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Edward Woollard, UK Student Protester, Sentenced To 32 Months

First Posted: 01/13/11 08:14 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:25 PM ET

Edward Woollard Photo

Edward Woollard, 18, the British student who threw an empty fire extinguisher off of the roof of a building during a tuition protest in early November, was sentenced to 32 months in prison for violent disorder Tuesday, reports Sky News.

According to the Daily Mail, Woollard was participating in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest against tuition hikes with the National Union of Students. The rally took an aggressive turn when some students broke through the glass entrance to the conservative party headquarters and made their way to the roof of the building. Woollard picked up the half-full extinguisher after a fellow protester, who'd been spraying the crowd below, put it down. He emptied the contents onto the crowd below before throwing it into the midst of protesters and police officers, narrowly missing a group of them.

The judge in the case said that Woollard had been spared a charge of attempted murder because he had admitted guilt soon after footage of his actions had been released, and lauded his mother, Tania Garwood, for encouraging Woollard to take responsibility. Garwood drove her son to a police station after he confessed what he'd done.

According to the Daily Mail, an apologetic Woollard said that he "felt sick" when he realized what he had done: "I was absolutely not intending that anyone in any way would be hurt. Very soon afterwards, I realised it was something I should not have done. I regret bitterly what I did."

Garwood told the National Post that she thought her son should be punished, but that "he is a loving, caring, gentle man." She added, "I hope he has got the chance to continue his education and it hasn't ruined his life."

Woollard will have to spend at least 16 months in a Young Offenders Institution before he is eligible for parole.

Below, check out Sky News' coverage of the sentence (includes footage of Woollard throwing the extinguisher)

What do you think of Woollard's sentence? Let us know in the comments section.

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Filed by Danielle Wiener-Bronner  |