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Jury find woman guilty of rioting in Bristol

Custody image of Francesca Horn
Francesca Horn

A woman who spat at officers, threw objects at them and hit them with a wooden stick has been convicted of rioting in Bristol city centre last March.

Francesca Horn, 25, of Montpelier, Bristol, admitted a charge of violent disorder but denied riot however she was found guilty of the offence following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

During Horn’s trial, digital evidence including footage from officers’ body worn cameras, CCTV and mobile phone footage was played to the jury.

In the footage, Horn is seen spitting at officers on multiple occasions and kicking their shields.

She is also seen throwing objects, including a police shield, at them and pulling a wing mirror off a police van.

Horn is the nineteenth person to be held responsible for offences committed during the riot outside Bridewell Police Station on 21 March last year. She was released on unconditional bail and will be sentenced on Wednesday 22 June.

To date, the fifteen people jailed in connection with the riot have been imprisoned for a total of 57 years and 11 months.

A 30-year-old man who pleaded guilty to charges of riot and arson on the first day of his trial earlier this month is due to be sentenced on 23 May while a 43-year-old woman has also been given a hospital order.

A 24-year-old woman also found guilty of riot yesterday (Thursday, 28 April) is due to be sentenced on 7 July.

Detective Superintendent James Riccio, the senior investigating officer, said: “Horn repeatedly directed vile verbal abuse at officers throughout the course of the incident and spat at them several times.

“Her disgusting behaviour then escalated to physical abuse as she kicked at officers’ shields, attacked them with a wooden stick and threw objects at them.”

Supt Riccio added: “Horn denied she was part of a group which used or threatened violence which caused others to fear for their safety but the evidence we presented to the jury was clear and they ultimately agreed she was guilty of riot.”

We’d like to remind all concerned that criminal proceedings relating to the events of Sunday 21 March are ongoing against other defendants and that they have a right to a fair trial.

It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.