Protesters gathered outside Bolton Crown Court to defend the historic right of juries to find people not guilty based on “conscience".

The four protesters and a six-month-old baby came together outside the Black Horse Street court on a chilly spring morning on Friday, April 19 as part of the Defend Our Juries campaign.

Wendy Maycraft, a 66-year-old retired civil servant from Bolton, said that this was all in support of juries’ rights to acquit people based on their conscience, regardless of the judge’s directions.

She said: “I’m doing this because it’s so important that the legal system does not stop people from telling the whole truth in court and does not stop jurors from making the decision they think is right when they have all the information.

“Our society often seems to allow those in power to lie with impunity, but the truth, the whole truth, ought to matter.

The Bolton News: The protesters were there to defend the historic role of juriesThe protesters were there to defend the historic role of juries (Image: Newsquest)

“At times like these, it is more important than ever that rights which have been enshrined in law for hundreds of years are not abandoned.”

Their protest had been promoted by a case last September when the solicitor general Michael Tomlinson KC announced he would prosecute 68-year-old retired social worker Trudi Warner.

Mr Tomlinson said he would prosecute her for holding a sign up similar to those held by the protesters in Bolton outside Inner London Crown Court in March.

In October two women were arrested by the Metropolitan Police for similar actions.

The Bolton News: Peter Billington had appeared at a previous protest in DecemberPeter Billington had appeared at a previous protest in December (Image: Newsquest)

The following December, Peter Billington, a 75-year-old retired engineering worker demonstrated outside Bolton Crown Court in support of Ms Warner.

He was one of around 500 people across the country who gathered outside around 50 crown courts to emphasise the same message.

Joining the protest on Friday outside Bolton Crown Court was 42-year-old Dr Francesca Heffernan.

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She said: “As an educational psychologist and mum-of-two, I care so much about this issue of democracy and human rights that I'm prepared to come with my six-week-old baby.

“The idea that a retired social worker, Trudy Warner was arrested, and now potentially faces prison, just for holding a sign stating the law is truly worrying.

“You see this kind of thing happening in countries such as Russia, but you don't expect it here.

“I want my children and all the children I work with to grow up in a just and fair society which values freedom of expression and human rights, not this kind of repression."