The appeal for the second group of defendants in the Fortnum and Mason trial concluded today. The group had been convicted of Aggravated Trespass in March this year.

The appeal that concluded today was for 9 members of the Fortnum and Mason 145, who were arrested on March the 26th 2011 while occupying the luxury retailer. 30 of the 145 occupiers were convicted for ‘carrying an umbrella’, ‘holding a leaflet’ or ‘facilitating a meeting’. The trial was in 3 parts. The first group were convicted, the third group acquitted, and this was the appeal for the second group.

The initial trial turned on the prosecution’s case that the entirely peaceful protestors had ‘intended to intimidate’ shoppers and staff in the shop by having balloons and leaflets – what the initial trial judge accepted were ‘japes’. The evidence was against the individuals as a group.

Today five of those found guilty in March were acquitted. Four of the convictions were upheld. We are yet to find out the reason why the group has been split.

More information to follow…