Man accused of dumping milk in protests pleads not guilty to criminal damage

The court heard they each allegedly took a basket with 20 bottles of milk to a value of £38 and emptied their contents on to goods and the carpet at the store.

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A protester may have caused £100,000 in damage after allegedly pouring milk onto the carpet of a high-end London department store, a court has heard.

Steve Bone, 40, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, of Animal Rebellion, is accused of targeting Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges on Friday along with Sofia Fernandes Pontes, 26.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of criminal damage in relation to the alleged Fortnum & Mason incident at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors told the court the alleged incident took place at 11.30am.

Animal Rebellion activist Steve Bone, 40, of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, London.
Animal Rebellion activist Steve Bone, 40, of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, London.

The court heard they each allegedly took a basket with 20 bottles of milk to a value of £38 and emptied their contents on to goods and the carpet at the store.

The cost of the damage to the carpet, which was laid a year ago, was said to be unknown at this stage but would exceed £5,000, while the estimated total cost should the entire carpet need replacing was £100,000, the court heard.

Bone also indicated a not guilty plea for a charge of theft at the store as well one count of theft and one count of criminal damage in relation to the alleged incident a Selfridges.

He is accused of causing £273 of damage in that incident.

Bone, who is unemployed, was granted conditional bail not to visit the two stores and will appear at Southwark Crown Court on November 7.

Fernandes Pontes, 26, of Copenhagen Street, Islington, north London, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 7.