‘Lion of London Bridge’ spared jail for racist rant at Labour MP’s office
A man dubbed the ‘Lion of London Bridge’ has been spared jail for a racist rant at a Labour MP’s office.
Roy Larner, 48, shouted ‘fuck you, I’m Millwall’ was stabbed repeatedly by Islamic terrorists during the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attack on June 3.
Eight people died and another 48 were injured in the terror attack and Larner was the last one to be attacked before they were shot dead.
But as her recovered from his injuries a video emerged of him spitting at a black photographer and shouting abuse in Elephant and Castle last February.
A little over a month after his heroics during the London Bridge attack, the Millwall fan launched into a racist outburst at his local MP’s office in Brixton.
Prosecutor Carol Summers, said: ‘On 13 July last year, it was around about midday that the defendant entered the office of his Labour MP, Neil Coyle.
‘He then spoke with a member of staff at the front door and said, “Sadiq Khan shouldn’t even be in the country,” and called him “a pile of sh-t”.
‘The staff member said, “I’m a Muslim”. The defendant went on to say that, “All Muslims are the same – scum,” he then referred to Muslims as being “pig eating c**ts”.
‘He made a shotgun shooting gesture with a rolled up newspaper towards the ground.’
Defence lawyer, Christopher Surtees-Jones, said Larner accepts ‘the words are disgusting and it is very, very wrong and he feels shame for his behaviour on these two occasions.’
Larner was hailed worldwide for his bravery on June 3 and there was a petition online to award him the St George’s Cross.
But shocking footage showed him racially abusing anti-capitalist protestors and spitting on a black photographer, Inner London Crown Court heard.
Ms Summers said: ‘On 20 February last year between midday and two o’clock there was a peaceful protests at Elephant and Castle, consisting mainly of students from the London College of Communication.
‘This march was anti-Brexit and anti-Trump and as the march passed this defendant, there was a confrontation between all of them.
‘Last year a video emerged of this incident and that showed this defendant shouting abuse and he was identified because he was recognised.
‘His abuse was, in particular, directed to a photographer and he shot this video and came forward to the police, reporting the matter on 7 July.
That video shows Roy Larner with two dogs on leads and protestors chanting can be heard in the background.
‘He seems to be on the pavement and he says, ‘Fucking foreign c**ts.’ ‘He then leans towards the black photographer and spits at him; his head is seen to thrust forwards.
‘The photographer says, ‘Don’t spit at me,’ about three times and the defendant is saying, ‘Don’t take a picture of me, you c**t.’
‘The defendant then walks away to St Georges Road and turns back, shouting, “People like you stink, foreign c**ts, fuck off”.
‘As he is saying this he appears very aggressive and is struggling with his dogs pulling him in the other direction.
‘Another protester is heard to shout, “We fight back when racists attack”. ‘The defendant shouts, “National Front”.
‘The photographer follows him taking pictures, the defendant turns back towards him and says to him, “I fucked your mum”, he runs towards a different photographer and then he turns away to the road.
‘That photographer then goes face to face with the defendant and it looks like he tries to head-butt the defendant.
‘The defendant then thrusts his left arm out and pushes him away, he was heard to say, “National Front, National front,” and walks back towards the black photographer.
‘He seems to thrust his hand towards the camera and the protesters are shouting, ‘Racist, racist.’
‘The last thing he can be heard saying is, “Black c**t”.
The protestors can be heard to chant, “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Trump and May have got to go”, as well as, “No Trump, no Brexit, no racist EU exit”.
Explaining the night of the terror attack, Mr Surtees Jones said: ‘Mr Larner was enjoying a convivial drink when three armed terrorists ran amok.
‘The three individuals came into the proximity of Mr Larner, and he immediately ran forward and endeavoured to prevent them causing harm to others.
‘The police accept that his very swift and brave actions prevented further injury and loss of life.
‘As a consequence of his bravery he sustained very severe injuries and was taken directly by the police to the hospital, as they would not risk waiting for an ambulance.
‘I am sure your honour will be shocked to hear, that from June up until today he has spoken to counselling services just twice.
‘He is involved in charity fundraising for the London Bridge incident and the Manchester Arena bombing, he is involved through the local community and football fans.
‘The local Millwall community group ran a program to increase racial awareness, Mr Larner attended voluntarily on that course.’
The court heard that Larner receiving benefits and doing his best to support a 15-year-old daughter.
The judge said: ‘You are entitled to express your views, as they are entitled to express theirs and they cannot expect everyone to agree with them.
‘But nobody should be subjected to the kind of racist abuse, also involving spitting, that this complainant was.
‘But then, ironically, you showed that you can bring great benefit because before you were arrested you became a national hero on 3 June.
‘And of course you cannot use that for the rest of your life, but it is a side of your character that I must – and do – take into account.
‘As you heard me say to your counsel, it is no excuse that you were a victim of a Muslim attack for you to behave in that way to people of the Muslim faith.’
Larner, of Ferndale Road, Brixton, admitted racially aggravated common assault, in respect of the incident on 20 February and religiously aggravated harassment on 13 July.
He was sentenced to eight weeks, suspended for 12 months, for spitting on the photographer and fined £50 for his anti-Islam abuse.
In addition he will submit to a rehabilitation requirement for anger management and diversity awareness and he is banned from attending his local MP’s office for two years.