THE Stroud-based co-founder of Extinction Rebellion has been found guilty of causing damage put at £27,500 to a Government department in a protest against HS2.

Dr Gail Bradbrook was found guilty of causing criminal damage by breaking a reinforced security window at the Department of Transport HQ in Westminster.

Bradbrook climbed onto the entrance canopy and used a hammer and chisel to break a large pane of glass on October 15, 2019 during a wave of XR protests in the capital that year which resulted in thousands of arrests.

Wednesday's verdict followed a three-day trial at Isleworth Crown Court.

She will be sentenced on December 18.

Speaking afterwards, Dr Bradbrook, said she was ‘at peace’ with the verdict, which came after her admission that she had no defence in law.

Instead, she argued that authorities should be prosecuting the politicians and corporations causing criminal damage on a ‘planetary scale’, not those trying to stop harm.

However the judge directed the jury that this did not amount to a defence.

Speaking after the verdict, Dr Bradbrook said: “I’m at peace with the verdict.

"The judge gave the jury no choice by directing them that even if I did what I did to protect my own children, that was no defence in law.

"What does it tell us that there is no accountability for those causing damage on a national and planetary scale but that a mother taking action to protect her children, according to the scientific evidence, is treated as a criminal?

"Trust in a system that reaches such inhuman conclusions can’t last.”

Dr Bradbrook has been backed by naturalist Chris Packham said: “Shooting the brave messengers is vindictive, cruel, reckless and history will not look kindly upon the perpetrators of this kind of ‘justice’.

"It betrays any kind of ethical consideration and displays an abject disregard for our terrifying reality and the urgent need to address it. Shameful behaviour from the judiciary.”

And actress Emma Thompson added: “In the same way we honour the women who broke windows to gain the vote, so we will honour the people who break windows in order to gain real action in the face of deadly climate collapse.

"People who risk losing their freedom for the sake of other humans and for the protection of all future generations are not criminals but heroes.”