Two men convicted of disorder at university protest

10/07/2015

Two men have today been found guilty for their part in a protest at the University of Warwick which turned violent resulting in a security guard being assaulted and police officers prevented from carrying out their duties.

Coventry Magistrates' Court heard how on 3 December 2014 a planned protest against tuition fees was held at the central campus at the University of Warwick.

The protestors congregated to the Senate Building, where the University's Chancellor resides, and later attempted to storm the building.

In doing so, Alistair Robinson, aged 25 and from Selly Oak, Birmingham assaulted one of the security guards. This was reported to police and officers arrived at the scene of the protest to investigate the incident.

When the police officers arrived at the Senate Building, the protestors were already in the reception area. As they attempted to speak to Mr Robinson, 20-year-old Luke Dukinfield from Leamington Spa prevented the officers from arresting Mr Robinson.

To contain the situation and restore order, police gave a warning to the protestors that CS spray would be used if the group did not disperse, but they ignored this warning resulting in officers deploying a small amount of CS spray.

Robinson was eventually arrested, charged with assault by beating and along with Dukinfield they were also charged with using threatening / abusive / insulting words / behaviour with intent to cause fear of / provoke unlawful violence.

They were found guilty of all charges. Robinson was given a community order for one year and ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work and Dunkinfield was also given a community order for one year and ordered to 80 hours of unpaid work. Both were also ordered to pay £800 prosecution costs and £60 victims' surcharge each - Robinson was also ordered to pay the victim compensation of £150. 

Bindi Athwal, District Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service said:

"What started out as a peaceful protest was high jacked by a group of troublemakers who were intent on causing trouble for the university authorities.

At the epicentre of this trouble was Alistair Robinson who punched and elbowed a security guard in the face.

"As officers arrived to arrest Mr Robinson, his fellow protestor Luke Dukinfield prevented the officers from carrying out their duties, this in turn escalated the disorder.

"Their irresponsible actions that night not only put their own safety in danger, but that of their fellow protestors, the university staff as well as the police officers."