Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Judge Praises Mum as Son Is Locked Up; Detention for Sixth Former in Fees Riot

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Judge Praises Mum as Son Is Locked Up; Detention for Sixth Former in Fees Riot

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Hodge

AJUDGE praised the mother of a sixth-former who admitted throwing a fire extinguisher from a roof during an anti-fees riot as he locked up the teenager for over two years.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC told Edward Woollard, 18, he was taking into account his mother's "extraordinary and courageous conduct" in persuading him to give himself up.

But sentencing him to two years and eight months in a young offenders' institution, the judge said the public had a right to protection from violence.

Woollard, of Dibden Purlieu, Hampshire, joined protesters who stormed the Millbank complex in London that houses Tory Party headquarters in November.

His mother Tania Garwood encouraged him to give himself up to police after he was pictured by media organisations during the rioting.

The judge told the teenager, who threw the metal fire extinguisher from a seventh-floor rooftop as hundreds of people gathered below, he would serve at least half his sentence for violent disorder.

The judge said: "It is deeply regrettable, indeed a shocking thing, for a court to have to sentence a young man such as you to a substantial term of custody.

"But the courts have a duty to provide the community with such protection from violence as they can and this means sending out a very clear message to anyone minded to behave in this way that an offence of this seriousness will not be tolerated.

"The right of peaceful protest is a precious one. Those who abuse it and use the occasion to indulge in serious violence must expect a lengthy sentence of immediate custody."

The judge added: "Nevertheless I shall take into account in your favour the extraordinary and courageous conduct of your mother, which resulted in you giving yourself up to the police so quickly." The judge also said he took into account the defendant's age, his guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and the fact that he had no previous convictions. …

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