We’ve been keeping an eye on the trial of Wesley P.P. Hall in Manchester Crown Court this week. Mr Hall, who is charged with possession of a weapon and Section 39 assault, was in court on Wednesday (put over from the original date on Tuesday); it’s now expected that his trial will last four days, rather than the three which were originally anticipated.
According to the Manchester Evening News,
Wesley Hall is accused of giving G4S employee Mike Pickford a ‘dead leg’ with a mop handle so ‘200 protesters’ could get past security workers trying to stop them from getting in.
The incident is alleged to have happened after Mr Hall, founder of outreach project Manchester Angels, made a speech about cuts causing a ‘150 per cent increase’ in the city’s homeless population and shared a platform with Bez from Happy Mondays at a rally in Piccadilly Gardens.
Footage of the alleged town hall incident has been played in a Manchester Crown Court trial where Mr Hall denies charges of common assault and possessing an offensive weapon.
The 34-year-old, of Castle Street, Nelson, says the group intended to sit in the ceremonial council headquarters for a ‘peaceful protest’, and that he did not assault the worker.
Jurors were told that the incident happened in April 2015, when a march for the homeless was held in the city centre to coincide with other events across the country.
Video footage, which you may view on the Manchester Evening News site, shows the moment when Mr Pickford’s leg buckles, allegedly after being jabbed with the mop handle, which had been put to use as a makeshift pirate flag.
The court heard that Mr Hall has 11 previous convictions for violence or public order offences. He stated that he’s now a reformed man, and described himself as a public benefactor, whose only wish is to give of himself to help the homeless and downtrodden of Manchester.
Asked whether he had jabbed Mr Pickford with the pirate flag pole, Mr Hall stated, “Definitely not”; he also claimed that he had not used any force whatsoever against Mr Pickford.
In this photo (below) from an April 2015 article in the Manchester Evening News, Mr Hall (maroon jacket) can be seen wielding the mop handle/flag pole in question.
The trial continues today.