DEFENDANT UPDATE

26 SENTENCED AFTER PLEADING GUILTY

21 CURRENTLY IN JAIL

1 RELEASED ON APPEAL

5 out of 6 NOT GUILTY PLEAS RESULTED IN NOT GUILTY VERDICTS

* Visit the Gaza Demonstrators Support Campaign Website for more detailed court reports*

On 9th April, one defendant received 12 month suspended sentenced and 250 hours of community service for violent disorder.

On Friday 26th March, 7 hearings took place in which Judge Denniss sentenced Scott McPherson to 2  years prison and Yahia Tebani to twelth months, both for violent disorder. Ibrahim Obeseyah received a 12-month suspended sentence and 150 hours community service and two cases were adjourned until late April.

On 24th March, charges against 24-year old protester Jake Smith were dropped as the prosecution offered no evidence against him at his trial due to start on 24th March. The Crown declined to present evidence after admitting that there had been an episode caught on camera, in which Jake was assaulted by the police. Read the statement written by the legal team on behalf of Jake Smith. See here for more information.

On the week beginning Monday 15th March, the first 2 cases of defendants to plead not guilty were heard and resulted in not guilty verdicts. All 5 non guilty pleas heard so far have resulted in not guilty verdicts. The most recent was Sulaph Ridha, charged with violent disorder after entering Starbucks for six seconds before leaving again.

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APPEALS

Several families have begun working on appeals with Imran Khan. On March 25th, Layla Lahouidek was released from prison after an appeal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice. She had her sentence for violent disorder dramatically reduced. See here for more information.

In the beginning of April, a second protester was released from prison after appeal, receiving a 12 month suspended sentence + 200hrs community service.

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On Friday 26th February, Judge Denniss delivered 8 sentences at Isleworth Crown Court and adjourned 1 case until 26th March 2010. 7 sentences were for ‘violent disorder’ and 1 for offence contrary to Section 4. 5 of the protesters sentenced for ‘violent disorder’ have been jailed for 12 months to 2 years. Of the remaining 2 not given an immediate jail sentence: the youngest protester on trial, aged 15 at the time of the alleged offence, received an Intensive Surveillance and Supervision Programme sentence (ISSP) – the most rigorous non-custodial intervention for young offenders, which will include electronic monitoring through tagging and an imposed curfew; the second was given a 12 month suspended sentence and 200 hours community service.

On Friday 19th February, Judge Denniss delivered 7 custodial sentences. All of these sentences are for “violent disorder”, and mostly for relatively minor acts, such as throwing placards at fully armoured riot police. One defendent received a suspended sentence, due to a long history of mental illness, Sentencing starts at 2 years for all adult guilty pleas, and ranged from 12 months to 2 years, after mitigation. Defendants under 18 at time of offence have received between 8 and 12 month long Detention and Training Orders, (DTO), a sentence of imprisonment and community supervision.

On Friday 12th February, the 7 people convicted were between 17 and 25 years old and will serve between 15 months and 2 1/2 years.


The case of Khalid Afeneh, accused of violent disorder and allegedly throwing a sand bag at police causing an officer’s eardrum to perforate, was thrown out of court. Khalid entered a not guilty plea at his hearings and information obtained from the Freedom of Information Act showed that the injury he allegedly caused did not happen.

In January, 3 people received sentences for violent disorder, ranging from 15 to 20 months.

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