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Friday, 22 June, 2001, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Blair's tangerine tormentor loses appeal
Tony Blair
Tony Blair was also pelted with rotten tomatoes
A woman who threw two rotten tangerines at the prime minister has lost her appeal against conviction for a public order offence.

Jo Wilding, 27, of Eastville, Bristol, was found guilty of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress in March.

Judge Carol Hagen, sitting at Bristol Crown Court on Friday, dismissed her appeal against both the conviction and two-year conditional discharge sentence.

The prime minister was visiting the City of Bristol College when the incident happened during a protest about sanctions against Iraq.

Jo Wilding
Jo Wilding: "tangerine thrower"

Wilding was one of several people who threw fruit and vegetables at Mr Blair.

The prime minister was hit by a rotten tomato. A police officer was also hit.

When Wilding was arrested she gave her occupation as "tangerine thrower".

The judge said: "Did Jo Wilding that morning intend to cause harassment alarm or distress to the prime minister and the answer to that is in the affirmative.

'Achieved my aim'

"We have no hesitation in the conclusion that her conduct was disorderly and nor do we find it reasonable to have behaved in the way she did."

The court heard that Miss Wilding hoped to highlight the issue of sanctions by providing a picture which would be widely reproduced in the media, and believed that she had achieved her aim.

Judge Hagen said that the sentence was appropriate, and no further orders for costs were imposed.

Outside court Wilding said she was not surprised or upset by the judge's decision.

"Judges come from a particular background and bring particular opinions with them," she said.

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