Dorset couple fined over Downing Street fake blood

A married couple have been convicted of daubing the gates and pavement of Downing Street with fake blood in a protest over the Israel-Gaza war.

Virginia Moffatt, 58, and Chris Cole, 60, from Dorset, were campaigning on 29 December 2023 for a ceasefire and an end to UK arms sales to Israel.

The Christian protesters were found guilty at City of London Magistrates' Court of criminal damage.

Cole was fined £692 because of prior offences while Moffatt was not fined.

The pair's bloody handprints and paint splashes caused "significant damage", Judge Patricia Evans told the court.

She said: "It took a professional cleaning company one and a half hours to clean. And the cost was £138."

According to an earlier statement released by campaign group FigTree, the pair said the government had "blood on its hands" after refusing to demand Israel end its bombing of Gaza.

On 13 December, the UK and Germany abstained over a United Nations resolution, backed by 153 countries, demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

FigTree said: "By refusing to back a ceasefire, and continuing to supply arms to Israel, our government is complicit with this slaughter."

The government has said it will continue to allow arms exports, in line with other "like-minded countries".

In March, the UK helped to pass a UN Security Council resolution for "an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties, leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire".

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