UKuncut protesters found not guilty!

4:52 pm - March 23rd 2012

by Newswire    

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Eight anti-cuts protesters arrested in Fortnum and Mason last year were today found not guilty in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The defendants were the third group facing identical charges, with the first two groups having been found guilty.

The protest had been organised by anti-tax avoidance group UK Uncut, and had been seeking to highlight an alleged tax dodge of £10 million by Fortnum and Mason’s parent company, Whittington Investments.

145 people who took part were arrested outside the store. Most had chares dropped, but 19 have been found guilty, and 8 not guilty, despite each being tried for the same crime.

Stephen Reid, who was found not guilty today, said:

The judge today recognised our legitimate right to protest. He listened carefully to the evidence, and we’re delighted that he found us not guilty. It is absurd that other people who did exactly the same as us were found guilty while we weren’t. As cuts begin to bite, we will continue our fight to ensure that the wealthiest pay their fair share of tax.

Labour MP John McDonnell said today:

I am so pleased. Its critical that the guilty verdicts on the other protestors are overturned

The first two groups of defendants are appealing their cases to the High Court and the Crown Court respectively.

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Reader comments

HOW much taxpayers’ money has been wasted on this trial and the police farce that preceeded it?

Meanwhile, elsewhere, another member of England’s feral judiciary throws a twelve-year-old child in prison for up to six months for smashing a florist’s window:

What were they protesting about again? Was it banker’s bonuses?

@ damon
They “occupied” Fortnum & Mason because someone said a charity associated with F&M didn’t pay its share of tax. Although Charities are not liable to tax. As far as I know they didn’t actually bother to check whether the allegation was true.
In case your mind boggles – F&M is indirectly owned by the Weston Family Trust, a charitable foundation that also controls ABF (formerly Associated British Foods). UK Uncut allege ABF avoids (NB not evades) tax by paying interest on its debt to another company resident in Luxembourg (an EU country) on which the Luxembourg company pays Luxembourg tax but not UK tax. All this is based on the idea that companies pay tax on profits to the government of the country/state wherein they arise (unless you are stupid enough to operate in California). As any interest paid by ABF to the Weston Family Trust would have been tax-free in the hands of the Charity and tax-deductible for ABF, it seems implausible that any Finance Director with the brains of a rabbit would have chosen to use a Luxembourg company liable to Luxembourg tax instead of the Charity if he/she wanted to evade/avoid tax as UK Uncut suggests. I have yet to meet a FD without the brains of a rabbit.

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