Mum who ran into eco protesters says she's suffered a 'huge injustice'
‘I just wanted to get my son to school’: Mother, 35, who nudged Insulate Britain protesters with her Range Rover says she has suffered a ‘huge injustice’ as she faces driving ban
- Sherrilyn Speid, from Grays, Essex, was filmed driving at eco activists last year
- Yesterday she admitted a charge of dangerous driving after ‘nudging’ a protester
- But the mother, who will be sentenced in May, had an assault charge dropped
A mother who used her Range Rover to try to move an Insulate Britain protester who was blocking the road while she was on the school run says she feels her driving ban is ‘a huge injustice’.
Sherrilyn Speid of Grays, Essex, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving when she appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Monday. A charge of assault was dropped.
She had been at the wheel of her black Range Rover Sport when she came across an Insulate Britain protest near the M25 on October 13 2021 at about 8.30am.
She got out of the vehicle to confront the protesters and, after they refused to move, she drove her car at them – causing one to scream out in panic.
The scene was caught on camera by a passer-by and footage was shown in court.
After being convicted yesterday, the 35-year-old told LBC this morning of the impact of the court’s decision.
‘It’s a huge injustice for me. I feel devastated, I feel let down,’ she said.
‘I’ve got no previous convictions, I’ve worked hard my whole life and I literally just wanted to get my son to school.
‘He has anxiety, he’s just started Year Seven. I needed to be there for him, to support him.
‘He’s had 18 months of school prior to that through the pandemic. Education is really important to me. I just feel very let down.’
Sherrilyn Speid, 35, of Grays, Essex, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving when she appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Monday
After being convicted yesterday, the 35-year-old told LBC this morning of the impact of the court’s decision
Ms Speid went on to explain how the conviction will see her insurance premium soar as well as having an effect on her business – in which she teachers life skills like setting up bank accounts to young people with learning difficulties – and her ability to chauffeur her son to and from activities.
‘I’m not able to drive, I can’t get my son to football now which he enjoys and flourishes at, I can’t take him to school,’ she said.
‘He’s got a really severe leg injury, he’s on crutches today and has had to get on a bus.
‘Obviously I’m too scared to even speak my mind at this point because I know the police are not going to be on my side, they’re going to be against me, and I wouldn’t be able to do anything.’
In court yesterday, prosecutor Ashley Petchey said there were three protesters sitting across the road and queues of traffic had built up behind them.
Speid got out of her vehicle and ‘remonstrated’ with the protesters, the court heard.
A woman is seen telling the protesters they must ‘move out of the way now’ and ‘my son needs to go to school and I need to go to work’.
She also says: ‘My son is 11 and he needs to go to school.’
Of the dangerous driving count, Mr Petchey said: ‘It is not an excessive speed as the driver was using the brakes quite heavily.
‘This is done on two occasions. The Range Rover stops very close to the female protester.’
Mr Petchey said the dangerous driving meant that injury could have been caused.
He said: ‘Clearly this was an incident where there was a risk, even if no injury was caused.’
An assault charge against Speid, in which it was alleged that protester Bethany Mogie had been beaten, was dismissed, after the prosecution said it would produce no evidence
Sherrilyn Speid was filmed driving her car into Insulate Britain protesters in the clip
Reacting to footage of the confrontation, Speid wrote on Instagram: ‘I never ran them over, I gave them a nudge. So dramatic man’
An assault charge against Speid, in which it was alleged that protester Bethany Mogie had been beaten, was dismissed, after the prosecution said it would produce no evidence.
The prosecution said it would ask for £310 in costs and a pre-sentence report was ordered.
Peter Hoche, chairman of the magistrates bench, unconditionally bailed Speid to next appear at Basildon Magistrates Court on May 6 for sentencing.
He also banned Speid from driving by issuing her with an interim driving disqualification.
Speid previously told MailOnline: ‘I was just standing up for my son. I’m very passionate about that.
‘I just wanted to get him to school. ‘We’re going through a pandemic – they’ve had enough time off already.’
Reacting earlier to footage of the confrontation, Speid wrote on Instagram today: ‘I never ran them over, I gave them a nudge. So dramatic man.’
Speid was revealed as an entrepreneur who started a food business during lockdown, providing Caribbean food to the local Essex community.
Her business then spread across Essex and London with companies asking her to cater events.
Speid, who was infuriated with Insulate Britain protesters blocking the road, told them ‘I’ll drive through you then’
Ms Speid started a food business during lockdown, providing Caribbean food to the local Essex community
Her food business spread across Essex and London during lockdown with companies asking her to cater events
A former neighbour in nearby Purfleet said: ‘It is typical of Sherrilyn. She will always stand up for herself and her loved ones.
‘We’ve all seen the video and knew it was her straight away. She would do anything for her son.’
In a magazine interview earlier this year Sherrilyn told how important her 11-year-old son was to her saying he was ‘my biggest motivation’.
She said: ‘He’s such an inspiration to me because of his positive, optimistic nature and his will to keep going and never give up.
‘If I’m having an off day, he will say ‘let’s say some positive affirmations, go for a run or use a mindfulness app’.’
Sherrilyn said she believed her ‘purpose in life’ was to ‘support and empower others’ and said she liked to ‘surround myself with go-getters and like-minded people who encourage and motivate me to reach my full potential’.
She added: ‘I am truly blessed to have family and friends who really believe in me and my vision.’
Sherrilyn told how she launched a Caribbean-style ‘soul food’ business in April last year to prepare covid packages for members of the local community in the wake of the pandemic.
Sherrilyn – who had previously worked with young people as a family support worker – said her long term goal was to open a mental health centre for disadvantaged children and young people.
She said she would like to run cooking programmes to teach life skills.
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