Three people have avoided jail after staging a pro-Palestine protest outside the home of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Daniel Formentim, 24, of Leeds, Zosia Lewis, 23, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Leanorah Ward, 21, of Leeds, hung a banner outside the home in Kentish Town on April 9.

The banner read – ‘Starmer stop the killing’ – and had a number of red handprints on it. Several children’s shoes were also left in front of the house.

Metropolitan Police officers told the trio, who are members of Youth Demand, to end their protest. When this did not happen, they were arrested.

Youth Demand describes itself as a “new youth resistance campaign fighting for an end to genocide”.

All three appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today (June 19) where they were found guilty under Section 42 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.

Section 42 powers cover the harassment of a person at their home address if an officer suspects it is causing alarm or distress to the occupant.

Each was sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £200 in legal costs.

They were also given a community order and are prohibited from entering the NW5 postcode.

Giving evidence at the trial, Sir Keir’s wife Victoria said she felt “a bit sick” when she encountered the trio at her home, and drove around the corner in her car.

“I felt apprehensive and uncomfortable,” she added.

Marketing consultant Formentin, who wore a keffiyeh pattern scarf, said the protesters had taken “as many steps as we could to mitigate any threat”, and had no plans to confront anyone.

Fellow defendant Lewis said: “We weren’t planning on staying there the whole day.

“We didn’t want to scare anyone.”

Ward told the court she “didn’t take the action lightly” and that steps had been taken to ensure the address of the residents was not revealed.

A police sergeant who responded to the demonstration told the court that holding the protest outside somebody’s house – instead of outside the House of Commons or Sir Keir’s offices – was “inappropriate”.

District Judge Michael Snow said he could “understand why politicians are so fearful” given the “number of attacks on our democracy”.

He added: “In the last two years, two Members of Parliament have been murdered.

“Anyone in that situation being aware that there were protesters directly outside their home is likely to be caused distress.

“It is laughable to assert to the contrary.”

Delivering his sentence, Judge Snow said the trio had been directed to leave the premises but had “continued” regardless.

The group was “just trying to shout more loudly” by picking the Starmer home as a protest location, he added.

Some reporting by PA.