September 27th, 2016

Two found guilty after peaceful Warwick University protest turned sour

A MAN has been found guilty of assaulting a security guard during an otherwise peaceful student protest at the University of Warwick.

Unemployed Alistair Robinson, who is not a student at the University, was found guilty of common assault, causing fear and provoking violence following a three day-long trial at Coventry Magistrates court yesterday afternoon (Thursday).

The 25-year-old, of Pershore Road, Birmingham, stood accused of attacking a 33-year-old guard.

Officers were called to Senate House at the Gibbet Hill Road’s central campus site shortly before 4.40pm on December 3 last year following reports that a member of staff had been assaulted.

During the trial, the court heard how minutes before officers were summoned, the guard had been punched in the stomach and grappled with as he and a colleague attempted to lock the doors of the building to keep the large group of protesters out.

It was as officers attempted to arrest Robinson, that student Luke Dukinfield intervened.

Dukinfield, aged 20 of Radford Road, Leamington, was found guilty of causing fear and provoking violence.

He was handed a 12 month community order, made to undertake 80 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £800 in costs and £60 victim surcharge.

Robinson was sentenced to a 12 month community order, made to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £800 in costs and £150 compensation to the victim.

A 25-year-old man was also arrested alongside Robinson and Dukinfield and stood accused of causing fear and provoking violence.

But, as no evidence was presented against him and he was released without any further action.

The incident took place during an otherwise peaceful sit-in style protest by group Warwick For Free Education against rising tuition fees and the privatisation of higher education.

When West Midlands Police arrived CS gas was sprayed and taser guns sparked in what many called a ‘disproportionately violent’ response from the officers.

This prompted the mass ‘Cops off Campus’ demonstration – which saw hundreds of students, alumni and supporters from outside of the university gather outside Senate House, the location of the previous night’s altercations, for a rally against police violence and the subsequent week-long occupation of the University’s Chancellor’s Suite room.

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