Tuesday, January 11, 2011

British Student Gets 32 Months In the Pokey

Edward Woollard (18), the student who threw a fire extinguisher from Millbank Tower during protests last November, was sentenced to 32 months’ in prison for “Violent Disorder.” He was one of thousands of students protesting dramatic fee hikes, and among the dozens who had smashed their way into the Tory headquarters.

The judge who sentenced Woollard was clearly out to make an example of him, saying "The right of peaceful protest is a precious one. Those who abuse it and use the occasion to indulge in serious violence must expect a lengthy sentence of immediate custody.” Sure, he nearly hit a cop and the injury might have been severe, but it was most likely because it was a cop he almost hit that the judge threw the book at him.

32 months is a long sentence for an 18-year old with no previous record who injured no one by his act. Many violent offenders with records get lesser sentences, and the police who assaulted nonviolent demonstrators, including  disabled student Jody McIntyre, were merely doing their jobs.

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