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Statement following conclusion of Colston statue criminal damage trial

Four people were cleared at Bristol Crown Court today (Wednesday, 5 January) of causing criminal damage to a statue of Edward Colston in Bristol in June 2020.

Below is a statement from Chief Superintendent Liz Hughes, head of neighbourhood policing, following the verdicts.

“This was an incident which attracted worldwide attention and which polarised public opinion.

“Ultimately, we had a duty to investigate as the custodians of the statue – Bristol City Council – had not granted anyone permission to damage it.

“Following a thorough investigation we submitted a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service who then made the decision to charge the four defendants with criminal damage.

“Having been presented with the evidence, a jury has now determined their actions were not criminal and we respect its decision.”