The son of iconic Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is facing jail time after pleading guilty in a Kingston crown court on May 5, 2011, to one charge of violent disorder after a student demonstration in London last December 9.
Cambridge University history student and former model, Charlie Gilmour sparked nationwide anger when he appeared in the press after being photographed hanging from a union flag on the Cenotaph war memorial during a protest over university fee hikes that turned violent.
During the melee, a Rolls Royce carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, on the way to a Royal Variety Performance, was surrounded by an angry mob that began lobbing projectiles at the car. The back passenger window of their car was shattered and at one point and the Duchess was struck in the side with a stick.
For his part, the younger Gilmour was accused of leaping onto the hood of the car carrying the royals' bodyguards as well as throwing a garbage can at the royal couple's vehicle. Luckily for the younger Gilmour the can missed its intended mark, but it did end up hitting another car and smashing a window at a local branch of Topshop. Gilmour was also accused of stealing a mannequin leg from the clothing store, but that charge was later withdrawn. Had he been Alice Cooper's son, they might have thought better of it.
Wearing a somber grey suit, black tie and white shirt in court accompanied by two private security guards, Gilmour pleaded guilty to taking part in the riot which attacked the royal convoy. Specific charges are yet to be agreed upon between the court and his lawyer David Spens. That will be decided when he returns to court for sentencing on July 8.
Judge Nicholas Price, QC, granted Gilmour a conditional bail ahead of sentencing so he can complete his end-of-year exams at Cambridge, but warned him he might still face a prison term.
"The fact that I am granting you bail is of no indication whatsoever that you will be dealt with in a non-custodial way. You must understand that your plea of guilty to violent disorder is a serious matter and it may be that the proper course would be one of immediate custody."
Violent disorder carries a maximum jail sentence for five years in the UK. Gilmour's lawyer told reporters, "We feel it will be much better to be done when he's finished his exams, rather than when he's preparing for them."
Gilmour issued an apology the day after the riots, but it didn't do anything to mitigate his charges. "I feel nothing but shame. My intention was not to attack or defile the Cenotaph. Running along with a crowd of people who had just been violently repelled by the police, I got caught up in the spirit of the moment."
Dave Gilmour, who is not Charlie's biological father, adopted him soon after he married his mother, journalist Polly Samson, who you might remember was the co-writer on Pink Floyd's "Division Bell."
In other Pink Floyd news, a self-portrait of Syd Barrett was returned to a gallery from which it was stolen last month. The painting was taken from the Idea Generation Gallery in London but was returned after Barrett's former girlfriend Libby Gausden offered £2,000 ($3400) for its safe return. It was part of a series that the eccentric singer painted before he joined Pink Floyd.