By Guy Taylor, Investigations Editor
Six men have received a £100 fine each for the damages done to the statue of Edward Colston during the Black Lives Matter protests this summer.
The men accepted a conditional caution for the offence of criminal damage to property valued under £5,000, which means they will avoid prosecution.
On top of the fine, they will have to complete several tasks before March next year and have received a criminal record.
One of these tasks will be completing a questionnaire from a local history commission, which will allow them to explain the motivation for their actions.
Furthermore, they will spend two hours participating in a session of environmental improvement organised by Bristol City Council, which will involve the removal of graffiti from the city.
Their £100 fines will be given to a Black and minority-ethnic led charity called Nilaari, which helps to ‘deal with reoffending behaviour, mental health and problematic substance use.’
None of the six have been identified publicly, but the ages of the first five to receive the caution have been confirmed as 18, 20, 29 and 33.
Four other men are still awaiting a decision from the Crown Prosecution Service as to whether they will receive a prosecution.
Three separate charges of criminal damage have been noted by police. These include the tearing down of the statue from the plinth, the transportation of it along Colston Avenue and the throwing of it into the harbour, with different people being involved in each.
Police ended their official investigation in mid-September after identifying nine of the 18 people they wanted to speak to in connection with the toppling of the statue.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, monuments of famous figures such as Colston’s came under intense scrutiny.
Other statues, such as those of Cecil Rhodes and the slave trader Robert Milligan have also been widely condemned by the movement, with the latter being removed by Tower Hamlets Council from the West India Docks.
Featured Image: Rufus Atkins
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