Eric Herbert
Eric Herbert

Why climate protester didn’t want community service

A SERIAL protester initially refused a magistrate's plan to sentence him to community service, saying he wouldn't consent to the punishment because he planned "on travelling a lot".

Eric Serge Herbert, 20, pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning on charges of public nuisance and creating a pedestrian traffic hazard during protests held by the Extinction Rebellion group in Brisbane's CBD on July 17.

Environmental activist Eric Herbert, pictured here during his arrest on July 17, has taken part in several protests in Brisbane’s CBD. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
Environmental activist Eric Herbert, pictured here during his arrest on July 17, has taken part in several protests in Brisbane’s CBD. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP

Police prosecutor Zoe Melksham said Herbert and a group of fellow protesters blocked the intersection of Countess and Secombe streets, with several members gluing themselves to the bitumen, causing "a large amount of traffic congestion" during peak hour traffic.

Ms Melksham said Herbert was later arrested and taken to the Brisbane Watchhouse over concerns he would cause more disruption.

"On searching the defendant at the watch-house, police located two tubes of open superglue in his pocket," she said.

Ms Melksham said these events caused "extreme disruption in the community," and called for him to be sentenced to a term of probation.

Magistrate Walter Ehrich offered Herbert 50 hours of community service, which Herbert initially rejected.

"I do plan on travelling a lot within the next two months," Herbert said. "I think a small fine would be appropriate, personally."

"Do you realise that public nuisance carries a term of imprisonment as a maximum penalty?" Mr Ehrich said.

The serial protester, who has previously been fined several times for disrupting traffic in Brisbane's CBD, later changed his mind and accepted the community service sentence.

Despite court documents listing Herbert as living in his parents' luxury waterfront mansion on the Sunshine Coast, he today told the court he spent most of his time 'couchsurfing' in Brisbane and asked to do his community service in Stones Corner.

When asked by the Magistrate why none of his previous fines had deterred him, Herbert claimed he was a "law-abiding citizen."

"You're not really, because you're charged with offences and you've pleaded guilty to them," Mr Ehrich said.

Herbert received 50 hours of community service and a $300 fine.