Son of Pink Floyd star arrested over student protest

12th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour was arrested Sunday on suspicion of attempted criminal damage after he was pictured swinging from Britain's national war memorial during a student riot.

In a public apology Friday, Charlie Gilmour, 21, identified himself as the man pictured in several national newspapers swinging from the British flag on the Cenotaph in central London.

Thousands of student demonstrators went on the rampage through London on Thursday as the government narrowly won a parliamentary vote on raising university tuition fees as much as threefold.

"A 21-year-old man was arrested at his home address in Sussex (southeast England)... on suspicion of violent disorder, and attempted criminal damage of the Union flag, on the Cenotaph," Scotland Yard said in a statement Sunday.

"He was taken to a Sussex police station where he has been further arrested on suspicion of theft. He remains in custody."

Charlie Gilmour said in his statement Friday that he was sorry for the "terrible insult" to the country's war dead.

A former model who now studies history at Britain's prestigious Cambridge University, Gilmour said he did not realise it was the Cenotaph at the time.

"I would like to express my deepest apologies for the terrible insult to the thousands of people who died bravely for our country that my actions represented," he wrote.

"I feel nothing but shame... I got caught up in the spirit of the moment.

"I did not realise that it was the Cenotaph and if I had, I certainly would not have done what I did."

Meanwhile, police have released images of 13 men and one woman they want to identify over the violent disturbances during the riot.

Some demonstrators attacked a car carrying Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and his wife Camilla. Some 35 people have now been arrested.

© 2010 AFP

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