An eco-activist criticized Sir David Attenborough while dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant for not doing enough about climate change, a court heard today.
Emma Smart, 45, allegedly yelled “at the top of her lungs” at the broadcaster while trying to enjoy a meal at Catch at the Old Fish Market in Weymouth, Dorset.
In police body camera footage shown to magistrates, Smart appeared to criticize the 96-year-old natural historian for not doing more to support her and her fellow activists.
The marine biologist yelled at him: ‘The town I love, Weymouth, will be under water and you sit in this restaurant for dinner.’
The court heard that Smart, an activist with campaign groups Animal Rebellion and Insulate Britain, entered the upscale fish restaurant on November 17 last year.
Emma Smart arrives at Poole Magistrates Court in Dorset this morning for her trial to begin.
Sir David Attenborough was dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant at the time of the incident.
The staff prevented him from going up the stairs to the second floor where Sir David was sitting before calling the police.
She yelled at the famous naturalist, begging 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 35 climate activists in prison right now.
‘David, please stand up for us and support us. David, I have admired you all my life and I have listened to you.
The town I love, Weymouth, will be under water and you will sit in this restaurant for dinner.
‘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 the scientists.
Emma Smart smiles as she arrives in the rain at Poole Magistrates Court in Dorset this morning.
Smart was wearing a jacket emblazoned with ‘deeds not words’ when he arrived at court today.
Smart turns and smiles as he 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 was demanding to speak to David Attenborough, who was in the restaurant that night.”
The policemen told him that he was not going to be able to talk to him and asked him to leave the place.
When she didn’t, they took her off the premises and once outside, and as they escorted her out, she yelled at him.
“As a result, she was arrested, when interviewed by police she did not offer any comment.”
PC Callum Hall recounted how Smart fell to the ground like a ‘dead weight’ and had to be carried by his arms and legs.
He said: ‘We arrived around 8pm and spoke to Emma’s partner outside the restaurant.
“He told us that technically they had kidnapped his wife, locking her in the restaurant.
“We entered the building and there was a staff member blocking the way for Emma to get to the second floor where David Attenborough was.
Smart is alleged to have refused to leave the restaurant in Weymouth last November.
The incident occurred at the Catch at the Old Fishmarket restaurant on November 17 last year.
Sir David Attenborough had been filming in Weymouth at the time for a fishing documentary.
The incident occurred at The Catch at the Old Fish Market restaurant in Weymouth (file image)
“The staff member seemed stressed because he had a high-profile guest and wanted everything to run smoothly.
‘Emma continued to scream at the top of her lungs even after we repeatedly asked her not to. The manager said he was going to take her out if we didn’t.
“We warned him again, but then he fell to the ground like a dead weight, so I carried his legs and my colleague carried his arms.”
“When we got out, she kept screaming as loud as she could.”
As she was escorted out, she continued to ‘scream’ that she wanted to speak to Sir David as loud as she could.
Smart was arrested for failing to comply with 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 charge and was tried at Poole Magistrates’ Court.
She represented herself, describing the police statements as “completely factually incorrect.”
He argued that he was never in the restaurant itself, but in the store on the first floor. Smart said: “At no point in the footage was I in the restaurant, I was in the store.
“In the footage I was polite and calm. I would say that the force that was used to remove me was assault.
The trial continues.