A protester stood on a former MP’s roof for around 57 hours to get his son out of foster care, a court heard.
Eugene Lukjanenko, 60, of Kent, staged the protest atop the roof of the home of former Crewe and and Nantwich MP and Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson in May 2017.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to one charge of harassing Mr Timpson at his home, and also denied a further charge that he refused to leave the property after he was given an order to do so by police.
During Lukjanenko’s trial at Chester Magistrates Court, prosecutor Kate Marchuk told the magistrates that the defendant and another man had used ladders to climb onto a flat roof at the front of Mr Timpson’s Tarporley home, while other protesters against “forced adoption” protested in the MPs driveway.
He first ascended to the roof on Saturday, May 6, and did not come down again until the evening of Monday, May 9.
Mr Timpson was called by the prosecution to give evidence, during which he said that he had gone out onto his driveway when he saw a man walking up towards the house, claiming he had come to fix his roof.
A second man, the defendant, also came up the driveway and appeared to be filming the incident on a mobile phone, and Mr Timpson said that throughout the incident he had felt threatened and intimidated.
Mr Timpson said he had tried to alleviate the situation by talking to the men, but the second man had said “I want my son” and other words to that effect.
The court heard that the situation was getting “out of control”. The police were called and the protesters on the driveway were moved to the road, but the men on the roof did not come down.
Eventually, the other man did come down off the roof, but Lukjanenko remained.
However following lengthy negotiations with police over the next two days, during which he was told by police that he would be arrested for his actions, Lukjanenko eventually came down on the evening of May 8, was assessed by paramedics and then arrested.
During his police interview, a summary of which was read to the court, Lukjanenko said that he was unhappy with the fact his son was in foster care and the circumstances surrounding his care.
He said he had staged the protest as he wanted to have a meeting with Mr Timpson, in the hope that he could help within his remit as Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families.
Mr Timpson told the court that he would not have been able to personally intervene in this case anyway,
Ms Marchuk said to Lukjanenko: “It was not to prevent a crime. It was to take the law into your own hands because you did not like the situation you and your son found yourself in.”
But Lukjanenko disagreed, saying: “I did not go up on the roof for Edward Timpson, I went to save my son.”
The magistrates found the defendant guilty of both charges, with the chair of the bench saying: “The defendant in his own evidence stated that he made the journey from Kent to attend Edward Timpson’s house in the company of others to speak to him. Ladders were taken as a backup plan if Edward Timpson did not want to speak to them.
“We are very clear in this case that the defence of necessity is not made up because there was no immediate threat of serious injury or death, there were numerous ways of dealing with this situation, it took place over a number of hours and travel and planning were put in place for this backup plan.”
Lukjanenko will be sentenced on Friday, October 13 and was bailed until that date.