An environmental protestor from Wokingham has been fined for gluing himself to the frame of a £3.6 million painting.

Simon Bramwell, of Twyford alongside four others were ordered to pay £486 each for criminal damage following a demonstration at the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly on July 5 last year.

During the Just Stop Oil (JSO) protest the group caused £180 of criminal damage to the artworks frame whilst gluing themselves to the life-size copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper including £539.40 of damage to a nearby sofa.

On Wednesday (8/2), following a two-day trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court, District Judge William Nelson explained that the museum was forced to close for the day due to the damage.

Bramwell was joined by Jessica Agar, 22, Tristian Strange, 40, Caspar Hughes, 51, and Lucy Porter, 47.

Following the sentencing, Bramwell told reporters that their fines would not deter them from taking part in future protests and that he believes da Vinci would have supported them.

He said: “I am confident that if Leonardo da Vinci were looking down on us, he would 100 per cent agree with what we’ve done.

“He was quoted saying that ‘nature never breaks her own laws’. But we are breaking nature’s laws every day and as a result we’re killing the planet.”

When asked whether he was disappointed with the outcome of their case, he said: “I’m always disappointed because once again the law is failing the people of Britain, the law is failing the planet.

“As regards to this particular case, we do what we believe we have to do according to our consciences, and according to the hard science.”


He told the court that the “primary cause” of their protest “was to gain media attention and not to cause damage to a work of art”.

However, he agreed with prosecutor Robert Simpson’s argument that the protesters were “reckless” in that they knew damage to the frame would be a “by-product” of their actions.

The judge described the case as “unusual” because all of the witnesses, including the defendants, were “credible” and had given “detailed” accounts of the large amount of planning which went into their protest.

District Judge Nelson added that the defendants “took efforts to minimise the damage they would cause” by experimenting with gluing themselves to different types of wood beforehand, and using soluble spray paint.

They also targeted the Royal Academy of Arts because it had lower footfall than other galleries which would minimise the risk of “things getting out of control”, he said.

Outlining the reason for the terms of their punishment, the judge said: “I accept that the damage value if you take away the sofa is only £180.

“This is not a huge amount of money.

“However, the value of the damage is not the only barometer of which one measures its significance.

“The gallery had to shut for a day and rope off the area, and the repairs required proper, managed, thought-out conservation work by experts to ensure that the intrinsic value of the painting was the same.”

District Judge Nelson sentenced them all equally on the basis that each had been “accessories” to Hughes’ additional act through their joint planning of the protest.