Two anti-war protesters were cleared by magistrates after their rooftop demonstration.

Martin Hills and Michael Heyman, both 31, were arrested after protesting on the roof of EDO MBM Technology at Home Farm Business Park in Brighton.

The demonstration on August 23 last year was sparked by a belief the firm sold weapons to Israel which were used in its war with Lebanon.

The two defendants hung a banner from EDO's roof saying: "16 children killed in Qana, Lebanon. EDO profits from murder".

The pair were found not guilty of aggravated trespass and failing to comply with a police request to leave the property.

Mr Hills, a housing association support manager, and Mr Heyman, a food wholesaler, had both denied the charges.

A district judge at Brighton Magistrates' Court decided they were not disrupting the business of the firm.

Mr Hills said: "It's a real victory for the freedom to protest, the fact that being on a rooftop is not itself a criminal act.

"The court's decision proves that peaceful protest is not a crime. Sussex Police's attempts to stifle protest have failed yet again."

Libby Clark of the Crown Prosecution Service said: "The trial ran its full course. There was clearly a case to answer."

Mr Hills said the protests at EDO - which still take place every week - have a broad base of support.

He said: "It is a stereotype that if you care about atrocities committed around the world that you're unemployed or a student, but that is not the case.

"This is something that motivates people from all walks of life."

The Smash EDO campaign is holding a celebratory demonstration outside Brighton Magistrates' Court in Edward Street tomorrow at 12.30pm.

No-one was available for comment when The Argus contacted EDO today.