Three English Defence League supporters have been ordered to pay more than £350 each after being found guilty of subjecting rail passengers to serious racist abuse.
Tracey Hurley (33), Stuart Parr (28) and a 17-year old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court on 20 January for trial.
The court heard that, on Friday 25 June last year, the trio had attended an EDL march in Bradford and had been on their way home when they travelled from Manchester Victoria to Wigan on a Northern Rail service. During the journey they became abusive and intimidating, subjecting several passengers to a torrent of racist abuse.
The abuse began when the three sang songs relating to the EDL and Taliban. At Salford Crescent an Asian man boarded the train and was immediately targeted by the group who shouted derogatory remarks about Allah to the man.
PC Tony McGibbon, of British Transport Police, said: “The abuse continued for some time and was directed at anyone on board the train who the three perceived to be anything other than white British. The behaviour of the three was offensive in the extreme, completely unacceptable and made everyone on the train feel incredibly uncomfortable.”
A passenger advised a member of rail staff who reported the behaviour of the three to BTP officers. After witnesses were spoken to the three where arrested and interviewed. During interviews they admitted having been at the EDL march and drinking heavily, but denied making any racist remarks or behaving in a racist manner.
PC McGibbon added: “Despite their initial denials, there is no doubt that these three behaved in a deeply offensive manner and subjected rail passengers to unacceptable and unwarranted abuse. BTP, the rail industry, and the wider criminal justice system, takes a dim view of anyone who behaves in such a way and the sentence handed out should serve as an example and warning to others.”
Hurley, of Kingsley Avenue, Goose Green, was fined £150, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after being found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence. Parr, of Golborne Place, Scholes, was fined £150, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after being found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence.
The youth, from Ashton-in-Makerfield, was fined £150, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after being found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence.