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Pair Go Through The Courts – Bristol Evening Post

4 April, 2012

PROTESTERS have appeared in court following a demonstration in the city centre against a conference on unmanned ‘drone’ aircraft. About 75 people gathered outside Armada House in Telephone Avenue and Baldwin Street on Monday to disrupt and protest against the Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle Conference, of which Bristol University was a partner organisation.

Tom Daly, 35, Easton, pleaded guilty at Bristol Magistrates’ Court yesterday to using threatening words or behaviour in Telephone Avenue. Laura Opie, prosecuting, said the demo had been largely peaceful but there was a lot of noise which had caused disturbance to nearby businesses. “There was CCTV that caught images of Daly standing on the outside window ledge to the conference,” she said. “He was wobbling the glass to try to disturb what was going on inside.” Ms Opie said Daly was one of a group of about 20 protesters who swore and shouted at police but insisted, when challenged, that he was doing nothing wrong. The court heard he had two previous convictions for trespass.

Daly, who represented himself, said: “I was standing on the ledge but got down quickly because I didn’t want to be arrested.”The crowd was being forced off down the road – there was a series of rough arrests and people being brought to the floor for minimal resistance – I didn’t see that was justified.”I was actually part of a group of people who had their backs to the police and was being pushed down the road – I was watching out for other people.

“I probably did call the people in the conference murderers, because that is what I believe they are.”

Daly said he worked part-time for the Workers’ Educational Association. He was fined £50 and was ordered to pay £85 costs plus a £15 victim surcharge. Sebastian Blunt, 23, of no fixed abode, accepted that he should be bound over for committing a breach of the peace at the protest. Ms Opie said he had dodged through a police line, which was meant to stop people going back to Telephone Avenue.

Richard Nile, defending, said Blunt had done so because he was concerned for another protester’s welfare. Magistrates bound Blunt over for six months. If he breaches the peace again he will be forfeit £50. Blunt also admitted damaging a cell wall at Southmead Police Station after the protest by scratching the letter “A” into a wall. He is due to be sentenced for this offence tomorrow. Two other people arrested at the protest were bailed to appear at a later date after denying the charges facing them.

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