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Leicester student activist on trial accused of “#CopsOffCampus” ‘hate crime’ towards ex-cop security-guard.
Alistair Robinson is to appear in court charged for allegedly elbowing a security guard on Wednesday 11 December 2013 during a sit-in at the University of Leicester, calling for fair pay for staff at the university. The trial is at Leicester Magistrate’s court today, Friday the 7th March at 2pm.
Alistair Robinson, 24, was arrested on the 6th of February 2014 supporting a picket-line at the University of Leicester, almost two months after the alleged assault. Witnesses claim that during the sit-in, the defendant was not near Mr Monks, Head of Security at the university, at any time.
There was also surprise at the timing of the arrest, only three days after it emerged that Mr Robinson had been nominated to run for Students’ Union President in the University of Leicester Sabbatical elections, and the same week that Robinson published an article in the University of Leicester student newspaper, condemning the university’s decision to withhold a full days pay to staff on strike for just two hours.
Nina Trbojevic, a student at the university said, “Alistair had been in touch with police about his stolen bicycle, between December and his arrest. They knew where to find him, so why did they wait until February?”
At a bail-hearing on the 21st of February, Robinson was informed by the Crown Prosecution Service prosecutor that the CPS had made a recommendation to police that the case be discontinued due to a lack of evidence. A provisional adjournment date was set for the 7th of March, pending response from Leicestershire Police. However, bafflingly this week, the defence were made aware that Leicestershire Police will be continuing with the case against Robinson; soon after it was discovered that Mr Monks, the security-guard making the accusation, has previously had a long career in the police, reaching the rank of Sergeant before becoming Chairman of the Leicestershire Police Federation.
Oddly, the assault has been categorised as a “hate crime”. It is believed this relates to the police presumption that the protest was a ‘cops off campus’ demonstration, being on the same day as nationwide cops off campus demonstrations, called in response to the violence used by police towards student protesters at the University of London. Demonstrators at the fair-pay protest in Leicester held a number of banners, with only one of them referring to ‘cops off campus’, in solidarity with London protesters.
The hearing is today at 2pm, Friday the 7th March at Leicester Magistrates Court, 15 Pocklingtons Walk, Leicester LE1 6BT.
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