A MURDER trial at Chester Crown Court was delayed this morning (Friday, January 14) after anti-vaccination protesters blocked the entrance to the crown court.

Eight police vehicles were deployed to The Castle after a group of 15-20 protesters arrived at the building.

They were prevented from entering the building by security, and police quickly arrived to guard the entrance.

They had previously been at Chester Magistrates Court, and police have confirmed two people have been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.


Protesters block entry to Chester Crown Court.

Protesters block entry to Chester Crown Court.


They are understood to be the same group of protesters who demonstrated at the crown court on August 13, 2021, in an 'attempted occupation'.

The Standard understands that the group of protesters had come originally to Chester Magistrates Court as one of their members was in the dock, facing an allegation of assaulting a police officer during an anti-vaccination rally.

Strict social distancing measures are enforced in the magistrates courtroom, limiting the number of people who can be in the courtroom at any one time, including members of the public.


Protesters block entry to Chester Crown Court.

Protesters block entry to Chester Crown Court.


Having gone on to protest outside the crown court building, the demonstrators left at about 11.30am, telling security they would return in the afternoon.

Honorary Recorder of Chester, Judge Steven Everett, has been presiding over a murder trial taking place this week at the crown court.

A 17-year-old murder suspect from Crewe, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of fatally stabbing Winsford man Keagan Crimes.

The court session was adjourned for 15 minutes due to the protest.

He told those in court: "Apparently we have some freedom of the land protestors outside the building. It is believed the protest relates to a case at the Magistrates Court, but they have now decided to come over here.

"We had a similar incident a couple of years ago, but it was a Friday afternoon, and caused minimal disruption."

A Cheshire police spokesperson said: "We're aware that a protest has taken place outside Chester Magistrates Court this morning (Friday 14 January).

"Officers have been at the scene to monitor the situation and have arrested two people on suspicion of a public order offence. They are currently in police custody.

"A dispersal order has also been issued to ensure the court can continue to operate."