Student Admits Throwing Fire Extinguisher

An 18-year-old student's admitted that he threw an empty fire extinguisher off the roof of Millbank tower during tuition fee riots outside Conservative Party headquarters.

Edward Woollard from Dibden Purlieu in the New Forest was arrested five days after the clashes in central London on November 10 and charged with violent disorder.

Appearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court today, his solicitor Matt Foot said: "Mr Woollard is pleading guilty and I make it very clear he is very sorry for his actions.''

The 18-year-old, who's a student at Brockenhurst College, will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court at a later date.

Woollard admitted one charge of violent disorder, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison under the Public Order Act.

Woollard, wearing a black suit, shirt and tie, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, address and his plea while his parents watched from the public gallery.

Prosecutor Robert Short told District Judge Nicholas Evans the case was not suitable for sentencing at the magistrates' court. He committed the case to Southwark Crown Court for sentencing at a later date.

Mr Short said: "It involves throwing an empty fire extinguisher from the roof of the Millbank tower towards officers and members of the public below. The risk there was considerable.''

Woollard was one of more than 50 people arrested after the protests when dozens of people forced their way into the complex of buildings two weeks ago.

Windows were smashed, furniture vandalised and missiles, including the metal fire extinguisher, flung at police.

Police released images of 11 protesters suspected of committing criminal offences, including aggravated trespass and criminal damage.

Many were captured on CCTV cameras inside the office complex, as well as by a camera mounted on a police helicopter hovering overhead.

A four-hour stand-off ended when police brought in more than 100 extra officers to clear the building and the road outside.

Woollard was released on conditional bail by District Judge Evans. He ordered a pre-sentence report to be carried out by probation officers.

 

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