18 Feb 2016

Court for Wgtn defence forum protestors

2:55 pm on 18 February 2016

Dozens of people arrested following a protest outside a weapons conference in the capital last November have reappeared in the Wellington District Court.

A total of 26 people are facing a range of charges including disorderly behaviour, obstructing police and wilful trespass.

Some of the group are eligible for diversion, a process by which those involved in low level offending can avoid a conviction, and they will reappear in court next month to start that process.

Those denying the charges have also been remanded on bail for trial dates to be set.

Eliana Darroch, who tried to block the doors to the weapons conference, pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly behaviour.

Her lawyer, Philippa Sullivan said Darroch passionately believed in the cause and had travelled to Wellington by bus from Auckland for today's court appearance.

Judge Peter Hobbs fined her $200, taking into account her early guilty plea and lack of previous convictions.

Some of the protesters laughed loudly during the hearing and Judge Hobbs told them they were not in a comic theatre and they would be charged with contempt if they did not respect the court.