FIVE Animal Rebellion protestors have denied all charges against them following a protest outside a McDonald’s distribution in Houndmills.

The national demonstration saw activists take a stand, constructing bamboo towers outside four of the fast food chain’s major warehouses, including in Basingstoke.

The activists were calling on the company to commit to an entirely meat free menu by 2025 in light of the climate emergency.

Eight people were arrested and charged with aggravated trespass.

They were also charged with restricting access for employees to the warehouse on Houndmills Road.

The group, none of whom are from Basingstoke, were removed by police and arrested on Saturday evening (May 22), after around 12 hours of demonstration.

Demonstrators arrived at 4am, setting up bamboo structures outside both entrances and pledging to remain tied to the top of them for 24 hours.

Today (Tuesday, June 8), five of the group appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court, pleading not guilty to both charges.

They are: Jennifer D’Netto, 51, of Rothwell Road, Malvern Wells, Worcestershire; Elizabeth Flynn, 32, of no fixed abode; Rose Patterson, 31, of no fixed abode; Kiera Ilett-Jones, 24, of Albemarle Road, Beckenham, Kent; and Adam Haigh, 21, of no fixed abode.

David Fossler, prosecuting, said that all five defendants had “made no comment in interview”.

Grace Loncraine, defending Mr Haigh, and Aneka Thirurajah, defending the other four, said they would be opposing the charges on multiple grounds.

District Judge Tim Pattinson adjourned the case until Thursday, June 10, when a further three members of the group are due to enter pleas on the same charges at the same court.