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CRASBO

The group barricaded Tory MEP Sajjad Karim’s house, shouting abuse and holding EDL placards with Mr Karim, his wife and their two children still inside.

Before police made it to the scene they continued on a ‘flash demonstrations’ rampage around Lancashire

Violence later broke out in Brierfield where a 17-year-old Asian man was floored in the street and one man was run over.

Bernard Holmes, an English Defence League commander has been jailed for leading a mob of EDL members to the house of a Muslim MEP

Bernard Holmes, an English Defence League commander has been jailed for leading a mob of EDL members to the house of a Muslim MEP

A ‘commander’ in the English Defence League who led a mob of 40 people to barricade the home of Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim has been jailed for 18 months.

Bernard Holmes, 28, was arrested after members of far right group converged on the property of Mr Karim whilst his wife and two young children were at home.

Claiming they wanted to deliver a letter, invaded the politician’s driveway and were said to have behaving in an ‘intimidating, threatening manner’ and shouting abuse whilst holding up placards from the EDL.

Police were called to the house in Burnley but were too late as the mob had already moved on to carry out a string of ‘flash demonstrations’ in Blackburn and nearby towns led by Holmes.

This is not the first time Mr Karim has experienced harassment from far-right groups like the EDL: In 2010, Mr Karim said he was forced to hire a private security firm for round the clock protection due to threats.

Mr Karim, MEP for North West, said he believed he was targeted for religious reasons because the EDL have an ‘anti-Islamic agenda’.

Mr Holmes, who goes under the nickname ‘Mr B’ is the EDL Blackburn division’s ‘commander’ and led the operation on July 2 last year.

Holmes, from Blackburn pleaded guilty to racially aggravated public order offences and was also given a five year CRASBO on top of his 18 month prison sentence at Preston Crown Court today.

The court heard how the group gathered outside 41-year old Mr Karim’s house at lunchtime in July last year to stage an anti-Islamic protest allegedly regarding EU proposals on the labelling of Halal meat.

The demonstrators carrying placards reportedly went into Mr Karim’s garden and began shouting abuse at him, before peering through his windows and filming his house

Mr Karim was in the house with his wife, Zahida, and two children, 10-year-old Bilal, and Rabia, eight, at the time of the protest.

At the time Mr Karim said: ‘It was very intimidating experience for us. They were all over my driveway and looking into my house.

‘I had my family in the house and it is just disgusting that they were able to do this. My daughter has been left petrified’

Mr Karim, who defected from the Liberal Democrats in 2007, said the group had gone to his house in Burnley, claiming that one member had wanted to deliver a letter to him.

He said people normally used a stamp or arranged to deliver the letter to his parliamentary address.

‘That really was a pretence,’ he said.

‘Their intention was to intimidate, to cause fright to my family and that is why they went about things in the way they did.’

Holmes had a history of violence and in 2010 was jailed for two years and four months after he beat up a man outside a nightclub and left him brain damaged.

After Mr Holmes and the group left Mr Karim’s fighting broke out in nearby Brierfield town centre.

Members of EDL attacked a 17-year-old called Azhar Iqbal and nearby a man was run down by an EDL supporter’s car.

Three people were jailed and seven others were given non custodial sentences for the events in Brierfield town centre. Two other people failed to appear at court and warrants have been issued for their arrest.

It has been confirmed that Bernard Holmes was involved in the general violence but not in these specific events

Lawyers representing them insisted there was no pre-meditated plan to cause trouble in Brierfield.

Supt Steve Pemberton of Lancashire said he was pleased with the convictions and the sentences imposed.

‘This was a spontaneous incident on a busy Saturday afternoon which could have been much more serious than it fortunately was had it not been for the speedy police response and that of local community leaders who were able to quell any subsequent rise in tensions.

Daily Mail

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David camp - banned from Cambridge Islamic centres

David camp – banned from Cambridge Islamic centres

A man has been issued an Asbo banning him from going near a number of Islamic premises in Cambridge after he threatened to burn down a mosque.

David Camp, 35, of Thorpe Way, off Ditton Lane, Cambridge, was made subject of an anti-social behaviour order at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court yesterday after he was convicted of several racially aggravated offences..

Camp had previously admitted to posting a large number of offensive anti-Islamic messages on Twitter between April 1 and June 5. He had also admitted to three further public order offences following a drunken outburst in Mill Road on June 30 during which he shouted abuse at members of the public. During that incident Camp threatened to burn down a mosque, he continued to shout abuse at the officers who then arrived and arrested him.

He was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order with alcohol treatment requirement on July 12.

Following an application by police, a two year criminal Asbo was granted, banning Camp from entering parts of Mawson Road, Tenison Road, Devonshire Road, Mill Road or Whitechapel Road, in London. He is also banned from entering St Paul’s Road or Darwin Drive in their entirety, or from going within 50 metres of Omar Farouk Mosque in Kirkwood Road.

Sgt Matt Gadsby said: “We enjoy a rich and diverse mix of cultures and religions in Cambridge and David Camp has caused considerable distress through his behaviour so we are pleased to have secured the order in full.

“This Asbo is fundamentally about promoting public safety and protecting the rights of the community, and will hopefully provide reassurance that we will not tolerate either racism or anti-social behaviour in any form.

“Camp has now been given clearly defined boundaries by the court, and is aware of the penalty should he choose to ignore them. In publicising this matter we are now seeking the support of the community in promoting the effective reporting and enforcement of the order.”

Cambridge News

Judge bans ‘hater’ of Muslims from every mosque in the country

An ex-soldier with a hatred of Muslims has been banned from every mosque in the land.

The life-long ban was imposed on John Parkin who stuffed tissue into a bottle of beer and attempted to set Rhyl mosque alight days after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

Mold Crown Court heard that Parkin had been infuriated by the murder of Mr Rigby and decided to try and burn down his local mosque after drinking 15 pints of beer.

Today he was jailed for 18 months and an indefinite criminal anti-social behaviour order (CRASBO) was made under which he must not enter the mosque at River Street in Rhyl – and from entering the curtilage of any mosque in England and Wales.

Judge Niclas Parry told Parkin, 27, of Towyn Way West, Towyn, that he was “an inherent racist” who was prepared to act as such and was a high risk of harm.

“There was a depressing inevitability that people such as you would claim that the tragic events involving Lee Rigby would be some form of justification for what are nothing less than the acts of bigots and yobs,” he said.

It was why Lee Rigby’s own family so commendably made a public appeal that it should not be used as an excuse for further violence.

Parkin’s disgraceful and sickening conduct was an affront to decent society, Judge Parry said.

“But the plain fact is that you acted as you did because you were drunk,” the judge told him.

After 15 pints, in the presence of others, he made it clear that he wanted to buy a bottle to ignite the local Islamic cultural centre “that forms part of your local community.”

The judge told him: “You purchased a bottle, you purchased tissues, you inserted the tissues into the bottle and walked into the ground of the mosque where you made persistent but unsuccessful attempts to light the tissue.”

He then walked off leaving the bottle on the wall when he saw the blue lights of the police approaching.

“On arrest you began to abuse the police about the problems of this country, accusing them of betraying this country.

“You even had the temerity to suggest your example should be followed about how people should be taught about Muslims. You are an inherent racist prepared to act as that. You are a high risk of harm to a certain part of this community.”

The judge said that the offences were aggravated by his previous convictions, which included two previous convictions for religiously or racially aggravated offences.

The same mosque had been targeted by him on one previous occasion.

He had pleaded guilty and the reality was there was no real prospect of a fire.

“But these shocking offences offend decent society which looks to the court to deter such offences,” he said.

Parkin admitted threatening to burn down the mosque and a charge of religiously aggravated disorderly behaviour on May 25.

Prosecutor David Mainstone said that night Parkin went to a Rhyl nightclub and was refused entry after telling staff: “I just need a bottle of strong alcohol to burn down the mosque.”

He moved on to a shop and bought a bottle of Corona beer.

CCTV operators had been alerted by the club’s door staff and police officers arrived when he was in the grounds of the mosque.

He was monitored on CCTV as he tried to light the tissue.

Arrested and cautioned, he asked officers: “Do you like Muslims?”

Mr Mainstone said he had made a “serious threat” to burn down the mosque and uttered anti-Muslim and inflammatory remarks.

Parkin repeatedly told police he did not like Muslims.

When he was interviewed later, Parkin said he was drunk and could not remember what he had said.

But he conceded those were the kind of things he would say because he said those were his views and he was entitled to have them.

He claimed those views extended from his experiences in the army.

Andrew Green, defending, said that it was an aggravating feature that it was a repeat of previous behaviour.

“What lies behind these offences is his use of alcohol and a pattern of thinking that he struggles to shake off,” Mr Green explained.

They came in the wake of the London tragedy, his response was to drink 15 pints and that led to his behaviour.

There was no real risk of a fire because he was trying to ignite a beer bottle.

His words were so outrageous that he was bound to be caught quickly, as he was.

North Wales News

Wales Online

Previously admitted to being a member of the EDL in connection with a previous offence:

Wales Online

EDL founder Stephen Lennon

The leader of the English Defence League (EDL) has been convicted of assault after headbutting a member of his group during a rally in Blackburn.

Stephen Lennon, 28, goaded his followers during a rally attended by 2,000 EDL members in April, Preston Magistrates’ Court heard.

He verbally abused Alan McKee, 33, before attacking him.

Lennon who denied common assault, was found guilty of the charge. Sentencing was adjourned to 3 November.

The bench heard Mr Lennon launched a tirade against Mr McKee, calling him a “degenerate mug”, before trouble broke out.

Mr McKnee was pulled from the crowd for his safety. But he later confronted Mr Lennon about his speech, the court was told.

Lennon, who was surrounded by his own security guards and EDL stewards, then stepped forward and headbutted Mr McKee.

Probation report

The EDL leader, of Luton, denied assault and said he had not targeted Mr McKee during his speech.

Lennon said the man he targeted was another man who he said was part of an EDL splinter group, the North East Infidels, intent on causing trouble.

The court heard from two police officers who told the court they were on hand when the incident happened and they clearly saw Lennon headbutt Mr McKee.

After a day-long trial, District Judge Peter Ward said that he believed the police officers and convicted Lennon of common assault.

The judge said he wanted a probation report on Lennon before passing sentence.

He said: “I don’t think one can rule out a custodial sentence, but at the same time I’m keeping it open in light of the report and what is said to the court next time.”

Sentencing was adjourned until 3 November when police will apply for a criminal (anti-social behaviour order) to prevent Lennon attending EDL rallies.

BBC News

A protester at an English Defence League march in Walsall has been given a suspended jail term and banned from any demonstrations for four years.

Peter Jelley outside Walsall Magistrates Court

Peter Jelley was caught on CCTV gesturing and shouting at a line of police in Walsall as trouble broke out at the rally last autumn. He was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody, suspended by a year, and given a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order at the town’s magistrates court.

The 24-year-old from Shropshire admitted a public order offence of using threatening or abusive behaviour at a previous court hearing and was sentenced yesterday.

The footage from the afternoon of September 29 was played to District Judge Michael Morris and showed Jelley walking up to officers and ‘gesticulating and shouting.’ This was despite the efforts of a female to pull him away.

Mr Paul Nicholas, defending, said: “He has faced up to what he has done, he has faced up to being part of the march. He is shameful of what he has done.”

He insisted his client had disassociated himself from others and had become angry after a relative was hurt. The court was told Jelley has previous convictions for a racially aggravated offence in 2011 and assault the year before.

District Judge Michael Morris said: “You went there knowing what would happen. You were on the frontline facing up to police, clearly agitated and pointing to police.”

Jelley, of Prescott Close, Shrewsbury, was sentenced to five months in custody, suspended for a year.

He was also ordered to do 250 unpaid work and go to an adult attendance centre for 36 hours.

He was also ordered to pay £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Express & Star

Richard Price, co-ordinator of the West Midlands division of the EDL Richard Price, co-ordinator of the West Midlands division of the EDL

A leader of the English Defence League who was described as a “political prisoner” after being jailed for violence at a march had already been placed on the sex offenders register for downloading indecent images of children, The Times can reveal.

The far-right group launched a campaign to free Richard Price, co-ordinator of the West Midlands division of the EDL, after he was jailed last month for violent behaviour. But Price, 41, had been convicted in June 2010 of making four indecent images of children, and possessing cocaine and crack cocaine.

That conviction followed an earlier arrest in 2009 for public order offences believed to have been connected with EDL marches. Police were understood to have seized and analysed his computer, leading to the discovery of sexual images of children that he had downloaded. His home was also searched and the drugs were found.

Price admitted four counts of making indecent images of children and two charges of possessing cocaine when he appeared at Birmingham Crown Court. He was banned from owning a computer for a year, given a three-year community supervision order and ordered to sign on to the sex offenders register for five years.

Price, from Quinton, Birmingham, and Collum Keyes, 23, also from Birmingham, were among 12 people arrested when they surged through police lines during a protest in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in May 2010.

When that case came to court in December, Price admitted using threatening behaviour. He was jailed for three months and given a ten-year Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order banning him from attending marches outside Birmingham. Keyes, who admitted disorderly conduct, was fined £150.

When Price was jailed, EDL members launched a campaign urging supporters to write to the Prime Minister and MPs to try to “win justice for Richard Price, EDL”.

The Aston Villa supporter, who has also been linked to football hooliganism, was even likened by his supporters to a modern-day John Bunyan, the Puritan Christian preacher and author of Pilgrim’s Progress who was jailed for continuing his sermons without the permission of the established Church in the 1600s.

But today’s revelation that one of the EDL’s leading members has been convicted of sex offences will come as a huge embarrassment to a group that has struggled to shrug off its reputation as a new version of the National Front.

In recent months, particularly following the political demise of the British National Party, the EDL has begun to attract more support. Its leader, who had previously used the alias Tommy Robinson, was traced by The Times and gave his first interview using his real name.

Stephen Lennon has vehemently denied that the group he started in Luton, Bedfordshire, is racist, saying that it has even set up a gay and lesbian division and given a prominent role to a Sikh supporter opposed to Islamic extremists.

Supporters of the EDL had claimed that Price became a political prisoner after he, along with Keyes, was banned from organising, controlling or travelling to any open-air protest outside Birmingham for ten years.

It was the first time a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order, sought by Thames Valley Police in conjunction with the National Domestic Extremism Unit, had been issued to a demonstrator connected to the EDL.

Last month, a database of EDL supporters was published on the internet. Hackers had attacked the group’s database of those who had made donations to the EDL and people who had bought clothing from its merchandise wing.

The Times

Daily Star

 

Shane Overton

A Lincoln man has been issued with a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Crasbo), following his attendance at an English Defence League demonstration in Newcastle last year. 

Shane Overton (38) of Parker Avenue, Lincoln, was granted a 10-year Crasbo at Doncaster Crown Court yesterday, Wednesday March 9, which prevents him from attending any public meeting organised by the EDL.

Overton entered a guilty plea racially aggravated public order (section 5 Public Order Act) following an incident on a train at Doncaster on May 29 last year, for which he was arrested by British Transport Police.

DC Andy Haworth from the National Domestic Extremism Unit, a national police unit who worked alongside BTP and Lincolnshire Police, said: “It is only the second time a Crasbo of this nature has been granted to individuals participating in Defence League demonstrations, and it is widely anticipated other police forces will follow suit and apply for Crasbos to stop violent individuals from subverting other wise legitimate, lawful, protests.

“While the Defence Leagues are entitled to protest, violence has been a persistent feature of their demonstrations, and on this occasion on the offence was committed while travelling from a demonstration.

“We are working to support all police forces with Crasbo applications against any individual who persistently commits criminal acts at (or travelling to and from) Defence League demonstrations, regardless of whether they profess to support the Defence League or oppose it, in order to ensure future demonstrations are peaceful and lawful.”

A/DI Simon Bromiley, from Lincolnshire Police, said: “We are extremely pleased with this result. We have worked closely with our national partners on this case and we are hopeful that utilising this kind of legislation will enable us to curb Overton’s offending and tackle racism and Islamophobia in our community in the future.”

Chief Inspector Tom Naughton of British Transport Police said, “Racist abuse of any sort is unacceptable, but the nature of Overton’s insults levelled at a family minding there own business sat on the platform were despicable.

“Everyone has the right to travel without fear of abuse or threatening behaviour, and when that behaviour is further exacerbated by racist undertones, our stance becomes firmer still.

“BTP and the wider rail industry will not tolerate any form of racism on the rail network and we welcome the Crasbo handed to Overton.”

The local CPS Criminal ASBO lead, Yvette Levy, said: “No one should be made to feel fear or concern for their safety purely because of the language they speak or the colour of their skin. Overton’s victims were subjected to racially offensive language whilst patiently waiting for their train.

“The extreme views expressed by Overton caused two children to cling to their parents in fear.

“We have worked closely with the National Domestic Extremism Unit to ensure the strongest possible case was built and that any ASBO imposed against him would truly prevent further offending and protect the public.

“Overton is now prohibited from travelling on the country’s rail system or entering any railway station which is a significant step forward for the safety of train users.”

Lincolnshire Police