Man served with CRASBO for actions at EDL protests

A PLAISTOW man with a history of violence and anti-social behaviour connected to English Defence League protests has been given a CRASBO.

The Conviction Related Anti-Social Behaviour Order was served on 29-year-old John McAndrew at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday following his sentencing for an affray and a common assault he committed in 2011.

Under the terms of the five-year order, McAndrew, of Grange Road, must not:

• Enter, or loiter outside, any Islamic mosque, Islamic prayer room, Islamic meeting room, Islamic school, Islamic cultural centre or Islamic festival site, or any site under development for those purposes, within Greater London.

• Attend any public demonstration organised by or in conjunction with the English Defence League.

• Send any article, letter, fax or e-mail that refers to or seeks to promote or publicise any march, demonstration, protest or similar event, organised by or in conjunction with the English Defence League throughout England and Wales.

McAndrew was charged with affray after throwing large stones onto the A4 dual carriageway in rush hour traffic during an EDL demonstration outside West London Magistrates Court on May 11 last year.

The following month, he attended an EDL rally in Dagenham and was identified as being involved in an assault when two men were targeted by groups of men connected with the demonstration. Both of the men were assaulted by the group.

McAndrew, who has a number of previous convictions for public order offences, pleaded guilty to common assault, affray and also two charges of failing to surrender to bail when he appeared at West London Magistrates’ Court on October 27, 2011.

PC Mark Gellard, of the Barking and Dagenham Anti-Social Behaviour Team, said: “John McAndrew is an individual whose often violent behaviour is linked with his attendance at demonstrations and protests, particularly surrounding the English Defence League.

“This behaviour affects those who live, work and frequent the areas where some of these demonstrations have taken place. I hope this Anti-Social Behaviour Order sends a clear message that police will take robust action against those who break the law under the guise of protest.”

The National Domestic Extremism Unit, a national policing unit, supported the application to impose an Anti-Social Behaviour Order upon conviction.

DC Alison Stuart, from the National Domestic Extremism Unit, said: “The right to protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society, and we seek to strike a balance between the rights of people to protest with the rights of the community to go about its daily business without excessive disruption.

“We have a duty to the wider public to take action against those individuals who have routinely exploited otherwise peaceful protests to create disorder, to prevent them from doing so in the future.”

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