Occupy Democracy protestors cleared over sit-in during Parliament Square Protest

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Four protestors from Occupy Democracy have been cleared of charges relating to a protest in Parliament Square in October 2014. The defendants were represented by Tom Wainwright and Owen Greenhall of Garden Court Chambers.

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The case has been reported in the press, including by the London Evening Standard.

The four were part of a group of protestors who were arrested after sitting on a tarpaulin and were charged with an offence of keeping in place ‘sleeping equipment’ in Parliament Square Gardens. In a legal ruling, the court held that the tarpaulin was not ‘sleeping equipment’ within the meaning of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (PRSRA) 2011. Related charges, brought under bylaws, of refusing a direction to leave the area were also dismissed. Following the judgment, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) offered no evidence against a further eight defendants facing similar charges.

The case is one of the first mass arrests under the PRSRA 2011 legislation governing Parliament Square.

Tom Wainwright and Owen Greenhall were instructed by Mike Schwartz of Bindmans Solicitors. Tom and Owen are members of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team. Both were co-authors of The Protest Handbook.

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