Four charged with criminal damage over toppling of Edward Colston statue

The statue was toppled during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol on June 7 (Picture: PA)

Four people have been charged with criminal damage over the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

The controversial statue of the slave trader was ripped off its plinth and thrown into the harbour during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in the city on June 7.

Six months after the protest, Rhian Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, Jake Skuse, 32, and Sage Willoughby, 21, have all been charged in connection with what happened.

They are due to make their first appearance at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on January 25.

Protestors tied rope around the bronze memorial to the 17th century merchant and pulled it down in scenes that were shown around the world.

The statue was later recovered from the water by Bristol City Council and assessed to have suffered £3,750 worth of damage.

No arrests were made at the time but Avon and Somerset Police launched an investigation.

The CPS said on Wednesday that it had authorised charges following a review of a file of evidence from the force.

A spokesman said: ‘The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against all four are now active and that they have the 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.’

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