They were supported inside and outside the court during the four-day trial by a large number of protesters waving Palestine and anti-fascist flags.

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All three were found guilty on Tuesday at Glasgow Sheriff Court of malicious mischief. 

The charge states they climbed over a fence onto the roof and struck windows with a hammer, causing damage to them, and caused broken glass to fall into the building which exposed equipment within to the elements.

The charge goes on to say they rendered the premises uninhabitable for employees and they struck air conditioning units with a hammer, then removed components from them which made them inoperative. 

The trio were found not guilty to a separate charge of culpable and reckless conduct.

Glasgow Times:

The charge claimed they culpably and recklessly smashed windows, caused broken glass to fall into the building and discharged a smoke canister to the danger of employees as well as emergency service personnel.

History student Scothorne - who has one previous conviction liked to a protest - was prominent in the Just Stop Oil movement and has appeared on television. 

The court heard of Thales UK security officer Colin Brown who told the trial that the trio climbed a fence around 5.15am.

The building's fire alarm went off around 5.28am after a window was smashed.

He became aware of the three protesters who were positioned on the roof of the building above the administration area.

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Clare Ryan, defending Murphy, asked what he could see from his vantage point.

The witness replied: "I could see them smashing windows."

Ryan Sloan, defending Scothorne, asked if Mr Brown if he could recall her telling him what the protest was about.

Mr Brown stated: "It was a peaceful protest."

Police constable Darren Taylor, 45, claimed officers received a call that someone had "infiltrated the curtilage of the building."

The officer claimed that he saw three people hanging banners and flags.

He said: "I saw one of the females smashing windows with a hammer."

Glasgow Times:

The procurator fiscal depute asked the officer what was happening with the windows.

He replied: "The glass was coming in at that was falling in the building."

PC Taylor added that there was "danger" to anyone under the glass.

The officer claimed that he tried to engage with the group but there was no response.

PC Taylor claimed he later saw Murphy and one of the other women smashing the air conditioning unit.

The fiscal depute stated his closing speech that the damage cost the firm a total of £600,000 in repairs.

Glasgow Times: protest outside Glasgow Sheriff Courtprotest outside Glasgow Sheriff Court (Image: Newsquest)

He also asked the jury: "The Crown have taken the decision to prosecute - not on behalf of Thales UK or Israel or on behalf of the UK government.

"The Crown bring this [case to court] in the public interest."

The fiscal depute claimed that the trio admitted in their evidence that they did "scale the building, smashed windows and damaged an air conditioning unit."

He also stated that around 150 staff members were checked in at 7am on the morning of the incident.

Sentence was deferred pending background reports until January by Sheriff Iain Fleming.

The sheriff said: "You are educated, intelligent people - this is a significant breach.

"You have all passed the custodial threshold."

Murphy, of London, Jackson, of Birmingham and Scothorne, of Glasgow's Kelvinbridge, were granted bail meantime.