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Charge dropped for Focus E15 activist

Police: Not enough evidence to convict campaigning mum

THE Metropolitan Police was forced to admit defeat yesterday and drop an investigation into determined London housing campaigner Jasmin Stone. Focus E15 mum Ms Stone was violently arrested on suspicion of squatting on April 13 at the Jane Come Home occupation, a community protest against Newham Council’s decision to evict a disabled resident. 

But less than 24 hours before her first hearing, Ms Stone was informed she would no longer face charges due to “insufficient evidence.”

Speaking to the Star after receiving the news, Ms Stone said: “My arrest was an illegally targeted arrest.” She added that, together with other housing activists, she would “fight political policing and ensure no activists are intimidated.”

The campaign blamed the arrest on a set-up by Newham Council which left Ms Stone alone with a few other activists and children in the premises. She was the only person arrested during the raid.

A spokeswoman for Focus E15 Mums accused the council and Newham Mayor Robin Wales for the attacks on community organisers such as Ms Stone. “Newham Council is led by Labour Mayor Robin Wales, an unashamed advocate of gentrification, supporter of sanctioning and kicking out the poor and most vulnerable,” she blasted.

“Under his rule, 400 homes on the Carpenters estate remain empty, while homeless people whom the council is compelled to house are forced to move out of London.”

Asked what the group would do after the sudden U-turn by the police she said: “We will be celebrating this victory on the weekly Focus E15 stall this Saturday in Stratford outside Wilko’s.”

When asked for comment the Met simply confirmed that Ms Stone had been informed that “no further action” would be taken against her. 

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