Colston Four becomes Colston Three as victorious barrister is left off follow-up panel event

No spot for Liam Walker QC as remainder of defence staff put together to debate authorized arguments in high-profile trial

The statue of Edward Colston – through Simon Cobb/Wikimedia Commons

One of many ‘Colston Four’ defence barristers has been left off a panel dialogue of the authorized arguments put ahead throughout the headline-grabbing case.

Whereas three of the 4 defence advocates might be talking at a webinar on Colston: The Legal Arguments tomorrow afternoon, the fourth — Liam Walker QC — seems to not have been invited.

His absence follows stories of stress among the many 4 legal professionals representing the 4 defendants, who have been acquitted of felony harm amid a media frenzy earlier this 12 months after flattening a statue of slaver Edward Colston in June 2020.

Walker, of Doughty Road Chambers, represented 22-year-old Sage Willoughby. The opposite defendants — Rhian Graham, Milo Ponsford and Jake Skuse — have been represented by Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh of Matrix Chambers, Tom Wainwright of Backyard Court docket Chambers, and Raj Chada of Hodges Jones & Allen respectively.

Backyard Court docket and Matrix have teamed as much as organise a seminar trumpeting the authorized nous of these concerned, with the panel comprised of Ní Ghrálaigh, Wainwright and Chada.

A screenshot of the webinar’s event web page

This is regardless of Walker being the one who “made the submissions on lawful excuse“, which defence is seen among the many most believable causes for the acquittal (though juries don’t give causes for his or her resolution and different routes to a not guilty verdict have been accessible). The lawful excuse defence is more likely to be a speaking level at tomorrow’s event.

Doughty Road said at the time that Walker’s arguments have been “unique” — and is understood to be lower than happy about rival chambers reducing them out.

It was also Walker who called Professor David Olusoga and “local community leader” Lloyd Russell to present proof placing Colson’s legacy in context.

A detailed account of the trial within the New Statesman suggests that there have been “disagreements” between the authorized staff, with Walker (not then a silk) virtually at all times “pitched against the other three”.

Walker’s first tweet concerning the trial, albeit a few months afterwards, praised the judge and the prosecution however pointedly didn’t point out his fellow defence legal professionals.

The New Statesman piece means that Walker sees his omission from the panel as a “snub”. He declined to remark.

The event is billed as “a joint webinar by Matrix and Garden Court Chambers, to explore the legal defences in the Colston Four case, one of the most high-profile criminal trials in recent years, and look ahead to what the future of protest law may hold”. It takes place at 5pm tomorrow.

Requested whether or not there was a cause for the QC’s omission, the organisers and panellists didn’t reply.

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