Police warning after man admits racist offences

The man who set up the English Defence League’s (EDL) Newark division has been sentenced to community service for racially-aggravated offences.

Chris Conroy, 26, of Yorke Drive, Newark, pleaded guilty to causing racially-aggravated harassment, alarm or distress to Mr Eyup Sepet.

He also admitted the racially-aggravated criminal damage of a glass pane in the front door of Mr Sepet’s property in Newark.

The offences were part of the same incident.

Conroy had denied both charges, but changed his pleas to guilty.

He was sentenced at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court to a 12-month supervision order, which includes 200 hours of community service.

He was also ordered to pay Mr Sepet £100 compensation for the harassment offence and £395.42 for the damage to the door, plus court costs of £560.

Conroy set up the Newark Division of the EDL in 2011 and helped organise a number of demonstrations across the country, which he attended. He told the Advertiser at the time it was “patriotism, not racism.”

Conroy told the Advertiser after the hearing that he was no longer connected to the EDL and had left the organisation. He said he did not want to comment on the court case.

Speaking after the case, Inspector Louise Clarke, of Newark Police, said: “The police treat behaviour such as that displayed in this incident as wholly unacceptable. We use the additional powers available to police for hate crime, such as this charge for racially aggravated criminal damage, to allow the courts to recognise the severity of the offence and deal with it appropriately.

“Anyone who works or lives within the Newark area should be able to do so without prejudice or fear, or have to suffer this type of behaviour.

“We take all incidents of this nature seriously and encourage the reporting of such behaviour to us for investigation.”

Newark Advertiser

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