Barry Hearn tells Piers Morgan plan to ‘ruin Just Stop Oil protestor’s life’

Furious man pushes over Just Stop Oil protestor before throwing their social media guy’s phone across the street

Barry Hearn revealed he plans to ‘ruin the life’ of a Just Stop Oil protestor who forced play to be suspended at the World Snooker Championship in April. An individual ran from the crowd and covered the table in an orange substance, forcing a match between Joe Perry and Rob Milkins to be rescheduled.

Just Stop Oil – an environmental activist group – claimed credit for the protest. Another individual had allegedly attempted to gain access to the second table at the Crucible Theatre but was stopped by security.

Now, Matchroom president Hearn has said he wrote to the people impacted by the protest.

Hearn told Piers Morgan that his team came up with the idea of each individual taking the protestor to court in the aftermath of the event. “I was frustrated when I spent two and a half hours on the M25 [during a Just Stop Oil protest]. That’s another time, another story, but the same principle applies. It’s putting ordinary people out of pocket or out of place,” Hearn told Piers Morgan Uncensored.

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“I’m frustrated because what can I do? Do I make the whole [Crucible Theatre] into a fortress of security, take away that very special atmosphere? I don’t want to do that. It’s never been necessary before.

“I’ve had two streakers, we got rid of them quite quickly. They weren’t the same, they were just extroverts. Here we have a situation where we sat down as a group and said, ‘What do we do? Do we tighten security? Do we body-search everybody?’ But is that what sport’s really about? My book says no.

“I’m trying to think about how I can be constructive and how we can deal with it. And we came up with an idea of the small claims court. We felt that all these people had spent money on a ticket, on their hotels, on their travel, maybe babysitting, whatever.

“So I wrote to the 410 people who witnessed that and lost the table they were supposed to be watching and said, ‘look, I believe you’ve got a claim, we will help you. We’ll help you formulate [the claim], and we’ll take this attention-seeking little boy, let’s ruin his life. Let’s take him to the small claims court as many times as possible’.

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“I wrote to 410 people – 64 people have come back and said, ‘yes, we’d like to be part of this’. So now our lawyers are working with them and asking them how they can help them. Sixty-four different cases in the small claims court, where he will be expected to make an appearance.”

Morgan then interjected: “I like this. It will really get to the hearts of those people, if they actually have to make such a sacrifice. They might think about the way they protest. I’ve got no problem with people doing normal, peaceful protest, but when they deliberately wreck things, when they stop people going to work…”

Hearn continued: “They’re not putting a point across. They are just disrupting for disruption’s sake.”

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