A former Paralympic athlete jailed after gluing himself to the roof of a plane as part of an Extinction Rebellion protest has had his sentence reduced.
James Brown, of Exeter in Devon, was jailed for 12 months in September after being convicted of causing a public nuisance.
But now three appeal judges have today ruled the sentence should be cut to four months.
Lawyers representing Brown, who has been registered blind since birth, claimed when lodging the appeal in December there had been no reason to charge him with causing a public nuisance.
They argued the sentence was ‘manifestly disproportionate’ and said Brown suffered ‘unique hardship’ in prison due to his disability.
They added he could have been charged with aggravated trespass and claimed custody was not justified on the facts of the case.
The three judges – Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Goss – ruled at the Court of Appeal to cut Brown’s sentence but dismissed his appeal against conviction.
At a previous hearing they said Brown, who is in his late 50s, could be released on bail pending their ruling.
But they imposed a bail condition which banned him from entering any airport where commercial flights operate.
Brown, who is a double gold medallist from Belfast, livestreamed his protest attempt for an hour while he was on top of the British Airways plane on October 10, 2019.
He climbed onto the aircraft at London City Airport before gluing his right hand to it, then wedged his mobile phone in the door to prevent it from closing.
Southwark Crown Court was told during his trial that 337 passengers saw their flights cancelled, and the disruption cost the airline around £40,000.
Judge Gregory Perrins, who originally jailed him, said when passing sentence Brown had ‘cynically used’ his disability and put his ‘own life at risk’ to carry out the stunt.
Brown, who represented himself at his trial, denied one count of causing a public nuisance and claimed he had ‘to do something spectacular’ to bring attention to the climate crisis.
He was found guilty after a jury deliberated for less than an hour.
Brown represented Great Britain in cycling and athletics, before going on to represent Ireland in cross-country skiing.