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Public order offence

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A judge and two magistrates decided Kevin Carroll’s behaviour had been likely that day to cause alarm and distress in Luton Town Centre.

But minutes after losing his appeal Mr Carroll a 41 year old carpenter emerged from Luton crown court where his case had been heard to a hero’s welcome.

Scores of young men chanted “EDL, EDL” a reference to the right wing group, The English Defence League.

Mr Carroll addressed the crowd saying “Thank you patriots and people of our great democracy for supporting me.”

He said the country was “falling” more and more under the influence of Sharia law and he and people like him were being “treated like enemies of the state.”

To rousing applause he ended by “God Bless our Troops, God save the Queen.”

Later he said “I am disappointed by the court’s decision but I will accept it on the chin and move on”

He said on the day of the protest by Muslim extremists which had led to his arrest he had been intent on protecting a group of veterans and old soldiers.

He added what upset him most that day was that the extremists had been allowed to protest in front of the soldiers and next to their families who had attended the parade

Caroll, a married man had gone to court earlier in the day to appeal against his conviction earlier this year when he was found guilty of using threatening words and behaviour likely to to cause fear harassment and alarm.

In court Judge Christopher Compston hearing the case was told how on March 10 last year there was a home coming parade by the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment through Luton Town Centre.

But within minutes of the march getting underway a group of Islamic extremists staged an anti war protest

They had placards and shouted at the troops “Butchers of Basra” and “British soldiers go to hell.

The group were standing near the town hall and an angry crowd, incensed that the soldiers were being subjected to the protest, began a counter demonstration.

They had to be separated from the young Muslims by a cordon of police officers.

In a stand off the crowd were heard to shout “No surrender to the Talban,” “England, England” and “Scum, Scum Scum.

Carroll of Bolingbroke Road, Luton was captured on town centre CCTV as being part of the crowd angry at the Muslim protest.

He was arrested later by police officers and earlier this year found guilty of the public order offence and given a nine month conditional discharge and told he must pay costs of £175.

In court Mr Carroll said he had been “extremely angry and upset” when he saw the extremists protesting against the soldiers”

He said there was an “instantaneous upset” among many people who had gone to the parade and he had ended as part of a crowd that had vented their anger towards the protesters.

“I just couldn’t believe they had been allowed to do that.

He said at one point he ran towards a group of veterans because he thought the Muslim protester was heading in their protection and he wanted to protect the old soldiers.

“I swore at the extremists, I don’t deny that, but it was a crazy situation. It was not something I condone but there was so much anger and emotion from everyone.”

He added “Everyone was doing the same thing. People were so upset by what these people had done and wanted to give them a piece of their mind”

He added “Everyone in the vicinity was swearing and shouting and roaring”

Mr Carroll denied that he’d been a ring leader that day

Dismissing the appeal Judge Christopher Compston told Carroll “We have no doubt at all that you did use threatening, abusive and insulting words and behaviour which was likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress.”

The judge said the CCTV evidence had been overwhelming and he went on “We dismiss your appeal.

He ordered that Carroll pay further costs of £330.

Heart

Three men have appeared in court after being arrested during clashes between rival demonstrators in Edinburgh.

Scott Buchan, 23, from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, and David Parslow, 52, from Edinburgh, both admitted breaching the peace and were released on bail.

Graeme Stevenson, 21, denied acting in a manner likely to incite violence and public disorder.

About 2,000 anti-racist campaigners opposed a threatened protest by the Scottish Defence League on Saturday.

About 90 Scottish Defence League members were kept inside the Jenny Ha’s pub, which sits opposite the Scottish Parliament on the Royal Mile, by police who blocked the doors and sealed off the area to stop the rival groups clashing.

They were later put on buses and taken away from the area.

In a brief appearance before Sheriff Derrick McIntyre, Buchan admitted disorderly behaviour by attempting to engage others in a fight and blocking vehicles on the road outside the pub.

Released on bail

The sheriff called for background reports and bailed Buchan until sentencing next month on the condition he reports to his local police station in Aylesbury every Saturday.

Parslow admitted shouting and swearing outside the city’s Central Mosque. He was bailed until later this week, when further details are due to be heard in court.

Mr Stevenson, of Largs, denied acting in a manner likely to incite violence and public disorder while inside Jenny Ha’s.

He was released on bail on the condition he does not participate in Scottish or English Defence League demonstrations.

The Scottish Defence League, an offshoot of the English Defence League, attempted to hold a similar demonstration in Glasgow last year.

It has insisted it is not racist or fascist despite claims to the contrary from opponents.

BBC News

EDL members Christopher Long, Bryan Kelso and Brian Bristow arriving at Woolwich Crown Court

EDL members Christopher Long, Bryan Kelso and Brian Bristow arriving at Woolwich Crown Court


English Defence League (EDL) members who kicked over Korans and traded punches with Muslims in Speakers’ Corner have been sentenced to a fortnight’s curfew.

Three men admitted public order offences at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday, August 3.

Full-time carer Christopher Long, who lived in Kent Way, Surbiton, at the time of his arrest, held his head in his hands as prosecutor Eleanor Mawrey described the fight on October 24 last year.

Long, Brian Bristow and Bryan Kelso had attended a rally outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington, which ended in a confrontation between EDL members and anti-fascist campaigners in Hyde Park.

By 5pm about 200 people were gathered and the atmosphere turned tense before the trio became violent, the court heard.

Ms Mawrey said: “Officers arrested them for what they had done but also for their own safety.”

Police saw Long kick over a table with Islamic literature and Korans before fighting with an Asian man.

Long, who now lives in Palace Road, Streatham, breathed a sigh of relief as his sentence of 14 days curfew and a penalty of £425 was passed by Judge Stephen Dawson.

Kelso, 28, from Paddington, who overturned the table and grabbed a police officer’s genitals when he was arrested, was given the same sentence.

But former soldier Brian Bristow, 38, who told the court he was homeless, was fined £825 as he had nowhere to be curfewed.

The court heard he had racially abused one of the men and said he was only being arrested because he was white.

Judge Dawson said he did not hold the men’s membership of the EDL either for or against them but said their behaviour in Speakers’ Corner, a symbol of free speech to the world, had been threatening and unpleasant.

Some of the men had been drinking before going there, he said, which was “never a good thing when you’re going to demonstrations”.

He said: “Speech can’t be free if people become violent and break up tables and trade punches at each other.”

An attempt to impose an antisocial behaviour order on Bristow, banning him from attending EDL or Infidels demonstrations or distributing their literature, was delayed to a hearing on October 6.

Judge Dawson said: “This is roaming into the area of one’s right to protest. That is the problem, isn’t it?”

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