The trial of nine people at the centre of a spending cuts protest was branded a waste of money yesterday after the £100,000 case ended with them being cleared of most of the charges.

The defendants were all found not guilty of causing damage to the Topshop store in Brighton when they glued themselves to its windows in December.

Instead five were found guilty of accidentally damaging two mannequins which toppled over when they entered the window display.

The ten day trial is estimated to have cost up to £100,000 with most of the protesters having claimed legal aid.