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Aristocrat, 28, who featured in Tatler magazine 'sprayed HQ of Israeli arms firm with paint'

Doone Stormonth-Darling, 28, jumped out of a dark BMW carrying buckets of paint as militants attacked the Elbit Systems office with near military precision on October 10, 2020, prosecutors say

A pro-Palestinian aristocrat who sprayed blood-red paint on the London headquarters of Israel’s biggest arms company said she wanted to raise awareness without doing harm.

Five activists reportedly attacked the facade of the Elbit Systems building in October 2020.

Aristocrat Doone Stormonth-Darling, 28, Flora Thomas, 28, Joley Thomas, 31, Anthony Bardos, 58 and Jocelyn Cooney, 27, appeared at Southwark Crown Court on charges of conspiracy to damage property. All deny the charges.

Nathan Palmer, prosecuting, said Stormonth-Darling and Cooney jumped out of a dark BMW driven by Bardos carrying buckets of paint.

Flora and Joley Thomas were armed with fire extinguishers containing red paint, the court heard.

Testifying, Doone Stormonth-Darling, 28, told the court how she was detained for nine hours for throwing paint on the pavement outside Elbit Systems.

The Stormonth-Darling family live on a sprawling estate in Perthshire and they were featured in upper-class magazine Tatler when they held their 21st birthday party there.

Doone Stormonth-Darling, 28, jumped out of a dark BMW carrying buckets of paint as militants attacked the Elbit Systems office with near military precision on October 10, 2020, prosecutors say

Doone Stormonth-Darling, 28, jumped out of a dark BMW carrying buckets of paint as militants attacked the Elbit Systems office with near military precision on October 10, 2020, prosecutors say

Joely, Thomas, pictured outside Highbury Magistrates' Court in March 2021, is one of five people charged

Joely, Thomas, pictured outside Highbury Magistrates’ Court in March 2021, is one of five people charged

She said she worked in ‘the jungle’ in Calais in 2016, where migrants heading to Britain were camping.

She explained that she had met a refugee in his twenties who had come from Gaza.

“He told me what it was like to live under siege. He spoke of the uncertainty of not knowing when the next strike will take place and if it will take place in his neighborhood. Every time a plane flew over Calais, it ran for cover.

She said this experience made her learn more about the matter.

“Drone missiles manufactured by Elbit are equipped with cameras that allow drone commanders to identify whether their targets are legitimate targets or children.

“When missiles kill children, it is done knowingly.”

She said the 10-year-old brother of a friend of hers in Palestine was shot dead by the Israel Defense Forces.

“He was attending a demonstration in Hebron against the apartheid system. He was targeted by the Israel Defense Forces.

“It was really upsetting news. But obviously more upsetting for his family. It was very sad.’

The pro-Palestinian activists, including Flora Thomas, pictured, are accused of attacking a building belonging to Israeli defense contractor Elibit Systems.  All five deny the charges

The pro-Palestinian activists, including Flora Thomas, pictured, are accused of attacking a building belonging to Israeli defense contractor Elibit Systems. All five deny the charges

Doone Stormonth-Darling, 28 (pictured in November 2021) was featured in Tatler magazine when she hosted her 21st birthday party at her family estate in Perthshire

Doone Stormonth-Darling, 28 (pictured in November 2021) was featured in Tatler magazine when she hosted her 21st birthday party at her family estate in Perthshire

Recalling the October 10 protest, she said, “We decided to create the effect of a river of paint symbolizing the blood of innocent Palestinians.

‘[The building] is flanked by two cafes. It looks like a normal building, but it’s not,” Stormonth-Darling said.

“They know they hurt. I think there is an element of subterfuge.

“I threw the bucket the second I got out of the car.

“I wanted the paint to go on the sidewalk.

She said she had no intention of painting police or protesters.

“We definitely agreed on the effect we wanted to create. We didn’t want to put paint on anyone. It could also have been alienating.

‘I came out [of the car] threw paint where the sidewalk meets the road and was immediately stopped.

“It felt really fast. I barely remember throwing the paint away.

Stormonth-Darling said she was detained for nine hours.

‘Was there an agreement to damage the building,’ Mr Greenhall asked.

“No,” she replied.

Giving evidence, Flora Thomas claimed it was a protest to raise awareness.

Mr Palmer asked him: ‘You said you wanted to educate the public about what the company was doing.

“Did you want to have the most impact possible?

Ms Thomas replied: ‘So much impact without causing any damage.’

Mr. Palmer asked her why she didn’t want to cause any damage.

She said: ‘It was just a protest. It was just a realization

Ms Thomas said the idea was to spray paint on the pavement outside the door.

Mr. Palmer asked him why they took paint-filled fire extinguishers if they were just going to pour some on the sidewalk.

Flora replied, “To do a splash on the sidewalk outside the building.”

The five activists deny conspiring to damage property.

The trial continues.

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