Man charged with attempted arson following Kill the Bill protest in Bristol

Adam Hale, PA
·2-min read

A man has been charged with attempted arson with intent to endanger life from the first Kill the Bill protest in Bristol.

Ryan Paul Roberts, 25, was arrested in connection with a lit item being placed underneath an occupied police van during a riot which saw vehicles set on fire and officers allegedly attacked.

On Friday, Avon and Somerset Police said the incident happened during violent disorder outside their police station in Bridewell Street, Bristol, on Sunday March 21.

The force said Roberts, of Madeira Road, Plymouth, is also charged with two counts of criminal damage and two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, and has been remanded in custody ahead of appearing at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, April 3.

A Kill the Bill protest
A protest turned violent when up to 500 people descended on Bridewell police station (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Two other men and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and released under investigation.

In total, 29 people have now been arrested in connection with the riot that saw 500 people march on Bridewell police station and set fire to police vehicles and attack the station.

On Thursday, a police spokesman said: “We’d like to thank the public for their continued support with what is a challenging investigation, especially those who have called in with information.

“There are currently 16 images in our online gallery of people we want to identify as part of our inquiry and we continue to appeal to people to contact us if they recognise any of them.”

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Since the first demonstration there have been three other protests in the city against the Government’s proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Protests on March 23 and 26 ended in clashes between the police and protesters. A further demonstration on March 30 passed off peacefully.

The proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance, with those convicted liable to fines or jail terms.