Vestey heir questioned over City riot
Tuesday 10 August 1999
Mark Brown, 35, a grandson of Sir Derek Vestey whose family made its fortune from the wholesale meat industry and the Dewhurst butcher chain, lives off the proceeds of a pounds 2.7m trust fund. He is a known environmental activist.
City of London detectives investigating the 18 June disturbances, which caused more than pounds 1m in damage to the financial district and led to 46 arrests, released Mr Brown on bail pending further inquiries.
Mr Brown is not alleged to have played a direct role in the riots or to have been aware beforehand of any plans to orchestrate violence, but investigators have questioned him about allegations that he may have helped to fund the event out of the pounds 44,000-per-year income he reportedly receives from his trust. Yesterday he refused to comment on any involvement in the investigation.
Detectives are anxious to establish how demonstrators aquired certain vehicles connected with the protest as well as the hiring of equipment, including a sound system.
News of the arrest of the former public school boy astonished his family. His mother, Rosamund, the only daughter of Sir Derek, is reported to have said: "He's a very good person. He's got the best of motives for the planet and the environment. He's an ecologist, really. He wouldn't be involved in any violence, I'm sure."
About 7,000 people took part in the anti-capitalism protests in which 28 police and 14 members of the public were injured. About 1,000 police were deployed for the demonstrationbut the scale of the rioting led to criticism about the way that it was handled by police.
Mr Brown, a married father of one who lives in west London, first became prominent as an environmental activist four years ago. He is a member of Friends of the Earth. Mr Brown, whose family motto is: "From work comes stability", is due to report back to police in October.
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