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Thomas Allen being led away by police during the demos in Sunderland

Thomas Allen being led away by police during the demos in Sunderland

A protester used his head as a weapon to charge at and injure a policeman battling to keep rivals apart during a mass demonstration in Sunderland city centre, a court heard.

Thomas Allen, 58, has been fined and ordered to pay the officer compensation by magistrates who scolded him for his actions.

They were told the unprovoked attack caused the PC to tumble to the ground, causing grazing to an arm.

Despite the assault, he was able to keep hold of Allen, of Hartside Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, who was arrested.

Even Allen’s defence solicitor admitted his client was still “hyped up” when later questioned at a police station.

Sentencing Allen, who is believed to be jobless, magistrates in South Tyneside criticised him for being part of trouble which led to three arrests on the day.

Democractic Football Lads Alliance protest through Sinderland City centre

Democractic Football Lads Alliance protest through Sinderland City centre

They said police had better things to do than wrestle with a man of his age during what should have been an entirely peaceful protest.

The court heard Allen was part of two marches organised by left and right wing groups which descended on the city on Saturday, September 15.

One was by Wearside-based Justice for the Women and Children Group, which was joined by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA).

A counter demonstration was held by Sunderland Unites and Stand Up To Racism North East, which included members of trade unions, political parties and politicians.

Trouble flared close to Keel Square when members of the DFLA ignored march stewards and tried to break through the police lines which separated them from the other group.

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess said: “The officer was in uniform and part of an incident ongoing in Sunderland city centre.

“He was keeping the peace between left and right wing activists. As part of the cordon, he was directing members of the protest.

“He instructed Mr Allen to continue on his way and in the direction of where the demonstration was a heading.

“Mr Allen took no notice. He ducked his head and charged at the officer into his stomach.

“The officer says that he had no regard for him and forced him to fall backwards, and they were both forced to the floor together.

“He kept hold of him and got a graze to his elbow.”

Harry Burn, defending, described Allen, who admitted one charge of assault when he appeared in court, as “hyped up” even after his arrest.

He said his client had denied the offence when interviewed, but admitted he might have pushed the policeman.

Mr Burn said: “It was not nice for the police officer. But the injury is what it is, it’s a graze to an arm.

“It’s not too serious. He hasn’t needed medical support, but it was his job and he didn’t need that to happen.

“Mr Allen apologises to the officer and to the court.”

Magistrates fined Allen £80 – reduced from £120 due to his guilty plea – and ordered him to pay £100 compensation to the officer.

He must also pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 court costs, with the entire amount being paid at £10 a week.

Sunderland Echo

A DAD and son were beaten unconscious on the way home from a day out at Sunderland Airshow.

Thomas and David Surtees had been on a trip with relatives, including the family’s 86-year-old great-grandfather and a new baby, to watch the seafront displays when they were attacked without reason.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Thomas Surtees’ face and head were kicked and stamped on, leaving him with a serious nose injury which required surgery and may never be fully fixed.

His son David was punched and kicked and left covered in cuts and bruises.

Prosecutor Christopher Rose told the court the attackers had initially shouted abuse at the family before the violence started last July.

He said: “David recalls being kicked from behind. He was knocked to the ground and while on the floor he was kicked and punched until he lost consciousness. His father Thomas tried to intervene and he himself was attacked.

“He was either kicked or stamped to the face, and suffered a significant injury to his nose which involved the internal dorsal collapsing.”

Thomas Allen
, of Wylam Grove, Hendon, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and assault.

The court heard he had Mr Surtees Snr’s blood on his shoes when he was arrested.

The 25-year-old also admitted causing grievous bodily harm to a woman, whose arm was broken when a brick was thrown at her, after violence flared in Borough Road after the Tyne-Wear derby in January.

Judge Roger Thorn sentenced him to a total of 32 months.

Stuart Halliday, 24, of Redwood Court, Sunderland, admitted affray on the basis he was with the group which carried out the attack on the Surtees family, but did not throw any punches or kicks.

He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with probation supervision and programme requirements.

Judge Thorn said: “This was violence involving a group attack on a family unit, including a father and son, and more particularly a grandfather who was 86 and a young baby.

“There were women in that group. People are entitled to enjoy themselves and expect to have fun without any violence or apprehension of violence.

“This was the most disgraceful attack.”

Defence barristers said both men plan to stay out of trouble in future.

Sunderland Echo

From 2011

 John Boyes, 54, and Thomas Allen, 30, pled guilty to violent disorder


John Boyes, 54, and Thomas Allen, 30, pled guilty to violent disorder

Two Sunderland men have been jailed for acts of violence at the brutal protests in Dover in January.

John Boyes, 54, and Thomas Allen, 30, pled guilty to violent disorder at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday June 24.

The two men had travelled to Dover to take part in the demonstrations which quickly devolved into chaos when anti-fascists and members of the far-right clashed.

Allen, who was also in breach of a suspended prison sentence and jailed for a total of 22 months, was recorded being aggressive towards police officers and throwing punches at a number of people.

He was also filmed throwing objects and attempting to steal police equipment.

Boyes, who was jailed for 20 months, was recorded attempting to break through the police cordon and throwing sticks and other objects towards opposition protestors.

Detective Sergeant Matthew Smith of Kent Police said: “The violence committed in Dover on 30 January was totally unacceptable and I hope our actions to date show that we take a very dim view of those who visit the county with the intention of causing trouble.

“We continue to review all available footage captured on the day to identify those responsible, and are hopeful of making further arrests in the weeks and months to come.

“Those convicted so far have been jailed for a total of more than 13 years and I am pleased the courts have seen fit to impose custodial sentences for those whose behaviour during the demonstrations fell way short of what should be reasonably expected in a civilised society.”

The two men are among more than 60 people arrested so far in connection with offences committed on the day.

Dover Express

Tommy allan

john boyes 1

John boyes