Edward Colston statue: Four cleared of criminal damage

Edward Colston statue: Four cleared of criminal damage

Edward Colston statue: Four cleared of criminal damage

Edward Colston statue: Four cleared of criminal damage

The four, accused of illegally removing the statue of Edward Colston, were acquitted of property damage.

After the 17th-century slave trader’s monument was demolished and thrown into the port of Bristol last June, Sage Willoughby, Ryan Graham, Miloponsford and Jakeskuse were charged.

It happened during a protest against Black Lives Matter in the town.

When the verdict was announced, cheers rose in public at the Bristol Criminal Court.

With the exception of 26-year-old Ponceford, who lives in Hampshire, all Bristol-born defendants laughed and hugged supporters waiting outside after their release.
Willoughby, 22, was seen kneeling in court. This is a symbolic gesture from the BLM movement.

Three of the four defendants also wore Banksy-designed T-shirts showing the stencil on the pedestal of the fallen statue.

After being acquitted in court, Graham said:

“We are very supportive and only part of it.

“There were so many people that day. In response to [the capsizing of the statue], many people all over the world echoed.”

Willoughby denied that they tried to edit the story, but said others “grossed over” the story by calling Colston a “noble man.”

“We didn’t change history, we fixed it,” he said.

“This is a victory for Bristol, a victory for racial equality, and a victory for those who want to be on the right side of history.”
The public gallery screamed and cheered as four defendants, called Colston Four, were acquitted of cheating.

Supporters gathered outside with banners, and Ryan Graham weptly thanked them. He also thanks street artist Banksy for raising money on the sale of T-shirts.

Many outside the court were pleased that the four were acquitted, while others were not so impressed.

One approached a supporter of Colston Four and said the result was “gross.”

This is controversial between Bristol and beyond, and this ruling will raise further debate over which statues remain standing throughout Britain.
“The accused should never have been prosecuted,” said Raj Chada, who represents Mr. Sukse.

“It is shameful that the Bristol City Council did not dismantle the statue of the slave trader Edward Colston, who offended the Bristol people, and it is equally shameful that they helped prosecute these defendants. “He added.