HOPE not hate secure EDL conviction

EDL member Steven Crispin, fractures the jaw of a Muslim man (inset) Steve Crispin brandishes weapons
EDL member Steven Crispin, fractures the jaw of a Muslim man (inset) Steve Crispin brandishes weapons

This is the moment Steven Crispin, a 23-year old EDL member, fractured the jaw of a Muslim man during an un-policed English Defence League (EDL) march in Dagenham last year.

Two brothers, Mohammed and Aftab, were walking near their house in Dagenham when a group of EDL thugs, on an EDL march, attacked them. The two brothers had been unaware that they were walking towards an EDL march.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard in July how the two brothers were punched and kicked to the ground and how passers by tried to intervene and help them.

We are proud to say that the passers by were HOPE not hate staff who had been photographing the EDL march and were recovering from being attacked themselves only moments before.

Their evidence in court, coupled with the photograph, was key to two men being convicted.

The EDL march was one of a series of demonstrations that the EDL and the smaller English Nationalist Alliance held last year in protest against an empty butcher’s shop being turned into an Islamic centre.

On one of the earlier protests a young EDL supporter was tragically killed. There had also been a violent EDL attack on a meeting of the UAF only a week before this march.

So it was somewhat of a surprise on the day of the march that there was absolutely no police presence in Redbridge at its start. Over 200 EDL supporters had began drinking early in the day at the Rendezvous Pub on Chadwell Heath High Road, after the pub’s landlord had obliged the EDL by opening at 10am. Despite becoming rowdy and spilling out onto the main road, the police made no intervention and only sent along one PCSO on a bicycle to escort the group the mile from Redbridge to the proposed site of the Muslim Centre in Dagenham, where there was a large police presence waiting.

After stopping traffic and abusing shoppers and horrified passers-by, EDL supporters then attacked the two HOPE not hate photographers after the march passed Chadwell Heath train station. The PCSO assigned to escort the EDL rode away from the incident despite pleas from our photographers for assistance.

The defence had claimed that the two brothers arrived on the scene in confrontational mood, though fortunately the jury were unconvinced.

Despite an assurance given by Scotland Yard’s press office that the attacks would be investigated as racially aggravated assault, no racial motive was tagged onto the charge. Crispin received just three months last Monday.

Hope not Hate

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