A FORMER Petersfield school pupil has defended her part in a protest that left the Scottish parliament building covered in bright red paint.

Hannah Torrance-Bright was one of four eco-protestors who used paint-filled water balloons and ‘super soakers’ to deface the building’s entrance on August 1.

The quartet, who are members of eco-group This is Rigged, made the protest against the government’s decision to back hundreds of new oil and gas licences. 

They also used a fire extinguisher to spray paint, with the £7,000 clean-up and repair bill being the highest caused by a protest in the building’s history.

Torrance-Bright, 21, and her colleagues were found guilty of a malicious mischief charge following a trial last week at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

She and Hannah Taylor, 23, of Derbyshire, Georgia Barrett, 27, of Brighton, and Ruth Lanser, 27, of Glasgow, pleaded not guilty and represented themselves during the trial. They admitted to the paint attack, but claimed it was justified as a protest against global warming.

They were each ordered to pay a £210 fine after Sheriff Alistair Noble acknowledged their “restricted incomes”. Torrance-Bright was given an admonition, having spent five days on remand and four weeks on a home curfew order where she was electronically tagged.

The community worker, who now lives in Renfrewshire and studies sculpture at the Glasgow School of Art, told the court she had to “take action” after the government approved more than 100 new oil and gas licences in the North Sea.

She said: “Moral people have to stand on the wrong side of the law to stand on the right side of history.

“We are desperate.

“We are young people staring down the barrel of a terrible future.” 

Torrance-Bright has previous, as last summer she glued herself to artwork in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow in a Just Stop Oil protest against new oil and gas developments.

She was also arrested and charged with an alleged breach of the peace after climbing over a barrier during a thanksgiving service for the king in Edinburgh