Alfie Meadows arrives at court after living through what he’s called a ‘nightmare’. The young Philosophy student underwent three hours of emergency surgery to relieve bleeding on the brain after being hit by a policeman’s truncheon during the student demos nearly two years ago.
Yet it’s Meadows who finds himself on trial for violent disorder; a charge which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Supporters gathered outside Kingston Crown Court to show solidarity with Alfie and to defend the right of citizens to protest without fear of police abuse.
The police have come under increasing fire after they were accused of excessive force during the student protests of December 2010 when Mr Meadows was injured.
Several police officers were also taken to hospital on the day after suffering, what they say, was a sustained attack by some members of the protests.
The Metropolitan police say Meadows was in a group that had deviated from an agreed demonstration route but campaigners warn that the actions of the police- on the day of the protest and after - raise serious concerns.
At the request of the Meadows family, an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into his case is suspended pending the outcome of the violent disorder case. Alfie Meadows has pleaded not guilty and denies all the charges against him. The case continues.
Alfie Meadows is not the only one on trial here today. The British justice system and the Metropolitan Police also find themselves in the docks.