Andrew Jenkinson hurled racist slurs and described black people as “monkeys” before he attacked Dominic O’Hara in Edinburgh.
SDL supporter Andrew Jenkinson lashed out at an anti-racist campaigner (Image: LESLEY DONALD/SWNS)
A Scottish Defence League supporter has been found guilty of hurling racist abuse and assaulting an anti-fascist activist handing out leaflets at a Fight Racism stall near The Mosque Kitchen in Edinburgh.
Andrew Jenkinson, 41, of Edinburgh, was told by a Sheriff that his actions had been “deeply offensive and an unprovoked attack on freedom of speech”.
He was found guilty at the city’s Sheriff Court today of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, shouting, swearing and making and uttering grossly offensive remarks and gestures in Nicolson Street on September 21 last year.
He was also found guilty of assaulting Dominic O’Hara, 27, by kicking him on the body and punching him on the head.
O’Hara was at the stall with friends handing out leaflets when Jenkinson approached in a aggressive manner and described black people as “monkeys”.
“He said he didn’t like our literature and banners and was really het up” said O’Hara. “It looked as though he was going to headbutt me and asked me ‘to come round the corner’.
“Obviously he wanted to fight, but didn’t want it on the public street”.
According to O’Hara, Jenkinson was shouting about the SDL saying: “We will hunt people like you down. You love Islamists”.
O’Hara said a woman tried to reason with Jenkinson, but he called her “a pig”. Sheriff O’Grady asked if the woman was white or black and was told she was black.
The Scottish Defence League protesting in Edinburgh in June (Image: SWNS)
O’Hara said he stepped between Jenkinson and the woman, with his back to Jenkinson, to try and defuse the situation. He was then kicked on the ankle and when he turned round was punched three times on the face. He then tripped Jenkinson up and they fell to the ground.
When they separated, he said, Jenkinson walked off “expressing fascist views and making the Nazi salute”.
Questioned by Jenkinson’s defence lawyer, Elaine Clancy, O’Hara admitted he had previous convictions for obstruction, during a student protest, breach of the peace with a loudspeaker and assault.
He denied he had “a vendetta against Mr Jenkinson”.
Twenty-nine year old Ruby Barrowman, who had been at the stall with O’Hara, said Jenkinson had told the South African black woman, who was with her daughter, to “Go home”.
He called her and O’Hara “Anti-white racists” and shouted about the SDL. Asked what the SDL was, she replied: “They are fascists”.
Jenkinson said he had dropped his father off at Surgeon’s Hall and had gone to get money from a cash machine. The “Fight Racism” stall was near the machine, he said, and displayed flags, banners and collection tins.
He said he asked if they had a licence from the Council to do this. He admitted to having “a heated debate” with the South African woman with the young girl. Things escalated, he said, when he was called a “Nazi” and “fascist”.
He told them this was Great Britain and he was “a proud patriot of my country”.
He admitted pushing O’Hara, but denied any punching and claimed O’Hara had gouged his eye. He said he had never given a Nazi salute or said anything about Islamists.
He told Fiscal Depute, Claire Crompton, the Fight Racism campaigners were “anti-British, pro-IRA and Revolutionary Communists”.
He denied being a racist, saying a Chinese friend of his had committed suicide because of racist abuse.
He told Sheriff O’Grady that shortly after the incident, pictures of himself and his children had been posted online and that it was claimed he was a member of the SDL.
He denied this but admitted: “It’s possible it may have mentioned I had been at some demos”.
Finding Jenkinson guilty , Sheriff O’Grady told him he regarded the evidence of O’Hara and Barrowman as credible and reliable and had no hesitation in accepting it, and had no hesitation in finding him guilty”.
Sentence was deferred until next month for a background report.