A right-wing supporter who became involved in a bust-up with rival left-wingers at Maidstone Services has today been jailed for three years.
Callum Lambe, 27, was in a coach load of activists heading to demonstrations in Dover when they pulled in at Junction 8 of the M20.
Within minutes, coaches carrying other demonstrators arrived and the two groups began a pitch battle in front of terrified diners and service staff, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Lambe, from London, was seen using a hammer which he had grabbed from an emergency panel, to smash every window in a rival coach.
Judge Adele Williams said: “Those people at the service station must have been absolutely terrified.”
Lambe, who admitted violent disorder, was jailed for three years after he appeared by prison video link from Elmley.
It was later revealed how he has previous convictions for racially aggravated assaults and possessing parts of a firearm and was jailed in 2010 for five years.
Prosecutor Paul Valder said: “Five coaches carrying left wingers arrived at the service station followed by coaches with right-wingers, including the defendant.
“As the right-wing supporters disembarked, the left-wingers were waiting for them and effectively ambushed them.”
The court heard how 40 protesters then took part in a pitch battle, picking up paving slabs, smashing them into smaller pieces to use as missiles.
Mr Valder added: “These were then hurled from one side to the other, along with bins and punches were exchanged – not only in the car park but also inside the services .
“People there were aghast at what they saw. The manager of a McDonalds Restaurant told how he saw between 40 to 50 men, many dressed in black with their faces covered, throwing bottles, bricks and bins at each other.”
The prosecutor said the manager then saw Lambe go up to a coach, armed with a red hammer which he used to shatter “every single screen” of one of the coaches, costing an estimated £16,000 to replace.
Mr Valder said that another protester, armed with a stick, carried on attacking the coach and threatening the driver.
The court heard how police later found the hammer dumped in a bin – and traced Lambe through DNA.
Mr Valder said Lambe had received a head injury during the fight – caused by broken glass.
Adrian Crossley, defending, said Lambe had paid £20 to travel to Dover for the demonstrations in January but then discovered the coach was full of “50-year-olds, mainly skinheads”.
He added: “He had no intention whatsoever of getting involved in any violence. But after arriving at the service station he was injured and is now remorseful about how he reacted.”
In another case Thomas Fereday, 28, from Newport in Wales was jailed for 16 months after admitting violent disorder.
The court heard how he was spotted throwing stones during the fighting.
Judge Williams told him: “This was serious violence on the streets of Dover and will not be tolerated.”