Charlie Gilmour, son of Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour, has been jailed for 16 months for his part in violent protests against student fees in London last December. Footage of the protests saw him hanging off a Union Jack in the Cenotaph war memorial in central London, as well as jumping on to a Jaguar which formed part of a convoy carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla to a Royal Variety Performance.
He also burnt papers outside the Supreme Court and kicked in a window at Topshop’s flagship store in Oxford Street and was later seen carrying the leg of a mannequin. Protestors trashing the store caused £50,000 damage.
Gilmour Jr was accompanied in court by his guitarist father, where lawyers told the Judge that the son of the ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ songwriter had drunk whisky and consumed both LSD and Valium before taking part in the protests. Gilmour Jr was clean shaven and sombrely dressed in a suit and held his head in his hands as the court was shown video footage of him at the protests loudly proclaiming “We’ll eat fire and ice and destruction because we’re angry, very fucking angry. We refuse to do anything we’re told. They broke the moral law. We’re going to break all the laws. Arson!”
Gilmour’s lawyer, David Spens QC told the court that by his own admission his client had gone off the rails at the time, saying “For a period of time starting around August 2010 he was, by his own admission, on something of a continual binge, taking a range of illicit and illegal drugs. It seems this was born more out of unhappiness than hedonism, precipitated by the emotional rejection after meeting Heathcote. In his own words, he spent most of the week, effectively every week, tranquillised out of his mind.”
Spens’ plea for a non-custodial sentence was rejected by the judge, who in ticking off Gilmour said that the Cambridge undergraduate’s behaviour that day was deeply offensive. “Such outrageous and deeply offensive behaviour gives a clear indication of how out of control you were that day. It caused public outrage and understandably so.”