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Exeter University student and Just Stop Oil activist pleads not guilty to criminal damage

Edred Whittingham defaced a snooker table at the World Snooker Championship in 2023


A University of Exeter student has pleaded not guilty to criminal damage charges after taking part in a Just Stop Oil protest.

Edred Ilmari Heath Whittingham deposited orange powder on a snooker table during a match at the World Snooker Championship in April of last year.

Appearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, he pleaded not guilty alongside another protestor, Daily Mail reports.

Whittingham, better known on campus as Eddie, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court just two days ago for his protest action at Crucible Theatre on April 17, 2023.

Wearing a Just Stop Oil T-shirt to the event last year, Eddie leaped onto the snooker table during a match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry. He then proceeded to scatter the all-too-familiar shade of orange powder across the table, known to Exeter students after a Just Stop Oil protest on campus in October.

At the same event, former museum professional and current Just Stop Oil activist, Margaret Reid, made a similar attempt on a second table. However, Reid failed to reach the table after being tackled by the game’s referee. Who knew snooker could be such a contact sport?

District Judge Daniel Curtis granted both Whittingham and Reid unconditional bail until their trial on May 10 at the same court.

Yet another unfortunate strike against the University of Exeter’s Philosophy, Politics, and Economics cohort, Whittingham studied PPE at University of Exeter, on the Streatham campus.

This is not the first time the young activist has caught The Exeter Tab’s attention. He previously interrupted his own graduation ceremony in July with a similar Just Stop Oil protest on campus, covering the steps outside the forum with orange paint.

Over the past year, Exeter’s university campus has fallen victim to Just Stop Oil activism twice, once by the actions of Whittingham and again more recently by George Simonson in October of last year.

Recent Edinburgh University graduate, George Simonson, appeared on the Streatham campus, painting the exterior of Exeter University’s Forum with red and orange paint above its foyer entrance.

Simonson’s actions came after Exeter University was named the largest beneficiary of fossil fuel funding among UK universities at the beginning of the October month, having received a figure of £14.7 million from Shell. Whittingham’s actions at the summer graduation seemed to have been driven by a similar motive, given that Shell and Exeter University established a collaborative framework in 2017.

Whittingham captured a second wave of headlines again in April of last year, stating to GB News that he opposes having children on “moral grounds”. He argues that because he “can’t guarantee that there will be a habitable planet for them to grow up into”, he would not be having children.

To echo a student interviewed by RadioExe back in July 2023, “Now we know there really is a Dick Whittingham.”

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