THE Attorney General is considering referring the case in which four people were cleared of tearing down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston to the Court of Appeal.

Suella Braverman said the verdict is causing “confusion” and she is “carefully considering” whether to use powers which allow her to seek a review so senior judges have the chance to “clarify the law for future cases”.

Rhian Graham, 30, Milo Ponsford, 26, Sage Willoughby, 22, and Jake Skuse, 33, were prosecuted for pulling the statue down during a Black Lives Matter protest on June 7 2020 in Bristol while a huge crowd was present.

They were acquitted by a jury at the city’s Crown Court on Wednesday.

READ MORE: GB News in court over Mercy Muroki opinion piece published during Colston Four trial

The verdict prompted a debate about the criminal justice system after the defendants – dubbed the Colston Four – opted to stand trial in front of a jury and did not deny involvement in the incident, instead claiming the presence of the statue was a hate crime and it was therefore not an offence to remove it.

But the prosecution said it was “irrelevant” who Colston was and the case was one of straightforward criminal damage.

The acquittal cannot be overturned and the defendants cannot be retried without fresh evidence.

Braverman said on Twitter: “Trial by jury is an important guardian of liberty and must not be undermined. However, the decision in the Colston statue case is causing confusion.

“Without affecting the result of this case, as Attorney General I am able to refer matters to the Court of Appeal so that senior judges have the opportunity to clarify the law for future cases. I am carefully considering whether to do so.”

Joanna Cherry (below), the QC and SNP MP, said “possible confusion” would not provide a legal basis for the sort of referral Braverman is looking at – saying there would need to be an error of law identified that required clarification.

“Jury verdicts do not set precedents,” she said. “They are specific to the case in the hand and decided on the facts before them.

The National:

“The petty and ill-informed attacks on the Colston jury verdict which we have seen from Tory MPs are on par with the attacks on the judiciary we saw at the height of the Brexit crisis.

“Politicians should not question jury verdicts just because they don’t like them, that is damaging to the separation of powers and the rule of law.”

Cherry, who played a key role in overturning Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament in 2019, went on: “Lectures from Tory ministers and MPs on threats to the rule of law are a bit rich given their government’s record – from the unlawful prorogation of parliament to the Internal Market Bill, and the corruption we are currently seeing at the heart of government.”