Seven protesters have been fined after attempting to block a road near Aintree racecourse on the day of last year’s Grand National.

Lucia Alexander, 40, of Halle Lane, Wacton, Norfolk; Tobias Brown, 49, of West Wycombe Road, High Wycombe; Zoe Able, 28, of Leeders Pightle, Norfolk; Andrew Houghton, 67, of Mendip Crescent, Bedford; and Sarah Love, 47, Jamie Carter, 29, and Eleanor Kenny, 19, all of no fixed abode, were found guilty of wilful obstruction of a highway.

The defendants were convicted following a trial at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on Friday, Merseyside Police said.

Earlier this month, fellow protesters Rosa Sharkey, 23, of Chase Side Avenue, Enfield, and James Kelly, 46, of Mornant Avenue, Hartford, Cheshire, were fined £690 and £550 in a separate hearing after they too were convicted of wilful obstruction of a highway.

Activists from Animal Rising attempted to block roads around Aintree on April 15 2023 while others gained entry to the course, causing the steeplechase to be delayed by almost 15 minutes.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Dyer said: “As with the previous hearing, the seven defendants relied heavily on their right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights during their court hearing. However, they have now all been found guilty.

“Merseyside Police respects the right to a peaceful protest and expression of views but where this crosses into criminal behaviour and disorder it will not be be tolerated.

“Such actions put those protesting and other road users at huge risk, and as always has the potential to disrupt emergency services responding to serious incidents.

“I hope these outcomes send a strong message and act as a future deterrent to others.”