Students ‘pulling police off horse’ go free

6:48 pm - May 4th 2012

by Newswire    

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Student protesters Andrew Hilliard (18) and Christopher Hilliard (23) have today been acquitted, after being charged with violent disorder from 9th December 2010. The jury reached the unanimous verdict within two hours after a trial of two weeks.

This brings the total to 11 cases resulting in acquittals for violent disorder from 9th December 2010, with only one case resulting in a guilty verdict.

Andrew and Christopher were arrested on 9th December 2010 after being accused of pulling police officer Cowling from his horse, both young men’s lives have been kept on hold for almost 18 months before finally being able clear their names.

The day after the incident in 2010, David Cameron publicly announced that ‘the boys who had pulled the police officer off his horse belonged in jail’, despite the brothers denying the charges.

According to the campaign group Defend Peaceful Protest:

In the defence’s summing up, Andrew’s barrister asserted that in a trial which has seen 8 police officers give evidence against the defendants, at least one police officer has lied, seeking to deliberately mislead the jury, which as she explained was both an unpleasant and difficult job to establish.

She also asked the court to consider what a different trial we would have seen without the benefit of vast amounts of footage served and edited by the defence. Footage which depicted police officer Cowling carrying out four separate counts of assault on both Andrew and Christopher.

At one point Andrew’s barrister told the jury, “Cowling must think you don’t have eyes in your head”, when comparing Cowling’s version of events with that which the footage showed.

Jennifer Hilliard said outside court today, “this is a good day for justice and the democratic right to protest.”

The Defend the Right to Protest Campaign welcomed today’s acquittals and said they will continue to stand in support of the Hilliard brothers and all those who have endured the court system to fight injustices.

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Reader comments

If you let people excercise their democratic right to protest without giving them a ‘good lathering’ followed by being ‘fitted up’ there is a very real chance that more people might want to do it.
That will never do.

“A total of 333 people have died in or following police custody over the past 11 years, but no officer has ever been successfully prosecuted, according to a watchdog’s report”.

Should we be worried?


Should we be worried?

We certainly shouldn’t offer our support to striking police officers (because the police are workers too yo!) should such a strike ever occur, given that they’ll be striking for more resources and manpower in order to crack down harder on our own protests and kill us without facing any consequences.

Pretty much regardless of the outcome of their trials, surely Mr Cameron shouldn’t be telling judges what sentences they should be handing down. That’s not his job. Doesn’t something like that prejudice the outcome of a trial?

And if he is doing the judges’ jobs for them, that could explain why he is making such a god awful mess of his own.

He needs to remember he has some sort of history degree, not a law degree, which would have been way beyond him.

While I don’t know the detail of this particular case, the link given in the OP is to a pretty rubbish website IMO. It’s just basicly an anti-police campaign.

Poor young Alfie Meadows did suffer a very nasty injury, and I don’t like the way police hit people in these confrontations, but I’ve seen footage of the guy in a balaclava fronting up to the police as part of one of thse idiot mobs who like to have these big dust ups with the cops. So in another way it’s his own fault.

As for comments one and two …. how stupid. Deaths in police custody do not equal police brutality, racism and murder …. like is often implied. The police pick up people in all kinds of states who might have received unknown injuries prior to being taken into custody, or to be in a dangerous state through drink and drugs, which may not have been fully apparent to officers at the police station.

So maybe these two brothers were fitted up – who knows?
We can never know, as there’s no trustworthy evidence either way,

The wannabe Laurie Pennys out in force, I see. “Police brutality! Fascist police state!”

The only question that should be at stake is whether they tried to pull a police officer off a horse or not. If they did, regardless of whether they did it for the righteous cause of students wanting more money, they should be in prison.


test: your second paragraph is unsourced opinion, not fact. There are two issues: 1) did they pull a cop off a horse (answer: no, the cops lied because that’s what they do); 2) should people who pull cops off horses go to jail (answer: depends on how much of a hard-on you have for law enforcement; to me, a small fine and maybe some community service would be more than sufficient for doing negligible harm to someone who thoroughly deserves it).

Not holding my breath in anticipation of cops being prosecuted for perjury.

John B

test: your second paragraph is unsourced opinion, not fact.

I saw the video of Alfie Meadows before he got hit by the police. It was on Newsnight or something and they highlighted him in the balaclava, and he was definitely ”up for a ruck” with the police.

Now I really believe that the police are too rough in these situations, and I’d guess that too many of them enjoy it and see it as a bit of an adrenaline rush.
But I am going to blame those people who like to fight the cops …… even if it is only a bit of argy bargy and not serious rioting. They ruin every protest they go on, From Gothenberg to Genoa, and the G20 in London etc. They’re idiots.
If we can start from there, then maybe I’d have a bit more time for condemning the police. They also behave like idiots when faced with the have-a-go lefty/anarchist/student types.
One lots as bad as the other. All police forces behave in that over the top way when faced with public disorder.

That website linked to in the OP was rubbish. That kind of politics is everything a serious left would not be. It’s Drama Queen politics, because peple are bereft of any other ideas.
Lowest common denominator stuff.

9. john Reid

5 well said

1,of the 333 deaths in custody since 2000, only 3 have been unlawful and 2 of them are on going cases, I see that when A on call Doctor didn’t turn up to a patient the lther week it was An unlawful death

2 the police aren’t allowed to strrike ,their protest next week is aobut cuts and their in real terms 6 year page freeze, so it’s upto you if you don’t want to support that

10. john Reid

If you don’t agree with the police protesting about their cut in numbers, You could always vote For the Tories, Like boris who’ve cut them

@10 They can protest all they want. I just think they should get kettled and be subjected to the same attacks they themselves will carry out on everyone else.

“The day after the incident in 2010, David Cameron publicly announced that ‘the boys who had pulled the police officer off his horse belonged in jail’, despite the brothers denying the charges”
So if the brothers were NOT the ones who pulled the police officer off his horse they do not belong in jail according to Cameron; and we have trial by jury.

John Reid: indeed, cutting police numbers and pay is one of the few Tory policies I unequivocally support. Shame they’re too cravenly Laura-Norder-fetishist to follow through Ken Clarke’s plan to save money by cutting jail numbers too.

John77: the point is, there weren’t any boys who pulled the cop off his horse; the cops lied about the whole event, and Cameron’s statement was based on the assumption that their lies were true. If he’d said “if this cop, unlike most cops in these situations, actually was assaulted rather than making it up in order to justify beating the shit out of harmless protesters, then the people who did it should go to jail”, then that would be fair enough.

So has no one anything to say about the people who come to these demonstrations and then ruin them by their bad behavior and wanting to confront the police?
I remember that invasion of the Millbank Tower by students was treated on this website as just a bit of a lark – and fun, and that it was practically necessary to cause some trouble for the protest to make an impact in the media.

Untill this aspect of modern political protest in Britain is discussed, all this ”We are all Alfie Meadows” posturing is what the real problem is. The police are the police we have.
We will always have police like that. I can’t see it really being any other way.
We can’t change how the police behave, but we can do something about ”our” behavior.
Smashing up Starbucks and McDonald’s is what complete twats do. As is ”having a go” at police lines – which just provokes them into heavy handedness.
To then go crying about ”police brutality” is the kind of leftism I hate. I can’t be associated with it because it’s dishonorable. But it looks like that’s the kind of left we have now.

If I was a Greek, I’d also be really pissed off witha ll the idiots who turn every demonstration into a riot. There are always those kinds of people who enjoy rioting and throwing bricks – which can kill – and it puts off so other people coming out to protest, because they don’t want to be in the middle of all that violence.

Erm. How was the Millbank invasion anything other than a bit of fun? Nobody was hurt, a point was made, all good.

@15 ….. and at the next demonstration the police came prepared for a repeat and got far too heavy handed with the students. They were under political pressure to do so.
So Millbank ended up being an own goal. Unless you like all these set piece confrontations with the police. I think they are totally boring, and middle class too.
There’s nothing more embarrassing than a soft middle class riot.

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