Ahava: anti-Israel duo will face trial

By Marcus Dysch, October 14, 2010

Two people face trial after denying charges that they chained themselves inside a branch of an Israeli cosmetics store.

Gwendolen Wilkinson, 20, from Newport, and Matthew Richardson, 24, from Sheffield, were charged with aggravated trespass at Ahava in Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, following a protest on October 2.

The pair appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, north London, on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

Richardson, wearing a black T-shirt, and Wilkinson, in a hooded jumper, were asked to take their hands out of their pockets by magistrates during the short hearing. They spoke only to confirm their names, ages and addresses. They were released on bail and will return to the court on January 13 to stand trial.

Protesters demonstrate outside Ahava every other weekend, claiming it mis-labels its products "Made in Israel" when they are made in Mitzpe Shalem, an Israeli settlement on the West Bank.

In August, four protesters who chained themselves inside the store were acquitted of aggravated trespass after the prosecution's key witness failed to appear in court.

Last updated: 4:17pm, October 14 2010