‘It’s expensive being silly’, protester who performed a Nazi salute to police is told

Sam Whiteley said he was only buying an E-cigarette refill when he got involved in the Yorkshire Patriots demonstration

Sam Whiteley at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court

A protester was arrested after performing a Nazi salute during a far-right demonstration in Dewsbury.

Police were forced to use pepper spray on Sam Whiteley when he raised his right arm straight in the air then tried to run off.

The 24-year-old was one of seven people arrested by officers during the Yorkshire Patriots demonstration.

He pleaded guilty to using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Hundreds of West Yorkshire Police officers were deployed to watch over two demonstrations in the town centre on October 12.

These were staged by the Yorkshire Patriots and a counter demonstration involving members of the Stand Up To Racism groups and the Kirklees Anti-Fascist Assembly.

At around 1pm 50 Patriots set off chanting Tommy Robinson’s name and “we want out country back!”

Police were with the demonstrators on Market Place when their attention was drawn to Whiteley.

Prosecutor Alex Bozman said: “They saw Mr Whiteley, who was part of the protest, trying to leave the area which was being cordoned.

“It was explained to him that he was not allowed to leave at that time to prevent a breach of the peace because the officers didn’t want the two groups to become confrontational.

“He pushed his way into the cordon and began a Nazi salute, raising his right hand up pointing to the sky, and putting his left hand horizontally.

“He said ‘f***k off’ and ran off and was detained after a short foot chase.

“The officers used PAVA spray and arrested him.”

Despite hostilities between the two groups police managed to ensure that they did not clash with each other on the day.

In a statement West Yorkshire Police later said that the protests passed off ‘without major incident’ with only seven arrests made – most on suspicion of minor public order offences.

Whiteley claimed to Kirklees magistrates that he was only in town to do some shopping.

He said: “I’m not affiliated with any of these groups.

“I went there for some E-liquid for my E-cigarette and said: ‘What’s going on?’ and looked at the Yorkshire Patriots.

“I was trying to get out when the police van came in front and (police) said : ‘You’re not going anywhere ‘.

“There were many people walking past and I was saying: ‘Hold up, how come these are allowed to come past and I’m staying here?'”

Whiteley said that an officer grabbed hold of him as he tried to walk past and he responded by pushing him away.

He told magistrates: “That’s when I did that stupid stuff which I admit was stupid.”

Magistrates fined Whiteley, of Jackroyd Lane in Mirfield, £113.

He will have to pay £85 court costs and £32 victim surcharge.

Chairman of the bench Wayne Perriman said to him: “It’s expensive being silly – just think next time.”

The Examiner

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