Jonathan Leighton has received a £1500 out of court settlement and a formal apology from Thames Valley Police after being arrested on the 13th of January this year on the suspicion of littering.
The nineteen year old student from Reading had been attempting to throw a bottle of water to Gabriel Chamberlain, a protestor who had been living in a tree for 12 days in Oxford’s Bonn Square in a bid to prevent it being felled as part of a £1.5 million refurbishment plan. Without announcement the council had already removed around forty mature trees from the area. Mr. Chamberlain’s sycamore was one of the largest planned to be cut down.
The police had spent £12000 on a metal fence designed to prevent any supplies reaching Mr. Chamberlain. After Mr. Leighton’s attempt to overcome the fence, he was detained by police for several hours before being released with no charge. Mr. Chamberlain later came down from his tree desperate for food and water. The city council’s new Bonn Square will be unveiled on the 28th of November.