I Hope My Son Hasn't Ruined His Life; Student Protester Who Hurled Fire Extinguisher Could Get 5 Years

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 10, 2011 | Go to article overview

I Hope My Son Hasn't Ruined His Life; Student Protester Who Hurled Fire Extinguisher Could Get 5 Years


Byline: Anna Davis Education Correspondent

THE mother of the student who threw a fire extinguisher off the roof of Tory Party headquarters in Millbank said today she was scared the courts will try to make an example of him.

Tania Garwood, 37, admitted she is feared Edward Woollard, 18, will be sent to a young offender institution, but said she wanted him to take responsibility for his actions.

Woollard confessed to his mother that he had thrown the extinguisher during the student anti-tuition fee protests in November, after he was caught on camera. He pleaded guilty to violent disorder and faces a potential five years in jail when he is sentenced at Southwark crown court tomorrow. Mrs Garwood said: "I am frightened that they are going to make an example of him. Edward, being Edward, will try to cope. Do I think he can cope? That's a different question." She said that after the riots Woollard's behaviour changed and he became tired and quiet. Then five days after the event his grandfather saw TV footage of the fire extinguisher being thrown and thought he recognised Woollard. Describing the moment her son broke the news to her, Mrs Garwood said: "He just sat there and said, 'It was me mum, I'm sorry.' He was beside himself but relieved. I said 'Why? …

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