Six far-right sympathisers who ambushed people going to an anti-fascist benefit gig in front of shocked city centre onlookers have today been jailed.
The men pleaded guilty to violent disorder following an incident in Liverpool city centre on 6 July 2012.
Liam Pinkham, 35, from Birkenhead, was sentenced to 17 months in prison.
Michael Kearns 41, from Liverpool, was sentenced to 14 months in prison.
Matthew Coates, 22, from Southport, was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Peter Hawley, 53, from Blackburn, was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
Shane Calvert, 32, from Blackburn, was sentenced to 14 months in prison.
Stephen Dumont, 18, from Netherley, has been sentenced to 5 months detention in a Youth Offenders’ Institution for this offence and a further 4 months for an offence of racially aggravated assault.
Nathan Smith had pleaded guilty to violent disorder at an earlier hearing but failed to turn up to court today and a bench warrant has now been issued for him.
During the case, the court heard that the men shared right wing views and had meant to disrupt an anti-fascist group benefit gig at the News from Nowhere bookshop in Bold Street in Liverpool city centre on 6 July 2012.
However, Anya Horwood, Senior Crown Advocate for CPS Mersey- Cheshire, said in court: “While this may have been the backdrop, what actually happened was a wanton act of public disorder which resulted in real fear, injury and damage.”
The defendants attacked members of the anti-fascist group as they walked up Bold Street and in the Tabac bar and cafe, which is near to the News from Nowhere bookshop, shortly before the benefit gig was due to begin.
Anya Horwood said: “This was an entirely unprovoked attack by the defendants and others. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries.”
After the sentences were handed out, Helen Morris, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service, Mersey- Cheshire, said: “The violence used by the defendants on that day caused real fear among the ordinary members of the public who just happened to have the misfortune to be in the area.
“They launched an unprovoked assault on their victims in a public place and were reckless as to the effect of that on anyone around them. These offences are serious and that’s reflected in the sentences imposed by the Court.”