An eco-activist barracks Sir David Attenborough while dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant for not doing enough about climate change, a court has heard today.
Emma Smart, 45, reportedly screamed ‘at the top of her lungs’ to the broadcaster as he tried to enjoy a meal at the Catch at the Old Fish Market in Weymouth, Dorset.
In police bodycam footage shown to magistrates, Smart appeared to criticize the 96-year-old natural historian for not doing more to support her and fellow activists.
The marine biologist yelled at him, “The town I love, Weymouth, will be flooded and you’re sitting there eating in this restaurant.”
The court heard that Smart, an activist from the Animal Rebellion and Insulate Britain campaign groups, entered the posh seafood restaurant on November 17 last year.
Emma Smart arrives at Poole Magistrates’ Court in Dorset this morning to begin her trial
Sir David Attenborough was dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant at the time of the incident
Staff blocked her up the stairs to the second floor where Sir David was sitting before calling the police.
She shouted at the famous naturalist and begged him to support activists like her.
The video showed her yelling, “David Attenborough! I’m Emma Smart, I’m a biologist. I am a scientist. There are currently 35 climate activists in prison.
“David, please stand up for us and support us. David, I’ve looked up to you and listened to you all my life.
‘The town I love, Weymouth, will be flooded and you’ll be sitting there eating in this restaurant.
‘I’ve spent my whole life just like you, David. You said you understood me. Are you risking everything? You can stop this. Don’t let them arrest scientists.’
Emma Smart smiles as she arrives at Poole Magistrates’ Court in Dorset this morning in the rain
Smart was wearing a jacket that read “actions not words” when she arrived at court today
Smart turns and smiles as she enters Poole Magistrates’ Court in Dorset this morning
Police officers repeatedly asked Smart to leave before arresting her for causing a disturbance.
Victoria Hill, Prosecutor, said: ‘The defendant demanded to speak to David Attenborough who was in the restaurant that evening.
She was told by the police officers that she would not be able to talk to him and asked to leave the premises.
When she didn’t, she was removed from the premises and once outside, and as she was escorted out inside, she yelled at him.
“She was arrested because of this. When questioned by the police, she did not comment.”
PC Callum Hall related how Smart fell to the floor like a ‘dead weight’ and had to be carried by her arms and legs.
He said: ‘We arrived around 8pm and spoke to Emma’s partner outside the restaurant.
“He told us they technically kidnapped his wife by locking her in the restaurant.
“We entered the building and an employee blocked the way for Emma to go to the second floor where David Attenborough was.
Smart allegedly refused to leave the Weymouth restaurant last November
The incident happened on November 17 last year at restaurant Catch at the Old Fishmarket
Sir David Attenborough was in Weymouth filming for a fisheries documentary at the time
The incident took place at The Catch at the Old Fish Market eatery in Weymouth (file image)
“The member of staff looked stressed because they had a high profile guest and they wanted it to go well.
“Emma kept screaming at the top of her lungs, even after we repeatedly asked her not to. The manager said he would have her removed if we didn’t.
“We warned her again, but then she fell to the floor like a dead weight, so I carried her legs and my colleague carried her arms.
“When we came out she kept screaming as loud as she could.”
As she was being escorted out, she kept ‘screaming’ that she wanted to speak to Sir David as loudly as possible.
Smart was arrested for disobeying a Section 35 order under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to disperse from the area.
Smart, who is from Weymouth, denied the charges and is on trial at Poole Magistrates’ Court.
She herself filed a report and described the police statements as ‘completely factually incorrect’.
She argued that she was never in the restaurant itself but in the shop on the first floor. Smart said, “At no point in the footage was I in the restaurant, I was in the shop.
“In the images I was polite and calm. I would argue that the force used to remove me was assault.”
The process continues.