Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Student bailed in fees riot case

Student Edward Woollard leaves City of Westminster Magistrates' Court
Demonstrators at Millbank Tower in Westminster during a protest against rising tuition fees

A student has appeared in court accused of throwing a fire extinguisher from a seventh-floor rooftop during the Millbank riot.

Edward Woollard, 18, was arrested five days after violent clashes at a building housing the Tory party headquarters in central London. He was charged with violent disorder at Belgravia police station after being interviewed by Metropolitan Police officers.

Mr Woollard, of Dibden Purlieu, Southampton, appeared in custody at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Wearing a long-sleeved white T-shirt, he spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.

His solicitor Matt Foot described the case as "unique" and asked for an adjournment to be allowed to view video footage. He said: "There are complexities from our view. It does require some time to consider the position."

District Judge Catherine Tubbs released Mr Woollard on conditional bail, banning him from Westminster and ordering him to stay at his home address. She adjourned the case until November 24 at the same court.

Mr Woollard was one of more than 50 people arrested after dozens of people forced their way into 30 Millbank and ransacked the building. Windows were smashed, furniture vandalised and missiles, including the metal fire extinguisher, flung from the roof.

The attack came as more than 50,000 students and lecturers marched through Westminster to demonstrate against rising tuition fees.

Police have released images of 11 protesters suspected of committing criminal offences, including aggravated trespass and criminal damage. Many were captured on CCTV cameras inside the office complex, as well as by a camera mounted on a police helicopter hovering overhead.

The student is charged with causing violent disorder, an offence under the Public Order Act. The maximum sentence is five years in jail.

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