Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Sunday, 15 November 2009

City vigil supports Awol soldier

L/Cpl Joe Glenton
L/Cpl Joe Glenton went Awol in 2007

A demonstration has been held in the home city of a soldier who is facing a jail term for protesting against the war in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Joe Glenton has been charged with disobeying a lawful order after joining an anti-war march in London last month.

The 27-year-old, from York, has already appeared before a court accused of being absent without leave (Awol) after refusing to return to Afghanistan.

More than 200 people signed a petition in support of the solider at the demo.

The two-hour event on Saturday was organised by York Against the War.

In custody

John Heawood, from the organisation, said: "I don't think he's a coward, I don't think someone who deliberately courts 10 years in prison is a coward.

"He's saying, 'this is wrong, we shouldn't be there'."

At the march in Trafalgar Square, L/Cpl Glenton addressed more than 5,000 protesters and said the sights he witnessed during his time in Afghanistan forced him to question the morality of his role.

Supporters at the protest in York
The protest was organised by York Against the War

He appeared in court in Aldershot, Hampshire, on Tuesday and is being held in custody.

The charges carry a sentence of up to 10 years in jail.

Having joined the Army in 2004, L/Cpl Glenton, who is based at Abingdon in Oxfordshire, allegedly went Awol in 2007 before handing himself in after two years and six days.

He appeared before a court martial in August where his case was adjourned until November.

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