5th June 2023, Mumbai: A 60-year-old anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for conspiring to destroy 5G masts. Christine Grayson became obsessed with the belief that 5G masts were linked to the Covid-19 vaccine and joined an online chat group in 2021. Leeds Crown Court heard that she was a grandmother of previously good character, and she will be released after spending nine months on remand. Her co-defendant, Darren Reynolds, 60, was also convicted of terrorism offenses and received a 12-year prison sentence, with an additional year on licence.
Darren Reynolds, from Sheffield, was cleared of conspiracy to commit criminal damage in relation to 5G masts but was found guilty of terrorism offenses linked to his extreme right-wing, antisemitic, and racist views. Reynolds had advocated violence towards individuals he referred to as “traitors” and made derogatory remarks about Parliament and Members of Parliament. His defense argued that his actions were an extreme form of free speech, but the judge noted that he had applauded the murders of MPs Jo Cox and Sir David Amess.
The court heard that Christine Grayson, from York, and Darren Reynolds strongly opposed the roll-out of the 5G network. Grayson discussed “getting rid” of the mobile phone masts using expanding foam and angle grinders. She was found guilty of conspiracy to commit criminal damage, while Reynolds was acquitted of that charge. Police found a crossbow and crossbow bolts at Grayson’s home, and two replica assault rifles were discovered at Reynolds’ residence during the investigation.
In sentencing Grayson, Judge Kearl stated that she had taken the law into her own hands by discussing destructive methods for damaging the 5G masts in an internet chat group. He emphasized that there were lawful ways for her to express her views and that her actions demonstrated an intention to cause serious damage. Grayson was informed that she would be released on licence, but non-compliance would result in her return to prison to serve the remainder of her sentence. Reynolds was informed that he would be registered as a terrorist offender.
The case highlights the dangers of conspiracy theories and extremist views, as individuals may be driven to engage in illegal activities based on their beliefs. The court’s judgment sends a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated, emphasizing the need for responsible and lawful expression of dissenting opinions. The sentencing aims to deter individuals from pursuing destructive and potentially harmful actions in the name of conspiracy theories.
Article by PRITESH PATEL