Nottingham

Nottingham student sentenced over London fees protest

A Nottingham student who went on to the roof of Conservative headquarters in a fees protest in London has been ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

Belinda Edney, of Fleming Gardens, was found guilty of aggravated trespass at an earlier trial.

The 21-year-old has been given a curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 until 1 January 2012, to be monitored electronically.

She was also ordered to pay court costs of £350 during sentencing at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.

'More comfortable'

District Judge Nicholas Evans said: "It's going to cramp your style.

"Other students will be going to Christmas parties. But this is a punishment, and it's probably more comfortable than Holloway prison."

Protesters went on to the roof of the building at Millbank on 10 November 2010.

Valerie Sims, prosecuting, said police had detained a number of protesters, including Edney, who admitted dropping some papers on the crowd below, but denied committing any criminal acts.

Neil Allan, defending, said the student was of previous good character and was about to enter her third year at Nottingham Trent University.

Judge Evans said the defendant had shown poor judgement by trying to fight the case.

'Splinter group'

The court heard that 39 out of the 41 people held over the incident agreed to a caution.

"Everyone is entitled to have a demonstration and to make their protest known.

"You join a splinter group from the march which goes to Millbank Tower, and you told me you had no idea what this property is.

"The fact that I know that £178,000 worth of damage is caused to this place, a number of fires are lit, makes it doubtful that you don't know this is going on," Judge Evans said.

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