Words by Ettie Langridge
A trial will commence on December 13 for those accused of pulling down the Bristol Edward Colston statue during Black Lives Matter protests in the city last summer.
Jake Skuse, 36, Rhian Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, and Sage Willoughby, 21, appeared at Bristol Crown Court, with all four defendants denying causing criminal damage.
In a statement, law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, which are representing three of the four defendants, said they would fight “vigorously” against the charges, saying “we are committed to defending them and their right to a fair trial in this important case.”
The statue of Colston (a noted slave trader) was pulled down and thrown into Bristol Harbour on 7 of June 2020 amid BLM protests.
In the aftermath of the event, Bristol city council took the decision to retrieve and preserve the statue, including graffiti placed on it during the protests and the bike tire that was attached to the statue during its retrieval from the water.
It is set to be placed in a museum alongside BLM placards from the event, although Bristol city council have confirmed official plans have yet to be made as to where and when it will be displayed.
Picture Credit: RedSquirrel