A student who needed emergency brain surgery following a tuition fees demonstration in central London has been charged with violent disorder.

The mother of 20-year-old Alfie Meadows, from Brixton Hill, claimed he had been hit over the head by a police officer as he tried to leave a protest march in Parliament Square on December 9.

His friends alleged he was struck as police “kettled” a group of demonstrators during protests against tuition fee rises that turned ugly. He had to be rushed to hospital for surgery to reduce swelling in the brain.

However, Mr Meadows, who took part in demonstrations to save the philosophy department at Middlesex University, where he was a student, last May, was last week charged by police with violent disorder.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation was launched into the treatment of Mr Meadows in light of the allegations that he was attacked.

A Kingston University philosophy lecturer, Professor Peter Hallward, came across Mr Meadows at the protest looking dazed.

He criticised police for not allowing him to accompany Mr Meadows through the police barrier to hospital.

His mother had also claimed that police officers had objected to Mr Meadows being treated at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, but these allegations were quickly discounted after an investigation.

His solicitor, Sarah McSherry, partner at Christian Khan Solicitors, said: "Alfie Meadows sustained brain injury having been struck on the head with a baton by a Metropolitan Police officer at a protest about tuition fees on December 9, 2010. That assault is the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, (IPCC)."

Shortly after the incident Mr Meadows himself posted a message on Facebook group Justice For Alfie Meadows. It read: "Hi, it's Alfie: thank you for all the messages of support. I'm recovering well and looking forward to the next round of protests. Hopefully 2011 will see students and workers coming together to bring down the coalition and stop their relentless and unnecessary cuts."

Mr Meadows has been bailed with seven others to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on June 9 in relation to the riots.

Three teenagers were also charged yesterday with violent disorder and will appear in court on May 24.