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EDL members sentenced for disorder at Birmingham rally, July 2013

EDL members sentenced for disorder at Birmingham rally, July 2013

Categories: Latest News

Thursday December 18 2014

ITV News, BBC News, The Daily Mirror, and the Birmingham Mail report on the sentencing of four men last week for their involvement in violent clashes with the police during an English Defence League demonstration in Birmingham in July 2013.

Around 2,000 members of the EDL gathered during the demonstration last year. Between 200 and 300 EDL supporters clashed with the police, who were pelted with bottles, bricks, coins and cans. Approximately 30 officers were subsequently injured in the scuffles. More than 1,000 police officers were called in to contain the violence to no avail.

During the protest, a Muslim prayer cap and a Pakistani flag were set on fire in the street.

Shortly after the protest, Lianne Tyler, 20, was fined £100 for telling the police she was planning to go “Paki bashing with the EDL”.

Jake Hill, 32, was jailed for 22 months for spitting at police officers and being part of a crowd that attacked them.

James Harrington, 30, who was seen on CCTV trying to hit police with a length of wood, was sentenced to 2 years. A racist text message was also found on Harrington’s phone after his arrest, showing that he was “looking for trouble”, according to the Daily Mirror.

Adam Beebee, 28, gave himself up following a televised appeal for information. Beebee attempted to pass through police lines in order to “have a ruck” with counter-protesters. He was sentenced to 13 months.

Lee Joshua, 43, who claimed to have “enjoyed every minute” of the violence, is reported to have been at the “forefront of attempts to break through police lines”. Joshua was jailed for 16 months.

Upon sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Richard Bond stated that the rally had been “plainly racist and/or anti-Muslim”.

More recently, the Guardian, Western Daily Press, Yorkshire Evening Post, Asian Image, Swindon Advertiser, and The Star provided coverage on the more recent sentences passed at Birmingham Crown Court for offences related to the disorder.

The sentencing of another eight EDL supporters was temporarily halted on Monday after one of the offenders urged Judge Bond to “pass proper sentences” on Islamic extremists and asked if there was “Any news on the Australian hostages?”

The outbursts also included chants such as “No surrender to the Taliban.”

Otis Bloodworth, 35, was seen on CCTV footage punching a man who was being led away from the rally by stewards. Bloodworth was arrested following a televised appeal for information on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme in March.

During police questioning, Bloodworth proclaimed he had “Islamophobia” in response to a question about whether he had any medical conditions. He further refused to be represented by a Muslim solicitor. Bloodworth was sentenced to 18 months.

Another offender Ben Crowder, 22, was caught on CCTV throwing an object at police. He was given a two year custodial sentence.

Shane Williams, 27, was seen chanting anti-Islamic slogans and hurled a drink bottle at police. He was also present at five of the seven separate sites of disorder at the demonstration. Williams received a two year sentence.

Thomas Flynn, 22, was sentenced to 14 months for confronting police officers. His sentence was reduced on account of his contribution at a respite centre and for disassociating himself from the EDL.

Gareth Wall, 25, smashed the window of a restaurant using a metal pole as thugs caused damage in the Regency Wharf area in Birmingham. He was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.

According to a statement by West Midlands Police, Ashley Rowland, 25, Melvyn Parker, 47, James Cocks, 35, Jason Harris, 40 and Steve Cooke, 39, all of whom were involved in the disorder, were to face sentencing on 11 December. Further cases were scheduled for court on Monday 15 and Thursday 18 December at Birmingham Crown Court.

In total, 52 men will be sentenced over the course of a series of court hearings in relation to the Birmingham protest.


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