Socialist Worker

Student protester wins Millbank trial

by Rachel Harger
Issue No. 2280

Sara El Sheekh, a former student at Kings College University, has been found not guilty of violent disorder after being arrested in connection to the student demonstration at Millbank on 10 November last year.

The trial concluded at Kingston crown court yesterday, Thursday. The jury reached a unanimous verdict of not guilty within 15 minutes of being sent out.

The prosecution’s evidence for bringing the case to court rested on six minutes of footage, taken from ITN news and the Daily Telegraph.

The footage which showed nothing more than what Sara had already accepted—kicking and dislodging already broken glass in order to protect protesters entering and leaving Millbank. The footage alone did not show violent disorder.

When Sara’s employer was called to the witness box as a character reference, the prosecution asked if he was surprised that Sara had admitted kicking an already broken window. He simply replied, confused, “What? That is why I am here? Because Sara kicked an already broken window! Yes I am surprised that that is why I’m here.”

The defence summed up that if this were to be any charge, it was far more suitable to be one of criminal damage—although even this would be contentious on the grounds that the glass was already damaged.

Sara winning her case on Thursday is a victory for all of us and a massive blow to the confidence of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Come and show solidarity with protesters and political prisoners on Tonight, Friday 25th November, RESISTANCE RIDDIMZ, 7pm-1am, LSE Students Union, Houghton Street

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Fri 25 Nov 2011, 14:35 GMT
Issue No. 2280
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