Edward Colston statue: Four charged with criminal damage

Edward Colston statue: Four charged with criminal damage

Four people have been charged with criminal damage over the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston.

Rhian Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, Jake Skuse, 32, and Sage Willoughby, 21, are all due to appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on 25 January.

The 17th Century slave trader’s statue was pulled down on June 7 during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol.

Six people have already accepted conditional cautions for criminal damage for their part in the incident.

The CPS said it had authorised charges following a review of a file of evidence from Avon and Somerset Police.

The bronze memorial to the controversial figure was dumped in Bristol harbour by protesters after it was pulled down.

It was recovered four days later by Bristol City Council and assessed to have suffered £3,750 worth of damage.

The city council carried out preservation work on the statue and it is expected to be given a new home in a city museum.

Colston made his fortune in the slave trade and bequeathed his money to charities in Bristol, which led to many venues, streets and landmarks bearing his name.

Following the toppling of the statue, Colston’s Girls School changed its name to Montpelier High School and the city’s Colston Hall music venue is now known as the Bristol Beacon.

A statue of a Black Lives Matter protester was placed on the empty plinth without permission in July and was removed shortly afterwards.

The plinth remains vacant and mayor Marvin Rees has previously said it will be up to the people of Bristol to decide what would replace Colston’s statue.

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