Five cleared over 'Santa' protest

Monday, 4 October, 2004, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK

Three of the Santa protesters
The protest caused the closure of the Strand
Five men who climbed a bridge dressed as Father Christmas to protest about fathers' rights have been found not guilty of causing a public nuisance.

Police closed The Strand in Liverpool city centre for six hours during the protest in December, which caused long delays for thousands of commuters.

On Monday, a jury at Liverpool Crown Court unanimously acquitted the men.

The accused, aged between 30 and 45 and from Cheshire and Merseyside, are members of the Fathers 4 Justice group.

At an earlier hearing, the court was told the demonstration was against child custody laws.

The following men were cleared on Monday:

  • David James Humphrey, 30, of Manor Road, Crosby


  • Stuart Peter Fisher, 38, of Dingle Lane, Dingle


  • Gary Anthony Newell, 44, of Appleyards Lane, Chester


  • Graham Ure-Wilson, 45, of Grovenor Road, Wallasey


  • Peter Michael Molloy, 33, of Hartsbourne Avenue, Childwall

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