University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Student at London fees protest jailed for 32 months

The Badger

ByThe Badger

Jan 19, 2011

The student that threw the fire extinguisher from the rooftop of the Millbank building during the London protests was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

On 10 November 2010, protesters invaded the Conservative Party’s headquarters in London and stood on the rooftop in protest. Amongst them was Edward Woodllard, an 18 year old from Hampshire, who threw an empty fire extinguisher down where the other protesters were.

After seeing himself on Sky News and telling his mother, he was advised to turn himself in to the police.
He was accused of threatening public safety.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC said “the courts have a duty to provide the community with such protection from violence as they can and this means sending out a very clear message to anyone minded to behave in this way that an offence of this seriousness will not be tolerated.”

Woodlard apologised in court and claims he never intended for anyone to be hurt. He added: “when I was told I had potentially endangered people, I felt sick.”

When making the decision, the judge took into consideration Woodlard’s age, the fact that he had no previous convictions and that he had come forward. However, the judge stressed that “the right of peaceful protest is a precious one.

Those who abuse it and use the occasion to indulge in serious violence must expect a lengthy sentence of immediate custody.”

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