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Darren Stokoe and Stephen Brown leaving Sunderland Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to offences commited at an anti-mosque protest in Millfield, Sunderland

Darren Stokoe and Stephen Brown leaving Sunderland Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to offences commited at an anti-mosque protest in Millfield, Sunderland

SIX men have admitted charges after left and right-wing groups clashed at a demonstration in Sunderland.

They were arrested following a protest against plans to covert a former council depot in Millfield into a mosque.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told Sunderland magistrates that demonstration began at 12.30pm on October 6, with both sides shouting at each other.

“The right-wing group was the most hostile,” she said. “Trying on several occasions to breach the police line to get at the left-wing demonstrators.

“The demonstration lasted about one hour before both groups moved away.”

Three Wearsiders were arrested following the clash.

Stephen George Brown, 32, of Palmerston Road in Pennywell, admitted a public order offence and religiously-aggravated harassment.

Mrs Beck said that at about 3pm, after the main demo had ended, he drew his first back and ran at a group of between 30 to 40 Asian men in Stewart Street.

He was charged with the second offence in November, after police viewed CCTV from the incident and heard him using anti-Muslim abuse.

Defending, Heather Bolton said Brown had friends and family living near the site of the mosque and he had aired his concerns about it at public meetings.

She added: “Both groups were chanting at each other and it appears that the other group made threats of violence and were making gestures of throat cutting.

“He accepts that he did retaliate in reaction to that and did make a comment in relation to Allah.”

Darren Stokoe, from Patrick Road, Pennywell, also pleaded guilty to a public order offence.

Mrs Beck said he was spotted by officers throwing an object at supporters of the mosque.

Mitigating, Mrs Bolton said Stokoe had been drinking in Millfield, came across the demonstration and decided to join in.

“He cannot recall throwing any object,” she added. “But accepts that he has.”

Both cases were adjourned for sentencing until April for Probation Service reports.

Anthony Farrer, 37, of Cleveland Road, was given a six-month conditional discharge after admitting throwing an egg at anti-fascists.

Also involved was Ronald Wood, 39, of Lonnen Drive in Swalwell, Gateshead, who was fined £110 after admitting racially-aggravated harassment.

Dean Spence, 23, of Yew Close, Spennymoor, admitted disorderly conduct, but denied throwing a firework, and was fined £73.

Shaun Bunting, 34, of Fenhall Green, Newton Aycliffe, was fined £133 after refusing to comply with a police notice to leave the area.

His solicitor, Jason Smith, said the offence took place outside The Chesters pub after the protest.

l Three men yesterday denied charges against them relating to the protests.

Simon Bigg, 47, of Todd’s Nook, Elswick, Newcastle; and William Smith, 44, of McLurian Crescent, Renfrewshire, Scotland, will stand trial in May accused of committing a public order offence.

Gary Biggar, 41, of Clarke Street, Kilmarnock, Scotland, denied racially-aggravated harassment and was released on bail until May.

Sunderland Echo

A MAN repeatedly punched an anti-fascist protester in front of children during an EDL march in Hull, a court has heard.

John Claydon, 46, was pictured by the Mail being dragged away by police officers seconds after the attack.

John Claydon is arrested during the EDL march in Hull on August 17. Inset, from top, Melvyn Parker, Wayne Douglas and David Bolton

John Claydon is arrested during the EDL march in Hull on August 17. Inset, from top, Melvyn Parker, Wayne Douglas and David Bolton

He was one of four men who appeared before city magistrates yesterday in connection with trouble at the August 17 march .

Claydon, of Dronfield, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecutor Deborah Gibson told Hull Magistrates’ Court how Claydon had lashed out at David Harding, part of a six to eight-strong group taking part in a “silent” protest, holding placards, outside St Stephen’s shopping centre in Ferensway.

She said: “This defendant tried to grab Mr Harding’s placard, which simply stated Hull was a multicultural place, before repeatedly punching him in the face, forcing him to the floor.

“He continued to punch Mr Harding. Mr Harding was punched about six times to the face.

“The attack was only stopped when police officers dragged him off Mr Harding.”

Mr Harding was left with a cut to his face, which required ten stitches, as well as two black eyes.

Miss Gibson said Mr Harding’s mobile phone was also broken, most likely when he was forced to the ground.

She said a key aggravating feature of the attack was the fact that it was carried out in front of families on a Saturday afternoon.

“The assault was in full view of children,” said Miss Gibson.

More than 400 EDL supporters took part in the march, with all those arrested having travelled to Hull from elsewhere.

Ian Phillips, defending, said his client admits attacking Mr Harding, but denies punching him several times.

He said: “My client argues there were two punches, not the five, six or more as the Crown describes.”

Claydon was granted bail on condition he resides at his usual address and will be sentenced at Hull Crown Court on September 20.

Meanwhile, Melvyn Parker, 46, of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, admitted using threatening and abusive language against Mr Harding.

Parker also admitting possession of cocaine, a class A-controlled drug.

Miss Gibson said: “As the march proceeded along Ferensway at around 2.40pm, there was another group protesting against the EDL. No gestures were being made.”

Referring to Claydon and Parker, Miss Gibson said: “Two males broke away and approached these protesters.

“Mr Parker grabbed a banner from one of these protesters to try to stop the protest. That protester was Mr Harding.

“Mr Parker pushed, albeit lightly, a female who was with Mr Harding.

“When Mr Parker was arrested, he was found to be in possession of a small quantity of cocaine.”

Defending, Dave Robson said Parker – a dad-of-two and a struggling bricklayer – was drunk and became “caught in the political passion” of the EDL march, but regrets his actions.

Mr Robson said: “He says he was called names, including a Nazi, which upset him. He took offence to that and grabbed the placard.”

Parker was ordered to pay £265 costs.

David Bolton, 52, of Braintree, Essex, who has the letters EDL tattooed on the back of his head and a red rose on his neck, pleaded guilty to using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The court heard staff at the Star and Garter pub in Portland Street called police at 3.25am on August 17 because they believed a group of men were carrying knives.

Bolton was searched and no weapon was found.

However, he was arrested after ignoring seven warnings from police to stop shouting obscenities at them, said Miss Gibson.

Defending, Mr Phillips, said: “He admitted that he could not keep his mouth shut.”

Wayne Douglas, 43, of Hemsworth, West Yorkshire, admitted charges of being drunk and disorderly and possession of cannabis, a class B-controlled drug.

Miss Gibson said Douglas was caught by officers urinating in the street “in full view” of passers- by.

He was subsequently searched and a small amount of the drug was found in a tin.

Both Bolton and Douglas were given 18-month conditional discharges and ordered to pay £100 in costs.

This is Hull

A DRUNKEN woman angrily hurled racist abuse at staff in a takeaway shop – including chanting references to the far-right English Defence League.

She and a man, who was in a foul-mouthed group of troublemakers, turned on a Brazilian man who tried to intervene and they both assaulted him during an “ugly” confrontation, Grimsby magistrates heard.

Rebecca Swan, 38, of Beacon Avenue, Cleethorpes, and Christopher Drury, 23, of Corporation Road, Grimsby, admitted a racially aggravated assault on Carlos Defreiates, on July 4. Swan also admitted using racially aggravated threatening words or behaviour.

Nick Wyman, prosecuting, said Swan and Drury were among a group outside the Topkapi takeaway in High Street, Cleethorpes, in the early hours. Swan and some men were repeatedly chanting “EDL” and pointing towards people inside the shop.

Swan shouted racist abuse and was pointing her finger towards the takeaway. The chanting and abuse continued for a couple of minutes. Racist language and “EDL” were shouted again.

Swan shouted: “If you live here, you should abide by our laws”. Mr Defreiates, who is Brazilian, got involved and asked Swan and Drury why they were doing it.

The group turned on him and wrongly thought he was Polish. Swan asked him: “Where are you from? You shouldn’t be here.” She rammed her finger in to his chest several times and told him: “You are in England. You should live by my laws.”

Swan slapped him across his neck and Drury hit him in the chest with the palm of his hand, causing him to fall to the ground.

“It was an ugly incident,” said Mr Wyman.

Ghaff Khan, mitigating, said three people were involved in the abuse but one of them was not charged. Swan was very drunk and claimed she had “no idea who the EDL were”. She was not a member of the group and did not consider herself to be racist.

It was “drunken stupidity” and Swan claimed she could not remember much about the incident, said Mr Khan.

Graham Ives, representing Drury, said his client had shown remorse for his role in the “unpleasant” disturbance.

Drury claimed he “did not know what the EDL was but he does now” after looking on the internet. He merely asked Mr Defreiates “You’re Polish, are you?” and the assault was very minor.

“He’s not a political person,” said Mr Ives. “He’s not a racist. He is very sorry he got involved in this incident and blotted his copybook.”

Drury had drunk 10 to 12 cans of lager with a friend.

Mother-of-two Swan, a cleaner at a medical centre, was given a four-week, 9pm to 7am, curfew and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a Government-imposed £60 victims’ surcharge.

Unemployed Drury was given a one-year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 surcharge.

This is Grimsby

TWO men who were arrested during a demonstration in Dewsbury have appeared in court.

Police made five arrests when the English Defence League held a demonstration outside Dewsbury Town Hall on Saturday June 30.

On Wednesday, 20-year old Gary Wellings, of Dudley, was convicted of using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs at Kirklees Magistrates Court.

Magistrates also dealt with Kevin Smith, 53, of Brierley Hill in the West Midlands.

He must pay a £150 fine, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after he admitted possessing mephedrone.

A drug forfeiture and destruction order was also made.

One of the other men arrested was jailed last week for two offences.

The two others were released on police bail. One was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and the other for possessing an offensive weapon.


Dewsbury Reporter

A SHOPLIFTER saw the light when he was nabbed with 22 lightbulbs.

Derek Fender was found with the pounds 153 haul of energy-efficient bulbs when stopped by police in Gateshead.

The 38-year-old admitted stealing them from Homebase, Retail World, Team Valley, earlier that day to use in his own flat.

Fender, who has 31 convictions for theft, pleaded guilty to the May 9 theft and was given a 12-month conditional discharge to run alongside a community order he is on.

Defending, Tom Iceton, told Gateshead magistrates that when Fender, of Bensham Crescent, Gateshead, split up with his girlfriend, she wouldn’t let him take anything but his clothing.

His benefit claim was reduced because of his change of address, said Mr Iceton, and he couldn’t afford basics to furnish his flat. But this has now been sorted out.

The Free Library

kevin-carroll-court-case-11-1279816669-article-0

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

A HAPLESS thief from Buckhurst Hill has escaped jail for his part in a raid on a supermarket, after he and another accomplice went to a police station to ask about a third man who had already been arrested for the crime.

Conor Thorne, 18, of Cherry Tree Rise in Buckhurst Hill, went to Barkingside police station just hours after the robbery at the nearby branch of Somerfield in the early hours of Sunday March 7.

Thorne and Eliot Jones, 18, of Keswick Gardens in Ilford, went to the station to ask about the whereabouts of Rocky-Lee Beale, also 18, of Purleigh Way, Woodford Green, who was arrested while fleeing the scene earlier that morning.

The pair were promptly arrested when officers identified them.

The three men along with, were all given conditional discharges for 18 months, after pleading guilty at Redbridge Magistrates Court on Monday March 8.

Police were called at around 2:27am after a nearby residents saw the three breaking into the supermarket.

The men were also seen on CCTV running away from the store, having stolen some alcoholic drinks.

On arriving at the scene, officers heard shouting from the junction of Virginia Gardens and the High Street, and arrived to see three men running away.

Police gave chase before catching up with Beale and arrested him on suspicion of burglary.Guardian Series