An “arrogant” Hells Angels leader is behind bars after getting involved in large-scale violence during a counter demonstration at a Black Lives Matter march.
Widespread trouble flared when members of North East Frontline Patriots, Protect the Monument from Black Lives Matter and other groups, including Hells Angels and veterans, attended the organised demonstration in Newcastle in June 2020.
The counter protestors said they were there to “protect” the city’s Grey’s Monument from the Black Lives Matter demonstrators and around 1,000 people in total gathered round the statue that day, including police officers.
The monument is an 1838 Grade I-listed memorial to Charles Grey whose government enacted the Slavery Abolition Act.
However, the act is controversial as it compensated slave owners for the loss of their “property”.
Newcastle Crown Court heard both groups stated they planned a “peaceful” protest.
But prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court from about 2pm that day, parts of the crowd became hostile and violent and police officers, dogs and horses were injured as well as members of the public.
Objects including glass bottles, metal cans and smoke grenades were thrown.
Mr Perks said police officers were hit by missiles and suffered injuries ranging from redness to bruising, a dislocated finger and one had his foot trampled by a horse trying to avoid an object, which led to eight weeks off work.
One police horse had blood coming from the mouth, another needed treatment to a cut leg and one service dog suffered a wound to the face from a bottle that was thrown.
A 17-year-old who attended to peacefully demonstrate with the Black Lives Matter group was hit by a bottle as she tried to get away from the violence and suffered a wound to the head.
The court heard Colin Green is the leader of the Tyne and Wear Chapter of the Hells Angels and he was caught on CCTV among the counter protesters.
He threw no missiles or punches but was shown on the footage to be running at police, refusing to leave and ended up being bitten by a police dog then taken to hospital.
The 58-year-old of Church Street, Sunderland, who lives in accommodation provided by the Chapter and works at their bar, admitted violent disorder and has now been jailed for 29 months.
Judge Edward Bindloss said: “He is an influential figure of the Hells Angels in this area.
“My assessment of him on the footage is of him walking around in a cool, calm and arrogant manner, walking up to police, going behind police, striding around in a way that made me assess him as someone who thought he was untouchable.”
Judge Bindloss said Green played a “significant part” in what happened that day and added: “It could have been open to him to say to those in his chapter ‘we are off’, ‘we are leaving the scene’, ‘let’s go’.
“He chose not to do so.”
Nick Lane, defending, handed in references to Green’s ordinarily positive character.
Mr Lane said Green is “deeply ashamed and embarrassed by his conduct on the day” and has been involved in charity work including providing Covid hampers during lockdowns and planning events such as the Armed Services Day event in South Shields.
Christopher Butters, 42, of Moorland Avenue, Bedlington, Northumberland, was jailed for 31 months at the same hearing.
He also admitted violent disorder and had been shown on CCTV throwing missiles at police after he was hit by a mounted officer’s baton.