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Friday, 14 April, 2000, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Heir cleared of organising city demo

The City of London protest ended in rioting
A former public schoolboy from one of the UK's richest families has been cleared of helping mastermind last year's anti-capitalist demonstrations in the City of London.

Mark Brown, 36, of Notting Hill, west London, accepted playing a role in the protests, which ended in violence causing 2m worth of damage, but denied organising the whole event.

Mr Brown, who earns an estimated 44,000 a year from a 2.7m trust fund set up from wealth amassed by his grandfather, Dewhurst butcher tycoon Sir Derek Vestey, smiled as the verdict was given by City of London magistrates.

During the case, Mr Brown was accused of planning the Carnival Against Capitalism protest, which took place on 18 June, 1999, some 18 months in advance.


Mark Brown
Mr Brown denied organising the protest
On the day he was said to have blockaded a road while wearing a false moustache and sideburns.

His involvement was said to have been revealed in a vast number of e-mails found on his home computer by police who searched his 200,000 flat.

But Mr Brown denied failing to give police notice of a public procession, an offence under the Public Order Act which carries a maximum 1,000 fine.

Anthony Jennings, defending, earlier told the court: "You will be mindful of any concern that he's been scapegoated for what happened on that day.

"There must be a temptation that someone should be brought to book for what happened.

"It would be wholly wrong for the standard of proof to be diluted, even if that were a subconscious view."

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