Alfie Meadows: Student protest jury fails to reach verdict
- 18 April 2012
- From the section London
Jurors have failed to reach a verdict on whether a student who suffered a brain injury at a university fees protest was guilty of violent disorder.
Alfie Meadows, 21, of Brixton, south London, was allegedly hurt when he was struck on the head with a police baton.
He faced a charge of disorder over the protests in London on 9 December.
At Kingston Crown Court, jurors were unable to agree if a second man was guilty of the same offence but found three other men not guilty.
They could not agree if Zac King, 21, of Street, Somerset, was guilty. But they found Colin Goff, 24, of Beckenham, Vishnu Wood, 23, of Edgware, and Jack Locke, 18, of Basildon, Essex, not guilty.
Locke was found guilty of arson for setting fire to a wooden bench but Mr Wood was cleared of arson.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission had been investigating the claim Mr Meadows was injured by a police baton, but the claim was suspended at the request of Mr Meadow's legal team after criminal proceedings were instigated.
The three-week trial of Mr Meadows, and four other young men, heard that more than 10,000 people took part in the demonstration against government plans to increase tuition fees and the majority behaved "entirely lawfully".
But prosecutor James Lofthouse said the protest was also accompanied by "serious disorder and violence" against property and police.
Mr Meadows and Mr King will probably face another prosecution for violent disorder, although it is unlikely to take place before October, the court was told.
"I think it is very likely we will seek a retrial, but we will of course consider the position," Mr Lofthouse told the court.
The Crown Prosecution Service was ordered to announce whether it will bring another trial at a hearing on 27 April.
Judge Paul Dodgson warned Locke, who has a number of previous convictions, that "all options are open" as he adjourned sentencing until 16 May.
Mr Meadows' defence counsel, Michael Mansfield QC, said the student did not want to comment after the hearing.