Hearn Set To Launch Civil Action Against Protestor On Behalf Of “Robbed” Spectators

The World Championship match between Rob Milkins and Joe Perry was stopped on Tuesday after an activist threw orange powder on the table
22:31, 20 Apr 2023

Barry Hearn is planning to sue Just Stop Oil protestor Eddie Whittingham – on behalf of the spectators “robbed” by Monday’s protest.

Former World Snooker chairman Hearn was furious that the first session of a World Championship match between Rob Milkins and Joe Perry was stopped after activist Whittingham threw orange powder on the table.

The 25-year-old and Margaret Reid, 52, who was stopped from taking similar action on the adjacent table, have been bailed until June on suspicion of criminal damage.


But as well as possible criminal action for the pair, the student faces the prospect of civil actions in the small claims courts with Hearn ready to underwrite any costs for fans getting involved.

Hearn said: “That geezer who jumped on the table, he has upset me. He upset me a little bit more following his comment afterwards about how he couldn't care less about what happens.

“I also feel sorry for the project that he claims to represent. Actually he did it more harm than good. People don’t expect that.

“But my overriding consideration is that all those people bought a ticket and had their evening spoiled.

“So I am going to write to the people that missed out and offer to support them, on a no-win, no-fee basis.

“And I am going to suggest they all join me in taking civil action against that young man for the cost incurred in their ticket, their travel, their food.

“I don’t think people should take the mick, thinking that the poor old punter can just get treated like it just doesn’t matter.

“People who buy tickets for my events matter to me. I am considering at this stage that course of action – that I will take a civil action against that protestor.

“I want him to answer and I want my people to know that we were in their corner.  I want to send a message out to anyone else who wants to try it – we will do you as well.

“It is the 400 spectators who were on that side, I will write to them next week and say I am considering this, do you want to be part of this action?

“It will be the small claims court and there will be an awful lot of people going. Ordinary people have bought a ticket, taken a car or train, stayed overnight in a hotel there.

“They sat in the arena. And what they bought has not been supplied to them. On that night when he decided to invade our property, he effectively stole money from those people.

“Whether he is on a good cause or bad cause, it is nothing to do with it. I am going at him for what he did live on TV.

“I don’t think there is any doubt he is going to be found guilty and if I get my way even if 100 people say yes, I would like to be part of this.

“I will indemnify all costs, World Snooker Tour won’t make any money out of it, but if you want your money back, join us in this civil case. You might find he has to go to court 100 times! That is coming from me.

“I sell a million tickets a year across all my sporting events, I cannot stop what this world is turning into, but all I can say is: If you mess around with my events, this is what you can expect. I am not rolling over.

“I mean he also has a criminal case against him but that is nothing to do with me, that is the authorities. I want people to know that someone is watching their back.

“And if you have paid money to be entertained and someone has stopped that from happening, I want you to get your money back.

“Hopefully other sports will say the same thing. I want to see if the people who came on that day, if they want me to support them, I will support them.”

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