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Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 13:27 GMT
Anti-paedophile protesters in court
Katrina Kessell
Paulsgrove estate resident speaks to the press outside court
Magistrates in Portsmouth have begun hearing the cases of 36 local housing estate residents who face charges connected with anti-paedophile protests earlier this year.

The first night of demonstrations at Paulsgrove estate in August turned violent when around 200 people descended on the home of an alleged sex offender.

A car was overturned and set alight and a council building was attacked.

Dozens of riot police were eventually drafted in to deal with the trouble.

Range of offences

Twenty-five people, who have been charged with a range of offences from criminal damage, harassment to violent disorder and affray, are to appear in court.

They include 15 youths - all boys aged from 12 to 15 - as well as five women and five men.

Another 11 - including nine youths and two men - have been summoned to the court in connection with a variety of public disorder offences.

The disturbances on the Paulsgrove estate followed the News of the World campaign to "name and shame" convicted sex offenders after the murder of schoolgirl Sarah Payne.

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See also:

07 Aug 00 | Programme highlights
Sarah's Law: who's really in favour?
15 Sep 00 | Programme highlights
No public access to sex-offenders' register
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