Five far right thugs admitted violent disorder in city centre two years ago
Five thugs who styled themselves the “Polish hooligans” and travelled to Liverpool to take part in a far-right rally in the city centre avoided prison sentences.
They were recruited by a group calling itself the North West Infidels , who organised the anti-immigration march on Saturday, February 27, 2016.
It led to widespread disturbances on Lime Street and around St George’s Plateau as the far-right mob were met by equally determined counter demonstrators.
Police struggled to keep order and a number of people, including police officers, were injured as cobblestones, fireworks, bottles and other missiles were hurled between the two groups.
Five Polish nationals – Lukasz Poczesny, 34, Igor Fiodorow, 20, Marcin Lasota, 33, Patryk Lesniowski, 22, and Mateusz Slezak, 26 – all appeared at Liverpool Crown Court for sentencing this afternoon after pleading guilty to violent disorder.
Simon Driver, prosecuting, said no attempts had been made to liaise with Merseyside police ahead of the planned rally.
Mr Driver said an already tense stand-off between the two groups was further inflamed by the arrival of the “Polish hooligans” gang, who were wearing black hooded jackets and intimidating masks.
He added: “The arrival of this group was a catalyst for an increase in the levels of violence which then ensued between the opposing factions.
“Police officers came under direct attack from both sides. Items including industrial fireworks, flares, bottles, cobblestones, eggs, fruit and vegetables and other missiles were thrown at the police and the opposing groups.
“A police inspector was knocked unconscious by a missile and a police constable suffered a broken wrist.”
Other injuries including a young woman who suffered a facial injury that needed plastic surgery, and a man who suffered a broken nose, after both were hit by flying masonry.
The five defendants were arrested by police after order was restored and they were identified on CCTV footage. An examination of their mobile phones found they had been in communication with each other and with members of the North West Infidels.
Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said the group’s political views, however offensive, may have been genuinely held, but the real reason for their presence was to behave like hooligans.
He added: “This was all sport for you, whatever your superficial political beliefs.”
He said he was sparing them custodial sentences on account of the fact that they were all employed, had pleaded guilty, and the events had taken place some time ago.
Members of the group each received prison terms of 18 months, suspended for two years, and were ordered to carry out either 150 or 180 hours’ unpaid work.