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Acquittal for Cardiff May Day ‘violent disorder’ protestor

A 30-year old man charged with violent disorder and actual bodily harm last year following a May Day protest in Cardiff has today been found not guilty by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court.

Peter Simpson of Clifton Road, Adamsdown, was arrested on 2 May 2015 following an alleged confrontation with a police officer at the HSBC bank in Cardiff’s Queen Street.

Mr Simpson had been involved in a peaceful May Day march in the city centre and was protesting about bankers’ pay and austerity measures made by the coalition government in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

Mr Simpson went to help a fellow protestor, his co-defendant Joshua Longbottom, whom he believed was being restrained excessively by police. As Mr Simpson reached over, he was struck by one policeman and subsequently restrained by officers who said he had grabbed the police officer who was restraining the other protestor.

Following the criminal charges made against him, Mr Simpson was held in custody and banned from Cardiff City Centre.

Raj Chada, a criminal defence partner at Hodge Jones & Allen represented Mr Simpson, he says: “My client was treated unfairly by the police and denied free movement and speech as a result of his arrest. It is abhorrent that a man who was peacefully protesting was wrongfully arrested, threatened with a taser gun, put in custody and banned from Cardiff city centre, a measure that has limited his movement within his hometown until his acquittal today.

“The police definitely used excessive force when arresting my client. I am glad that justice has finally been served today and hope that Mr Simpson can now move on with his life.

Joshua Longbottom, co-defendant, was also acquitted. He was represented by Kellys Solicitors in Brighton.


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