Archive

Tag Archives: threatening or abusive behaviour

Abdul Rafiq at an earlier EDL rally in Bradford. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Abdul Rafiq at an earlier EDL rally in Bradford. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

THE English Defence League’s only Muslim member has been fined by magistrates after pleading guilty to abusing Asians at a rally in Bradford.

Abdul Rafiq, 43, admitted using threatening language and behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

But he is free to continue his activities with the far-right group after magistrates declined to impose an Anti-social Behaviour Order.

A court heard Rafiq, of Glasgow, was arrested at an EDL rally in Bradford, on the afternoon of October 12.

Mike Vittis, prosecuting at Leeds Magistrates Court, said: “The defendant was seen talking to a group of Asian males about being British. A policeman who was at the scene tried to usher the defendant away from the situation. He then started to swear and tried to pull a Union flag out of his bag.”

Rafiq claimed that the men were threatening him, telling him he should not be in the EDL.

Rafiq told the court: “There were about ten and them and one of me. The argument was about me being part of the EDL, even though I’m Muslim.”

Rafiq, who has four brothers and four sisters, said: “The Muslim community does not like me for my EDL membership.

“They made me an outcast. I cannot go to Muslim areas any more and I get death threats online.”

Rafiq was fined £110 after admitting the public order offence. He must also pay a victim surcharge of £20 and a contribution to prosecution costs of £85.

Yorkshire Post

TWO protesters involved in the English Defence League (EDL) march in Peterborough have been fined for using threatening behaviour towards police.

Scott Whitehead (32) and James Black (22) appeared separately at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday (17th December).

They both pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive behaviour likely to cause harrassment, alarm and distress and were both fined £150 by District Judge Ken Sheraton.

Black, of Heathyfields Road, Farnham, Surrey, was punished for throwing a coin at mounted police officers last Saturday as the EDL march proceeded across Town Bridge towards Bridge Street.

Prosecutor Graham Dalley said that although Black’s coin did not hit anyone, mounted police put their helmet visors down to protect their faces.

Black appeared at court wearing a dark-hooded top bearing the writing: “English Defence League. Surrey Division”.

Defending himself, Black said he only acted in that way to get the police’s attention as he felt threatened by the proximity of the mounted officers.

He said: “The horse came towards a group of EDL on the bridge.

“Some went down the steps at the side of the bridge, I was following but the horse came straight in front of me and trod on my foot.”

Meanwhile, father-of-four Whitehead, of Pilton Close, Peterborough, apologised for his drunken behaviour after shouting abuse at the mounted officers following the march.

Mr Dalley, prosecuting, said Whitehead had shouted insults at the officers at around 5.15pm, a few hours after the EDL march had finished, before attempting to grab the reins of one of the horses in Bridge Street.

Whitehead, who also represented himself, said: “I just want to apologise for my behaviour and for wasting both police and court time.”

Judge Sheraton, while sentencing Whitehead, said: “I think it’s about time you grew up.”

He fined Whitehead and Black £150 each and ordered them both to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the court hearing, Inspector Matt Snow said he could not say whether a horse trod on Black’s foot but he rejected Black’s claims that a mounted officer had acted inappropriately during the march.

He said: “The riders have to make a judgement under the circumstances as to the amount of force that is required.

“I presume in that officer’s mind there was a reasonably large number of EDL protesters in the area at the time and that he acted for the public safety.”

Police setting the example

PETERBOROUGH is being held up as an example of how to effectively police an EDL march and associated counter-protests.

Supt Paul Fullwood said Cambridgeshire police had received calls from other forces including police from Luton who are preparing for an EDL march in February, asking for information about how they handled the event.

Ten arrests were made on the day, with the EDL and the Peterborough Trades Union Council marches passing generally peacefully.

Supt Fullwood said: “We learned from forces that had policed similar protests, taking into account the good and the bad aspects, and formed our own plans.

“Since then we have been approached by a number of different forces asking how we handled the situation.”

Peterborough Today