Four charged after toppling of Edward Colston statue in Bristol

9 December 2020, 14:56 | Updated: 9 December 2020, 15:02

The statue was torn down by protesters in June this year
The statue was torn down by protesters in June this year. Picture: Getty

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Four people have been charged with criminal damage after the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol.

The bronze memorial to the 17th century slave trader was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest on June 7, before being dumped in Bristol Harbour.

Rhian Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, Jake Skuse, 32, and Sage Willoughby, 21, are due to appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on January 25 next year, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

The statue was 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 of the incident 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.

The bronze memorial was dumped in Bristol Harbour
The bronze memorial was dumped in Bristol Harbour. Picture: PA

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."