Socialist Worker

Hung jury in trial of Alfie Meadows

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2300

The jury failed to reach a verdict in the trial of student protester Alfie Meadows last week.

Alfie was charged with violent disorder on the anti-fees protest on 9 December last year. Alfie denies the charge.

He suffered a brain haemorrhage and skull fracture after he was struck on the head on the protest. He was rushed to hospital and received life-saving brain surgery.

The trial at Kingston crown court began on 26 March. After the jury gave their verdict, prosecutor James Lofthouse said, “It is very likely we will seek a retrial but we want to consider our position.”

Four others stood trial alongside Alfie. They were all accused of violent disorder on the demonstration.

Colin Goff, Vishnu Wood and Jack Locke were all acquitted of violent disorder.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict in Zac King’s case. A hearing has been scheduled for 27 April where the prosecution will reveal whether they are going to run a retrial in Alfie or Zac’s cases.

Vishnu and Jack also faced a charge of arson. Vishnu was acquitted, while Jack was found guilty of this charge. He will be sentenced at Kingston on 17 May.


Defend the Right to Protest campaign

On the first day of the trial hundreds of supporters held a solidarity rally on the court steps.

Defend the Right to Protest campaigners and others have helped to organise meetings in support of Alfie and other student protesters who have been charged in connection to the protests.

Figures across the trade union and student movement continue to support Alfie.

Tony Kearns, the CWU union’s deputy general secretary said, “We need to continue the campaign to defend our right to protest and to demand justice for those who exercise this right—beginning with Alfie Meadows.”

Janet Alder said, “I stand in solidarity with Alfie as the sister of Christopher Alder who was unlawfully killed at the hands of the police in 1998.

“Alfie is lucky to be alive today to tell the tale. Many others have lost their lives at the hands of the police and the state.”


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Tue 24 Apr 2012, 16:25 BST
Issue No. 2300
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