Colston 4 trial – updates from Bristol Crown Court

Four people accused of criminal damage in connection with the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston are on trial in Bristol.

The four have previously pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the single charge of criminal damage they faced. The trial is expected to into next week.

The four are: Rhian Graham, 29, of Colston Road, Easton in Bristol; Milo Ponsford, 25, of Otter Close in Bishopstoke, Hampshire; Jake Skuse, 36, of Farley Close in Little Stoke, South Gloucestershire; and Sage Willoughby, 21, of Gloucester Road in Bristol.

READ MORE: How Bristol challenged Colston for 100 years

The four are charged that on June 7 in the City of Bristol they ‘jointly with each other and others unknown without lawful excuse, damaged property, namely the statue of Edward Colston and a plinth of a value unknown belonging to Bristol City Council, intending to destroy or damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be destroyed or damaged’.

The toppling of the statue of Edward Colston happened during a Black Lives Matter rally in Bristol city centre, as part of worldwide protests following the murder in the US of George Floyd.

A large crowd of people gathered on College Green in Bristol on June 6, 2020, before a march through the city centre passed the statue of Edward Colston. A large group of people pulled down the statue, which was later dragged to the Floating Harbour in Bristol and pushed into the water.

The statue itself was recovered by the city council a few days later, and earlier this year was put on display in the M-Shed museum nearby.

Supporters of the Colston 4 said they are planning a ‘peaceful rally’ outside Bristol Crown Court on the first morning of the trial, and this updates blog will bring you all the latest reports and information from inside and outside the court – scroll down for updates.

Follow the latest updates on this story and others like it here (Bristol)

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