Leaked Doc: Protestor Penalized For Piss-Poor Poetry

Owen Holland's 30 month rustication was down to his inability to explain his own poetry.

Willetts protester Owen Holland was sent down for 30 months after he couldn’t explain his own poetry.

In a confidential court document leaked to The Tab, it was revealed that the English PhD candidate found it “difficult to say” what some of the phrases in his densely-worded epistle meant.

The court therefore considered his testimony to be “lacking in […] credibility.

Holland was “not entitled to [a] discount on sentence” as he consistently denied charges. The court also found it relevant that he refused to show remorse or accept the “gravity” of his actions.

The Court of Discipline emphasised the need for Holland’s “rehabilitation” through his sentence. The aim of his rehabilitation is unclear.

WilliLeaks: An extract from the leaked doc

Despite student outrage at the severity of Holland’s 30 month rustication, the document revealed that his sentencing was still “at the lower end of the scale.

It was his good character, clean record and shared guilt that cut his sentence.

A “concerned” Gerard Tully, CUSU President, told The Tab: “It’s fairly clear to us how students feel about the issue, both from the Tab poll at the time of the decision, and the almost 3000 signatures on the ‘This Is Not Justice’ petition.

“I believe this sentence is excessive and does not stand up to rational scrutiny.”

The Court did not recognise the event as a protest but dismissed the Senior Proctor’s description of it as a “tedious interruption.

Sara Stillwell, a CDE activist, said: “They’ve disregarded that it is a protest. That’s already a biased premise.

“Whether or not they agreed with how it was conducted is a different matter. People should not be prosecuted for peacefully protesting in any environment.”

The University had no comment to offer, but said that the issue would be raised at Regent House on 24th April.


The document in full

Corrected 18.25, 17th April 2012: The double negative in the quote from Part F, paragraph 2b used in paragraph 10 was misinterpreted. It has been corrected to better reflect the court’s finding.

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