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Cases against 6 attendees of Sarah Everard vigil are DROPPED after Met slammed

PROSECUTORS have blocked the Met Police from criminalising people who attended a vigil for Sarah Everard.

The Crown Prosecution Service told lawyers it had “discontinued” the cases of six attendees as it wasn’t in the public interest.

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Met Police arrest a woman at the vigil held for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common in March last yearCredit: Jack Hill/The Times
Dame Cressida Dick was the Metropolitan Police Commissioner at the time

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Dame Cressida Dick was the Metropolitan Police Commissioner at the timeCredit: PA
Sarah Everard had been kidnapped, raped and murdered by serving police officer Wayne Couzens

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Sarah Everard had been kidnapped, raped and murdered by serving police officer Wayne CouzensCredit: PA

They had been accused of breaking lockdown rules by gathering on Clapham Common in March last year.

But a CPS spokesman said: “We concluded that our legal test for a prosecution was not met.”

Dania Al-Obeid, 27, is now planning to sue London’s police force after being handcuffed and arrested.

She told The Observer: “This is a victory in its own right but it doesn’t hold the Met accountable for their actions at the vigil or for their decisions to criminalise me and others for standing up and speaking out over a year later.”

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Jeni Edmunds, 32, who was also prosecuted, added: “I’m glad the Met has been forced to drop this. That police used the same power abused to coerce Sarah Everard to her murder to arrest mourners at her vigil speaks volumes.”

Their barrister, Pippa Woodrow of Doughty Street Chambers, said: “The police’s attempts to criminalise them have been absurd and damaging.

“It is to be hoped that the Met will now turn its focus and resources towards protecting women from violence rather than seeking to silence those who speak up against it, and towards rebuilding the trust damaged by their decisions in this case.”

Mourners including the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton defiantly turned up to pay their respects despite the vigil being cancelled due to the risk of Covid fines.

Reclaim These Streets co-founder Jamie Klingler, who had helped organise it, said: “I’m relieved that somebody finally saw some sense but pretty angry, like 16 months of this still going on.”

Last week’s decision is the latest blow to Scotland Yard over its heavy-handling of the peaceful protest.

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe said pursuing prosecution was “entirely a matter for the CPS”.

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She added: “Officers took very seriously their duty to safeguard the public during the pandemic and to balance this with the rights of individuals.”

Marketing executive Sarah, 33, was kidnapped, raped and murdered by serving officer Wayne Couzens, 49, who got a whole life term.

Hundreds of people turned out for the vigil

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Hundreds of people turned out for the vigilCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Cops made a number of arrests on the night of the vigil for breaking the lockdown restrictions

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Cops made a number of arrests on the night of the vigil for breaking the lockdown restrictionsCredit: Rex
Couzens was given a whole life sentence for his crimes

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Couzens was given a whole life sentence for his crimesCredit: PA



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