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A trio of men arrested in connection with a major national demonstration by a controversial far right-wing group in Exeter have appeared in court.

Kurtis Coyle, Daniel Holmes and Steven Hart were brought before Exeter Magistrates today following the English Defence League (EDL) march in the city on November 16.

Coyle, 21 from Heavitree, was given a suspended prison sentence of four weeks after he admitted the possession of a knuckle duster in the The Chevalier Inn, Fore Street as well as the possession of a class A drug.

He claimed he was planning to take the weapon “to a mate’s house” after apparently buying it online for £10, the court heard.

Coyle was ordered him to pay costs of £165, and was told the drugs – 1.4g of cocaine – would be destroyed.

Daniel Holmes, 30 from Exwick, issued no plea after being charged with the possession of a knife on Queen Street. He was granted unconditional bail and his case will be heard at Exeter Crown Court on January 3.

Steven Hart, 48, from the Pinhoe area of Exeter, was given a custodial discharge of six months after admitting being drunk in a public place.

Hart, who was described as a “long-term alcoholic”, was found lying down on a pavement under the influence of alcohol and unable to stand unassisted, the court heard.

A fourth man arrested – a 49-year-old Surrey man – had been given a fixed penalty notice for being drunk and disorderly in the city centre on November 15.

Chief Inspector Jim Gales, of Devon and Cornwall Police, described the day as a “success” for the force.

“We had to intervene at times to prevent outbreaks of disorder, making a very small number of arrests,” he said.

“But what we [were] able to do [was] to facilitate peaceful demonstrations and allow the inhabitants of Exeter to go about their daily business safely.”

More than 200 people travelled from across the country for the EDL march and rally in the city centre.

But a total of 1,000 people, under the banner of Exeter Together, paraded down the streets earlier in the day and gathered for a rally to condemn the group.

A mounted police unit from South Wales were among a total of 400 officers from as far away as Birmingham who were tasked with patrolling activities.

City centre manager John Harvey described the police operation as “excellent”, saying the force ensured it remained “business as normal”.

“It could have been a day that tarnished the city, but actually it enhanced its reputation. On lots of levels, we can be very proud,” he added.

Some 225 EDL supporters gathered at the Locomotive pub on New North Road before marching along the road, down Queen Street to Rougemont Gardens flanked by police.

Angry exchanges took place between opponents and protestors who chanted “You’re English no more” and “whose streets, our streets” as they marched.

Two protestors donned burqas – traditional Islamic dress – and were seen to imitate Muslim prayer in the middle of a street.

Exeter News & Echo

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Brian-Barnes

A MAN was arrested at a Thatcham rally for the English Defence League, Newbury magistrates heard.

The trouble flared during the demonstration on October 5 this year, the court was told.

In the dock on Thursday, October 24, was 38-year-old Brian Barnes, who had travelled from his home in Rectory Road, Hook in Hampshire, for the event.

Helen Waite, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was taking part in an EDL demonstration and was crossing Station Road in Thatcham.”

She added that he was heard to shout abuse and swear at someone and that “there were three children nearby.”

Mr Barnes continued to swear when officers spoke to him and when he was arrested, police found cannabis on him, the court heard.

He admitted using threatening words and behaviour and possessing a Class B controlled drug.

Representing himself, Mr Barnes said: “I was highly intoxicated and I’m sorry. That’s it.”

Magistrates fined him £150 with £85 costs and a £20 surcharge

Newbury Today

More info about the demo can be found here

A MAN repeatedly punched an anti-fascist protester in front of children during an EDL march in Hull, a court has heard.

John Claydon, 46, was pictured by the Mail being dragged away by police officers seconds after the attack.

John Claydon is arrested during the EDL march in Hull on August 17. Inset, from top, Melvyn Parker, Wayne Douglas and David Bolton

John Claydon is arrested during the EDL march in Hull on August 17. Inset, from top, Melvyn Parker, Wayne Douglas and David Bolton

He was one of four men who appeared before city magistrates yesterday in connection with trouble at the August 17 march .

Claydon, of Dronfield, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecutor Deborah Gibson told Hull Magistrates’ Court how Claydon had lashed out at David Harding, part of a six to eight-strong group taking part in a “silent” protest, holding placards, outside St Stephen’s shopping centre in Ferensway.

She said: “This defendant tried to grab Mr Harding’s placard, which simply stated Hull was a multicultural place, before repeatedly punching him in the face, forcing him to the floor.

“He continued to punch Mr Harding. Mr Harding was punched about six times to the face.

“The attack was only stopped when police officers dragged him off Mr Harding.”

Mr Harding was left with a cut to his face, which required ten stitches, as well as two black eyes.

Miss Gibson said Mr Harding’s mobile phone was also broken, most likely when he was forced to the ground.

She said a key aggravating feature of the attack was the fact that it was carried out in front of families on a Saturday afternoon.

“The assault was in full view of children,” said Miss Gibson.

More than 400 EDL supporters took part in the march, with all those arrested having travelled to Hull from elsewhere.

Ian Phillips, defending, said his client admits attacking Mr Harding, but denies punching him several times.

He said: “My client argues there were two punches, not the five, six or more as the Crown describes.”

Claydon was granted bail on condition he resides at his usual address and will be sentenced at Hull Crown Court on September 20.

Meanwhile, Melvyn Parker, 46, of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, admitted using threatening and abusive language against Mr Harding.

Parker also admitting possession of cocaine, a class A-controlled drug.

Miss Gibson said: “As the march proceeded along Ferensway at around 2.40pm, there was another group protesting against the EDL. No gestures were being made.”

Referring to Claydon and Parker, Miss Gibson said: “Two males broke away and approached these protesters.

“Mr Parker grabbed a banner from one of these protesters to try to stop the protest. That protester was Mr Harding.

“Mr Parker pushed, albeit lightly, a female who was with Mr Harding.

“When Mr Parker was arrested, he was found to be in possession of a small quantity of cocaine.”

Defending, Dave Robson said Parker – a dad-of-two and a struggling bricklayer – was drunk and became “caught in the political passion” of the EDL march, but regrets his actions.

Mr Robson said: “He says he was called names, including a Nazi, which upset him. He took offence to that and grabbed the placard.”

Parker was ordered to pay £265 costs.

David Bolton, 52, of Braintree, Essex, who has the letters EDL tattooed on the back of his head and a red rose on his neck, pleaded guilty to using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The court heard staff at the Star and Garter pub in Portland Street called police at 3.25am on August 17 because they believed a group of men were carrying knives.

Bolton was searched and no weapon was found.

However, he was arrested after ignoring seven warnings from police to stop shouting obscenities at them, said Miss Gibson.

Defending, Mr Phillips, said: “He admitted that he could not keep his mouth shut.”

Wayne Douglas, 43, of Hemsworth, West Yorkshire, admitted charges of being drunk and disorderly and possession of cannabis, a class B-controlled drug.

Miss Gibson said Douglas was caught by officers urinating in the street “in full view” of passers- by.

He was subsequently searched and a small amount of the drug was found in a tin.

Both Bolton and Douglas were given 18-month conditional discharges and ordered to pay £100 in costs.

This is Hull

marcus ward

A drug dealing English Defence League supporter slashed two men with a cut throat razor during a brutal gang attack at a pub.

Twenty-six year-old Marcus Ward went on the run for two-and-a-half years following the attack in March 2010, only handing himself in to police in September last year.

Judge Jonathan Foster QC branded Ward a ‘dangerous man’ at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court as he jailed him a total of 11 years. Ward and fellow supporters of the far-right organisation visited the Oddfellows in Middleton following a march in Bolton.

But the gang, who were wearing English Defence League clothing and carrying EDL flags, were asked to leave the Oldham Road pub by the concerned landlord due to their rowdy behaviour.

When the landlord went outside to explain why he had asked them to leave he was punched and kicked in the face.

Two bystanders went to help the landlord, when Ward, formerly of North Street, Boarshaw, assaulted them with a cut-throat razor.

One victim was left with a 15cm cut to the back of his head and a cut lip. The other suffered slashes running from his left shoulder to his back. One wound was so serious he needed surgery.

The court was told Ward was one of eight children raised by a father who was described by the judge as a violent ‘habitual criminal’, after his mother left home when he was four years old.

Ward was on bail for firearms offences at the time of the attack. He was caught with a pistol and a sawn-off shotgun with rounds of ammunition during a police search of his former home.

Police also found an air rifle, a crossbow, a machete, £5,413 worth of cannabis, £160 in cash, a dealers’ list and some snap bags.

Ward, who had previously pleaded guilty to two charges of wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon, and pleaded guilty to two counts of firearms possession, possession of ammunition and possession of cannabis with intent to supply, told the court that the firearms belonged to his late father, who had asked him to look after them for him.

He denied that he kept firearms for protection because he was dealing drugs.

Ward, who admitted that he did sell drugs to friends, but said it wasn’t on a large scale, said: “He was pretty strict my old man and whatever he said went. I didn’t feel that I could refuse his request.”

Ward was sentenced to a total of 11 years imprisonment, with six-and-a-half years concurrent for possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of a shotgun and possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and four-and-a-half years concurrent for two charges of section 18 wounding and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a cut-throat razor and violent disorder.

After sentencing Detective Inspector Andy Butterworth said: “This is a dangerous individual who was pursued relentlessly by the police.”

Manchester Evening News

Paul Duffy (right)

Paul Duffy (right)

A MAN who looked after a gun and bullets in exchange for having a debt written-off has been jailed for five years.

Police found a Webley 8mm pistol and two rounds of ammunition when they raided Paul Duffy’s house, after a tip-off in December.

Officers also discovered a prohibited CS gas spray and a small amount of amphetamine during the search at Warkworth Close, Washington.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told Newcastle Crown Court the gun, which had been manufactured in Italy and adapted in the UK, was tested by experts who confirmed it had “lethal potential.”

The bullets were live and capable of firing.

Duffy told detectives he was looking after the firearm and ammunition in exchange for a drug debt being wiped out.

The 47-year-old said he had been due to give the CS gas spray to a young woman who was concerned for her safety due to the number of rapes in the Washington area, and wanted to carry it for protection.

Duffy admitted possessing a prohibited firearm, live rounds of ammunition, a prohibited weapon and a small amount of amphetamine.

Judge Brian Forster told him: “Anyone who has in their possession a prohibited firearm commits a very serious offence.

“Parliament has decided that judges must impose a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment in such cases and the reason is clear.

“There must be a deterrent sentence to ensure that people do not take such weapons into their possession.

“Weapons such as this are usually carried in offences of robbery.

“While they are carried there is a real risk of death or serious injury to those who may be the victims of such crime.”

Lee Fish, defending, said Duffy is in poor health and uses a walking stick due to back and leg problems.

Mr Fish said: “He was holding the gun for someone else. He has no previous convictions which involve weapons or firearms.”

Sunderland Echo

Hope not Hate

AN anti-mosque protester avoided jail after he was found to be carrying cocaine following a street demonstration.

Warren Faulkner also offered to “sort out” his differences with a police officer when they clashed during the protest in Millfield, Sunderland.

Newcastle Crown Court was told Faulkner was among a group demonstrating about plans to build a mosque in St Marks Road.

The 42-year-old, of Webb Avenue, Westlea, Seaham, was then spotted by an officer in a back lane shouting “come on, come on, bring it on”.

The court heard Faulkner tried to trip up the officer, who was separating the right-wing demonstrators from the anti-fascist group. As he was being detained, Webb told the officer: “I will give you my phone number, and we can sort this out without your uniform on”.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: “Following this, a small packet of cocaine was found in his trouser pocket, with a street value of £34.”

Faulkner, who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of a controlled substance with intent to supply, and a public order offence, claimed he was only carrying the drug after someone asked him to keep it for them.

Vic Laffey, defending, said Faulkner had lost his job as a result of being brought before the court.

He said: “This was a straightforward agreement with the friend to keep the drugs, with no suggestion at all that he would make money or a profit from them. He intended to give the drugs back.”

Judge Simon Hickey QC sentenced Faulkner to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months. He also ordered him to do 100 hours’ unpaid work and abide by a supervision order.

Judge Hickey said: “You were there to deliberately antagonise the other group, and you offered to sort it out with him if he removed his uniform.”

The court was told Faulkner had 22 convictions, his last back in 2002.

Sunderland Echo
EDLNews

The leader of the extreme Right-wing English Defence League was charged today with assaulting a police officer after clashes with Islamic protesters.

Stephen Lennon, 27, of Luton, was arrested during a clash with members of Muslims Against Crusades who burned poppies during the two-minute silence in Kensington yesterday.

The father of two, also known as Yaxley-Lennon and Tommy Robinson, was one of six EDL members arrested. He will appear at West London magistrates’ court on November 22.

Four men, aged 41, 42, 19 and 18, were held for affray and another for possession of Class A drugs. Two Muslims, aged 30 and 25, were arrested for public order offences.

Members of Muslims Against Crusaders set fire to a large poppy as the clock struck 11am yesterday and chanted “British soldiers burn in hell” during their protest in Exhibition Road near the Royal Albert Hall.

A policeman was taken to hospital with a head injury as he tried to keep separate about 50 men linked to EDL and the Muslims.

Demonstrator Abu Rayah, from east London, said yesterday: “We’re here because people talk about all this patriotism but people in Afghanistan want Sharia and the soldiers keep dropping cluster bombs on our people and it’s like they just want us dead. We want British and American troops out of Afghanistan now.”

All those arrested were bailed pending further inquiries until a date in December.

London Evening Standard