A demonstrator who caused £16,000 damage to a coach by smashing its windows with an emergency hammer has been jailed for three years.
Callum Lambe, of no fixed address, was involved in fighting at the M20 Junction 8 service station near Maidstone, at about 10.30am on January 30, 2016.
The 26-year-old was a passenger on board a coach transporting activists to a demonstration in Dover that stopped at the same time as a number of other vehicles containing passengers planning to hold a counter-protest.
Fighting broke out between both groups and a number of objects including bricks, bottles and wooden pallets were thrown.
Lambe was caught on CCTV smashing the windows of a coach, and forensic evidence was also found on an emergency hammer that had been thrown in a nearby bin.
He was arrested at an address in West Norwood, London, on February 25 this year and later pleaded guilty to charges of violent disorder and criminal damage.
Lambe was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court today (August 9).
Investigating officer detective constable Hilary Bell, of Kent Police, said: “If Lambe and others could not control themselves during a rest break at a service station, I very much doubt they would have been capable of holding a peaceful protest in Dover.
“Whatever their difference in opinions, there can never be an excuse for this sort of violence to exist between two groups of people and Lambe was very much at the heart of the trouble that broke out that morning.
“There was no reason for him to smash the windows of the coach and this mindless act of vandalism has contributed to the lengthy prison sentence he has now received.
“Fortunately the officers who attended the service station that morning were able to prevent those involved from travelling to Dover, where I’m sure they would have been involved in further incidents of aggression.”
Meanwhile, Thomas Fereday, of Grosmont Way in Newport, South Wales, has been jailed for 16 months after travelling to Dover for the sole purpose of attending the demonstrations.
The 28-year-old took part in the disorder throughout the day and was caught on camera throwing numerous objects at opposition protestors.
Fereday handed himself in on May 12 after hearing that police had executed a search warrant at his home address. He too was sentenced today.