‘You equate all those of Muslim heritage with grooming gangs and terrorism’ – Judge jails ‘highly racist’ dad who organised Stoke-on-Trent far-right march
Racist David Shufflebottom has been locked up after he helped organise an anti-Muslim demonstration in a town centre.
The 33-year-old was a member of far-right group Stoke-on-Trent Infidels, which arranged the ‘Britain First’ protest in Burslem.
He was captured on police body-cam footage waving a huge Union Flag and shouting racist and religious abuse – in the presence of children.
Shufflebottom also posted several offensive posts on Facebook encouraging people to attend an English Defence League march in Worcester.
He has now been jailed for 15 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, as a senior judge branded him ‘highly racist’.
‘The defendant is entrenched as anti-Muslim…’
Prosecutor Richard McConaghy described Shufflebottom as ‘an orchestrator’ of the Britain First march, which took place in October 2017.
He said: “The defendant is entrenched as anti-Muslim, involved in Britain First marches and a member of the online group the Stoke-on-Trent Infidels.
“The defendant attended the Burslem march and to a certain extent was an orchestrator of what took place. He is seen on the footage repeatedly shouting anti-Muslim abuse.”
Shufflebottom, of Wellfield Road, Bentilee, was arrested in February 2018 and interviewed by police. Mr McConaghy said: “He made it clear he was anti-Muslim and directly criticised the Koran.”
In August last year, while he was still on police bail in relation to that incident, he wrote several posts on his own Facebook page in support of an English Defence League march in Worcester.
He made a number of derogatory comments about Islam, and posted a map of Worcester indicating routes those involved could use to get away from the area where the march was planned.
Shufflebottom also posted a ‘rant about Muslim taxi drivers’ on the Stoke-on-Trent Infidels Facebook page.
The father-of-two pleaded guilty to two charges of racially or religiously-aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
The court heard he had 12 previous convictions for 20 offences including racially aggravated public order offences.
Adrian Harris, mitigating, said Shufflebottam had spent his formative years in the care system mixing with certain people that had ‘skewed his thinking and how he perceived the world’.
Mr Harris said: “Between 2012 and 2017 he committed no offences. He moved out of town, had a settled family and accommodation. The tragedy is they then moved to another area, work was not what it was and things spiralled.
“He is a man with an addictive personality and he then found Facebook. It was not his friend.”
The court heard the defendant had now ‘stepped away’ from these type of protests and social media, and wanted to become a role model for his two children.
”Racism is evil…’
Sentencing Shufflebottom to 15 months in prison, Judge Paul Glenn told him: “I find you are highly racist. You seem to equate all those of Muslim heritage with paedophilia, grooming gangs, Muslim extremism and terrorism. You are unable to keep those views to yourself.
“Racism is evil and there is no doubt whatsoever that these offences are so serious that only immediate custody is appropriate.”