A group of 11 activists were arrested on suspicion of contempt of court after they held up placards outside a crown court.

Police officers began detaining the protesters, who were stood on the pavement at English Grounds outside Southwark Crown Court in central London, on Tuesday morning after being given directions by a judge.

Messages on signs carried by protesters included “jurors deserve to hear the whole truth” and “jurors have an absolute right to acquit a defendant according to their conscience”.

Katharine Amberley, 56, Terrance McGinty, 76, Anne Richards, 66, Elizabeth Simpson, 73, Brian Barker, 60, Jane Leggett, 73, and Yvonne Hayward, whose age was not given, appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Paul Stephen, 59, Dr Clive Dolphin, 55, Ellie Litten, 37, and Dr Neil Stevenson, 82, also appeared in the same court.

A judge released all the individuals on bail on condition they did not come within the vicinity of Southwark Crown Court until a contempt proceedings hearing on September 27.

The judge told them: “I hope that the time you’ve spent in detention in the precincts of the court is a salutary reminder that the court’s proceedings are not to be trifled with.”

The judge added that the group had turned up “mob-handed” outside the court.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “Officers were given directions by a judge to arrest 11 activists on suspicion of contempt of court.

“The activists were holding placards outside Southwark Crown Court which the judge determined could be interpreted as influencing a jury.”