Etienne Stott has avoided jail time for a protest linked to an oil tanker ©Getty Images

Olympic gold medallist in canoeing, Etienne Stott, has been cleared of tampering with an oil tanker along with four other Extinction Rebellion protestors after it was ruled they had not glued themselves to a motor vehicle.

Britain's London 2012 C2 Olympic champion stood on the charges alongside co-defendants Amy Rugg-Easey, Nichola Andersen, Erika Curren and Shaun Davies, who stuck themselves to a Shell tanker set to leave a petrol station in Paddington on April 16 last year.

They had to be removed by de-bonding police afterwards.

During their trial, District Judge John Zani ruled they had glued themselves to the trailer and not the motor vehicle.

"If you have the cab and you have the trailer, the trailer is incapable of self-movement without input from the cab and effectively the linkages which I have been concentrating on are safety features so far as breaking, lighting and alarm," said Zani.

"They don't, in my view, transform what is at the back into a different form of vehicle.

"On the basis of that there is no case to answer here in relation to any of the defendants and the cases against each of the five are dismissed."

Extinction Rebellion has caused unrest in the United Kingdom due to its environmental protests ©Getty Images
Extinction Rebellion has caused unrest in the United Kingdom due to its environmental protests ©Getty Images

Stott and Rugg-Easey climbed on top of the oil tanker during the protest, making statements about climate change before gluing themselves to a bar on top of the tanker, while Davies glued himself to a pipe under the tanker and Andersen and Curren did the same at the rear of the vehicle.

The pair on the top were removed with a specialist crane and a special frame.

The petrol station is said to have lost £8,000 ($9,900/€9,100) in sales during its closure due to the protest.

Stott won the Olympic gold medal in C2 canoeing with Tim Baillie.

It is not the first time the canoeist has run into trouble with the law as a climate activist, having been part of Extinction Rebellion's protest on Waterloo Bridge in 2019 and pleaded guilty in January 2021 for a breach of Section 40 of the Public Order Act.

He was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs amounting to £300 ($370/€340).

Stott later breached his bail terms by entering the City of London in September that year, but was not arrested.

He was part of a group that blockaded Fawley Refinery in Hampshire in October 2021 with Extinction Rebellion, alongside fellow Olympian and British sailor Laura Baldwin.