Activism

Activists cleared of criminal damage over toppling of Edward Colston statue in Bristol

The four defendants have been cleared of criminal damage over the toppling of the slave trader statue in Bristol.

colston four

The statue of Edward Colston on display after it was fished out of a harbour. Image: Adrian Boliston/Flickr

Four activists accused of criminal damage over the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol have been found not guilty

The defendants, known as the “Colston Four”, were acquitted by a jury majority verdict at Bristol Crown Court after pleading not guilty.

The statue of slave trader Colston was toppled by protesters in June 2020 amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

Rhian Graham, Milo Ponsford, Jake Skuse, and Sage Willoughby were cleared of the charges after the jury deliberated for three hours.

Protesters toppled the statue of Colston, which was erected in Bristol over 170 years after his death, and rolled it to Bristol harbour, before throwing it in the water.

After it was retrieved from the water, the damaged statue was put on display in a Bristol museum.

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