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Vegan activist on trial after McDonald’s protest

Dylan Roffey is charged with criminal damage and resisting a police officer.

Vegan activist Dylan Roffey wearing a pig mask during the protest in the McDonald’s restaurant (DxeBrighton/PA)
Vegan activist Dylan Roffey wearing a pig mask during the protest in the McDonald’s restaurant (DxeBrighton/PA)

By Michael Drummond, PA South East Correspondent

A vegan activist is standing trial after protesters entered a McDonald’s restaurant wearing pig and chicken masks and red “blood” was thrown around.

Up to 20 activists “overwhelmed” security at the Brighton fast food chain on May 17 holding signs and chanting through a megaphone.

More activists gathered outside Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday in support of Dylan Roffey, who is standing trial in connection with the incident earlier this year.

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Dylan Roffey wearing a pig mask during the protest in which the court was told red paint was thrown around (DxeBrighton/PA)

Roffey, 24, is charged with criminal damage and resisting a police officer and denies the offences.

She appeared in court wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that read “meat the victims”.

McDonald’s assistant manager Robert Frost, who was in charge of the restaurant on the evening the incident occurred, told the court that between 10 and 20 protesters had arrived at about 7.30pm.

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Dylan Roffey, right, alongside supporters outside Brighton Magistrates’ Court (DxeBrighton/PA)

“They overwhelmed security,” he said.

“One of them had a loudspeaker chanting slogans about how there is animals being killed and they began throwing red paint, to show blood, across the premises.

“Some of the customers were quite upset.”

Mr Frost told the court that he called the police and many of the protesters started to leave, but one woman refused.

He said he saw officers having to pull her up and take her outside.

Roffey’s solicitor Meredoc McMinn sought to have the resisting a police officer charge dismissed on the basis of “unreasonable force”.

“These were protesters who went into McDonald’s and poured some coloured dye with water,” the lawyer said.

“I would submit that the force was unreasonable and excessive.

“She could not have been obstructing the officer because he agreed she was not able to move.”

District judge Amanda Kelly declined to dismiss the charge and the case continues.

PA

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