Colston statue toppler swears on air, “Warned it might be ripe,” prompting the BBC to issue an apology.

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The BBC has been forced to issue an apology after a Colston statue toppler swears on air that he was “warned it might be ripe.”

THE BBC was forced to issue an apology after one of the activists acquitted of the toppling of Bristol’s Edward Colston statue swore on live television.

Sage Willoughby, 22, addressed Colston with the F-word outside Bristol Crown Court following a two-week trial in which four Black Lives Matter protesters were found not guilty of criminal damage for toppling the slave trader statue.

The activist said the result, which took the jury three hours to deliberate, was a “victory for Bristol, a victory for racial equality, and a victory for anyone who wants to be on the right side of history” in a passionate speech following the clearing.

He also called slave owner Edward Colston a “f****** virtuous man” in the 17th century.

He apologized profusely for swearing in his speech.

Martine Croxall of the BBC jumped in, saying, “I had warned you it might be a little bit ripe and it was!”

Rhian Graham, 30, Milo Ponsford, 26, and Sage Willoughby, 22, were caught on CCTV passing ropes guarding the 17th century slave trader statue on June 7, 2020.

Later, those ropes were used to drag it down and toss it into the harbour.

Jake Skuse, 33, a fourth protester, was accused of orchestrating a plan to toss the statue into the water.

The four defendants admitted to taking part in the incident but denied that their actions were illegal.

During the toppling and subsequent dunking in the harbour, the statue was damaged to the tune of £3,750.

Damage to Pero’s Bridge railings totaled £350, which included the removal of Colston’s staff and a coattail.

The prosecution argued that the case was about simple criminal damage, and that the fact that the statue was of Colston was “irrelevant” to the case.

However, defense lawyers argued that Colston’s legacy was critical to the case’s outcome.

Colston was accused of enslaving and transporting over 80,000 people, nearly 10,000 of whom were children, at Bristol Crown Court.

Around 19,000 people died on slave ships en route to the Caribbean and the Americas.

Campaigns to demolish the statue date back to the 1920s.

Professor David Olusoga, a TV historian and author, testified in support of the four defendants, as did former Bristol Lord Mayor Cleo Lake.

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