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Fined

Three English Defence League supporters have been ordered to pay more than £350 each after being found guilty of subjecting rail passengers to serious racist abuse.

Tracey Hurley (33), Stuart Parr (28) and a 17-year old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court on 20 January for trial.

The court heard that, on Friday 25 June last year, the trio had attended an EDL march in Bradford and had been on their way home when they travelled from Manchester Victoria to Wigan on a Northern Rail service. During the journey they became abusive and intimidating, subjecting several passengers to a torrent of racist abuse.

The abuse began when the three sang songs relating to the EDL and Taliban. At Salford Crescent an Asian man boarded the train and was immediately targeted by the group who shouted derogatory remarks about Allah to the man.

PC Tony McGibbon, of British Transport Police, said: “The abuse continued for some time and was directed at anyone on board the train who the three perceived to be anything other than white British. The behaviour of the three was offensive in the extreme, completely unacceptable and made everyone on the train feel incredibly uncomfortable.”

A passenger advised a member of rail staff who reported the behaviour of the three to BTP officers. After witnesses were spoken to the three where arrested and interviewed. During interviews they admitted having been at the EDL march and drinking heavily, but denied making any racist remarks or behaving in a racist manner.

PC McGibbon added: “Despite their initial denials, there is no doubt that these three behaved in a deeply offensive manner and subjected rail passengers to unacceptable and unwarranted abuse. BTP, the rail industry, and the wider criminal justice system, takes a dim view of anyone who behaves in such a way and the sentence handed out should serve as an example and warning to others.”

Hurley, of Kingsley Avenue, Goose Green, was fined £150, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after being found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence. Parr, of Golborne Place, Scholes, was fined £150, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after being found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence.

The youth, from Ashton-in-Makerfield, was fined £150, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after being found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence.

Lancaster Unity

Henry Hunter

Henry Hunter

A teenager found guilty of violent disorder following an attack on Kingston Mosque has been spared jail.

Henry Hunter, 19, was convicted last month after a gang of young men laid siege to a mosque in East Road, having previously attended a protest march against Muslim extremism, in November 2010.

But he was acquitted of racially aggravated criminal damage.

At Kingston Crown Court this morning, Hunter, from Ashford in Middlesex, was sentenced to six months at a young offenders’ institute, suspended for 12 months.

He was fined £1,000, given 250 hours of unpaid work, and handed a four month curfew order banning him from leaving his home on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights.

Hunter was also given an exclusion order banning him from Kingston town centre for a year.

Before the sentence was passed, Hunter’s solicitor Michael Green told Recorder Roderick Fletcher that Hunter was a young man of previous good character who had not been in trouble before or after the mosque attack.

Mr Green said Hunter’s attitude had changed considerably in the two years since the attack, and he was now also holding down a job as a fork lift truck driver.

He contrasted Hunter’s police record with those of Martin Pottle and Alfie Wallace, who, along with David Morris, were all jailed for the attack in April.

Mr Green said Pottle had four previous public order offences and had been sentenced to six months in prison for affray in 2010.

Wallace had convictions for violence, robbery, criminal damage, assaulting a police officer and racially aggravated offences.

Mr Green also pointed to the fact Hunter handed himself into the police voluntarily, after his picture appeared on the front page of the Surrey Comet in the wake of the convictions of Pottle, Wallace and Morris.

Mr Green said: “This is a young man who handed himself into a police station after his picture was published in the Surrey Comet on the same day.

“His attitudes have changed considerably, his personal circumstances have changed considerably.

“He hopes to be given the opportunity to carry on working. Things have changed in terms of his employment, and in terms of his attitude.

“There are no new offences. The author of the pre-sentence report has spoken to the police and there is no suggestion he has been involved in any previous activity.”

Sentencing Hunter, Recorder Fletcher said: “You surrendered voluntarily to the police, you are currently in employment and you have a stable home environment.

“You’ve made important changes to your lifestyle and attitude in the past two years.”

“I’ve felt able to take a different course in your case to the course taken regarding Mr Pottle and Mr Wallace.

“Mr Pottle was substantially older than you, and Mr Wallace was marginally older than you.

“Both were convicted of two offences – violent disorder and religiously aggravated damage to property and both had relevant previous convictions.

“In these circumstances I’ve taken what could be considered as an unusual course in relation to your sentence.”

Surrey Comet

English Defence League clash with anti-fascist groups in Manchester.
English Defence League clash with anti-fascist groups in Manchester.

AN English Defence League supporter has been fined for his role in the organisation’s October protest in Manchester city centre.

Lee Howarth, 24, from Milnrow in Rochdale, was arrested at Piccadilly Station on October 10, after shouting abuse and swearing at police officers. Hundreds of EDL supporters gathered on the day to demonstrate.

Manchester magistrates’ court heard yesterday how Howarth, who is unemployed, persisted in swearing at police despite repeatedly being told to ‘calm down’.

With his fists raised, Howarth responded: ‘Think you’re a big man? Make me.’

Howarth was drunk at the time.

Philip Lythgoe, defending, said Howarth accepts he swore but that it was in response to being ‘pushed around by police’.

Chairman of the bench, Iain Simms, said: ‘Police are there to do a job and you don’t expect them to be shouted and sworn at.’

Howarth pleaded guilty to a public order offence of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and was fined a total of £100.

The EDL claims only to oppose radical Islam but supporters were seen at the October demonstrations making Nazi salutes.

Around 1,500 people joined a counter protest by Unite Against Fascism and the two sides faced-off for five hours, separated by police in riot gear and on horseback.

A total of 48 people were arrested during the day and the demonstration left the city with an £800,000 bill.

Manchester Evening News

A RIGHT-wing extremist who was arrested on his way to the EDL march in Aylesbury last year for abusing police officers has had his appeal turned down.

Daryl Hobson appeared at Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday in a bid to get his sentence overturned.

Hobson, 44, was stopped by police last year on May 1, as he was holding a large union flag out the car window.

When stopped, Hobson insulted police officers, calling them ‘f***ing jobsworths’ and labelled one of them ‘Robocop’ and ‘a clown’.

Officers eventually lost their patience when he began chanting support for a man who killed three police officers.

When describing the incident, PC Ahmed Chaudry said: “The gentleman got out of the car and came up to me and said: ‘What do you want?’ in an aggressive manner.”

He said coachloads of EDL supporters began driving past, prompting Hobson to put his arms in the air and shout EDL slogans.

Police sergeants Luke Pillinger and Spencer Kervin were passing when they saw what was happening and stopped to help.

Sgt Kervin said: “He got within arm’s length and shouted behind me: ‘Harry Roberts is my friend. He kills coppers’, very loud.”

Roberts was a career criminal planning an armed robbery when his gang was approached by plain-clothes police officers in London, in 1966. Roberts shot dead two officers and an accomplice killed a third. Paul Fox, whose father Geoffrey was one of the three murdered police officers, lives in Aylesbury.

The officers arrested Hobson and he was tried and convicted. He was fined £100 and ordered to pay £400 in court costs.

At the hearing Hobson admitted using the chant about the policemen but said he was doing it towards his friends, not the police.

“It’s a song sung in football grounds up and down the country. Everybody has a good laugh at it. We started singing it on the way up (to Aylesbury) in the car. I wasn’t threatening at all.

“Pillinger was standing in front of me in an intimidating way like he was some kind of Robocop,” he said.

“I called him a Nazi. I called him a f***ing jobsworth and a clown. I said: ‘The only thing missing on you, chap, is a bright red nose and shoes’.”

Recorder Johannah Cutts QC said: “We are of the view that he did, indeed, use words and behaviour in such a way to cause alarm and harassment, if not distress, and for that reason we dismiss this appeal.”

She ordered Hobson to pay prosecution costs of £415.

The Bucks Herald

Three men have been fined for placing a pig’s head near the site of a proposed mosque in Nottinghamshire.

Wayne Havercroft, 41, of Bestwood Village, was fined £585 by Nottingham magistrates for racially aggravated public order offences.

Nicholas Long, 22, of Arnold, and Robert Parnham, 20, of Clifton were fined £300 over the incident in West Bridgford in June.

The court heard “No mosque here, EDL Notts” was sprayed on the ground.

In July, Christopher Payne, 25 of Hucknall was given a six-week suspended sentence and fined £335 and given 100 hours of community service for the same offence.

Crown Prosecution Service spokesman Brian Gunn said: “This kind of targeted abuse based on the grounds of religion or race has no place in our community.”

Mr Gunn added: “The actions of this group were highly offensive and would obviously have caused significant distress to the community in West Bridgford had it not been discovered at an early stage.”

The court was told the men had been drunk at the time and had since said they were ashamed of their behaviour.

BBC News

THREE men have been fined after a protest by the English Defence League in Manchester city centre.

William Crangle, Kevin Greaves and David Monks were all arrested on Saturday as hundreds of EDL members came to the city to demonstrate.

The organisation claims to oppose only radical Islam but supporters were seen making Nazi salutes and singing patriotic songs during the demonstration in Piccadilly.

Around 1,500 people joined a counter protest by Unite Against Fascism.

The two sides were in a face-off for five hours, separated by a police line including officers in riot gear and on horseback and 48 people were arrested during the day.

The demonstration left the city with an £800,000 bill.

Abusive

EDL supporters Crangle, 30, of North Croft, Oldham, Greaves, 30, of Springwood Hall Road, Oldham, and Monks, 33, of Manchester Road, Bolton, all admitted public order offences of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour when they appeared at Manchester magistrates’ court yesterday.

Crangle and Greaves, who appeared in the dock together, were arrested at 11.45am, as they walked along London Road, near Piccadilly station.

Police asked Crangle to remove a bandana that was covering his face, suspecting he might be trying to conceal his identity, the court heard. He swore at the officers and was arrested. Mr Greaves was also arrested after repeatedly swearing as officers tried to search him.

Crangle was fined £160 and Greaves, who is on benefits, £80, and both were ordered to pay another £100 in costs and victim surcharge.

Both men apologised for wasting court time.

Monks was fined £80 plus £95 in costs and a victim surcharge after the court heard how he was arrested as EDL protesters were escorted away from Piccadilly Gardens and towards Victoria station by police at 4.30pm.

Police were detaining another man when Monks grabbed him and tried to pull him from their grasp.

He swore at officers before being arrested, magistrates heard.

Manchester Evening News

Kevin Carroll holds a banner on top of FIFA HQ in Zurich

Kevin Carroll holds a banner on top of FIFA HQ in Zurich

A ROOFTOP protest over the ban on the England football team having embroidered poppies on their shirts has cost two English Defence League members £3,000.

EDL leader Stephen Lennon and member Kevin Carroll flew to Switzerland last Tuesday and 24 hours later managed to get on to the roof of the FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

They were demanding England players be allowed to wear poppies on their shirts for their friendly against Spain after the governing body ruled emblems were not allowed because the poppy was seen as a political emblem.

The compromise of allowing the teams to wear black armbands with poppies on was reached after interventions from Prince William and David Cameron.

But Mr Lennon claims his protest was the tipping point.

“FIFA changed their mind after two hours of us being up on that roof,” he said. “Everyone’s saying it was David Cameron but it was us.”

The pair were arrested when they came down from the roof after four hours, and were fined £2,300 and had to pay £700 court costs.

“They said our reasons were just but obviously it was against the law,” said Mr Lennon. “They put us in a grimy prison for three days.”

Their spell behind bars meant the pair were not in London on Friday when 170 English Defence Members were arrested at a pub near the Cenotaph because police believed they were headed for the protest camp at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Mr Lennon said: “They dragged everyone out of the pub and held them for four hours. There was no trouble.

“The police said they were preventing a breach of the peace so they arrested everyone, men and women. But no-one was charged with anything, they were all just released after four hours.”

Luton Today

The Guardian

SIX men with links to a controversial right-wing pressure group have been ordered to pay almost £6,000 for chanting a sickening torrent of religious abuse

EDL members outside Teesside Magistrates Court

EDL members outside Teesside Magistrates Court

The men, who are associated with the English Defence League (EDL), were sentenced at Teesside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

They were found guilty in August of shouting a highly inflammatory religious chant at Middlesbrough railway station.

Supporters of the men, some wearing EDL sweatshirts and carrying flags, gathered outside the court building yesterday as magistrates only allowed five people in the public gallery.

There was also a strong police presence both in and outside the court, along with mounted officers in Centre Square.

As reported, the group members – who all said they were associated to the EDL in some way – were convicted of religiously aggravated harassment and using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment alarm or distress, after a two-day trial.

The incident happened at about 7.30pm on Saturday, December 10, after the group came to Middlesbrough to watch Boro play Brighton. But when they decided it was too cold, they visited several pubs in the town instead.

Trouble arose when the group arrived at the station and were heard by PC Andrew Ward, of British Transport Police, chanting EDL chants – as well as the highly inflammatory chant in question.

Addressing the defendants, Elizabeth Hutchinson, chairman of the bench, said: “It’s the court’s belief that you knew exactly what you were doing, that you deliberately set out to use racially abusive language and to intimidate members of the public.”

She added that the incident was aggravated by the fact that it was a group action which took place over a “length of time” where members of the public were present.

Between them, the defendants were fined £2,730 and ordered to pay £3,090 costs – adding up to £5,820. One person from the public gallery had to be escorted out by police after the sentencing.

Jak Beasley, 23, of Cedar Road, Bishop Auckland was fined £455 and ordered to pay £515 costs.

Ross Williams, 23, of Ebberston Court, Spennymoor, was fined £420 and ordered to pay £515 costs.

Christopher Caswell, 32, of West Auckland Road, Darlington, was fined £455 and ordered to pay £515 costs.

Paul Ross, 48, of Auckland Wind, Shildon, was fined £525 and ordered to pay £515 costs.

Dean Spence, 23, of Yew Close, Spennymoor, fined £455 and ordered to pay £515 costs.

Shaun Bunting, 33, of Fenhall Green, Newton Aycliffe, was fined £420 and ordered to pay £515 costs.

The EDL was formed in response to a protest in March 2009 organised by an Islamic group against troops returning from the war in Afghanistan.

The group states its aim is to demonstrate peacefully but conflicts with Unite Against Fascism and other opponents have led to street violence, anti-social behaviour and arrests.

In July last year, about 500 EDL supporters marched through Middlesbrough. The event, which was marked by a large police presence, passed off peacefully

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