A NUMBER of the charges against animal rights campaigners on trial for holding a sit down protest in the city have been dismissed.

Activists from the organisation Speak, were arrested during a protest outside the Sheldonian Theatre during an Oxford University Encaenia ceremony, last July.

It is alleged protesters caused 'serious disruption and disorder' to students and tourists.

However, at Bicester Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, district judge Deborah Wright found there was no case to answer for all 16 protesters charged with intention to process and for 13 protesters charged with inciting others to process.

Mel Broughton, 46, of Semilong Road, Northampton and his mother Pauline, 70, of Welford Road, Northampton, are both charged with obstructing a police officer. Fran Cornwell, 59, of Porlock Lane in Milton Keynes, is charged with assaulting a police officer.

The trial has been adjourned and will reopen again on Friday, when closing statements are expected to be given by prosecution and defence.

Thirteen of the defendants have decided not to give evidence.