G20 protesters to sue Met Police

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The Independent Online

A theatre group charged with impersonating police officers at the G20 protests are planning to sue the Metropolitan Police after the Crown Prosecution Service dropped all charges.

Eleven protesters, billing themselves as the Space Hijackers and portraying themselves as the "laughing cavaliers of capitalism", were arrested after they jumped out of an armoured vehicle at the Bishopsgate offices of the Royal Bank of Scotland during the demonstrations in London's Square Mile on 1 April last year. They were charged with impersonating police but the case was dropped after four hearings after the CPS said it had received new information and no longer believed there was a realistic chance of a conviction.

London chief crown prosecutor Alison Saunders said new evidence, as well as the fact that individuals were part of a theatre group and that members of the public had thought it was a stunt, were among the factors that had contributed towards dropping the case.

Branding the case an "utter waste of money", the Space Hijackers said solicitors would now sue the Metropolitan Police for compensation. In a statement they added: "We invited people to look over the past 10 years of our work, which the police were well aware of, to see we have a long history of parody."

Those facing trial were Jessica Barter, 19, of Newham; Leah Borromeo, 30, of Brockley; Mohammed Hayder, 25, and Suzan Keen, 41, of Hackney; Paul Hardcastle, 23, and Stephen Jewkes, 29, of East Dulwich; David Parkhouse, 23, of Homerton; Robin Priestley, 32, of Aldgate; Stephen Gibbens, 21, of Milton Keynes; David Vannen, 38, of Abbots Langley, and Rebecca Walpole, 21, of Aberdeen.