Four people have been charged with criminal damage after a statue of Bristol slave trader Edward Colston was smashed in June this year.
Ryan Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, Jack Schus, 32, and Sage Willoughby, 21, will appear in Bristol Magistrates’ Court on January 25 for the first hearing, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
The bronze monument to Coulston, a 1st-century slave merchant, was dragged down the port of Bristol during the June Black Lives Matter protest. It was recovered by Bristol City Council and cost about £ 3,750 to repair the statue.
No arrests were made at the time, but Avon and Somerset police are investigating. The CPS said on Wednesday that his charges had been approved after reviewing a file of evidence from the force.
A spokesman said: “The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against the four are now active and they have the right to a fair trial. No reporting, commenting or sharing information should be shared online which could in any way be biased. “
The bronze statue, which has stood on Colston Avenue since 1895, has long been the focus of public outrage at the continued remembrance of those involved in the city’s slave trade. An application to remove it garnered thousands of signatures.
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