Four locked up over affray at EDL march

Four locked up over affray at EDL march

Four men at the forefront of a riotous crowd who tore down barriers and attacked the police during an EDL march in the Black Country have been locked up.

The men all pleaded guilty to charges of affray at the EDL demonstration in Stafford Street car park, Dudley, on July 17 last year.

They were sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday with Judge Patrick Thomas telling them it was a “significant, highly unpleasant and wholly unnecessary public disorder”.

Adrian Britton, aged 39, of High View Street, Dudley, was jailed for 15 months, while Daniel Holmes, 26, of St Matthews Close, Walsall, will serve 12 months.

Meanwhile, father-to-be James Everard, 20, of Armstrong Close, Amblecote, Stourbridge, was locked up for nine months, along with Jake Hill, 19, of Alexander Hill, Brierley Hill, who was given six months.

Judge Thomas said the sentences reflected what he said was not an issue with the EDL, but with four men who “seemed to take exception” to the police presence, throwing things and spitting at officers. “This was not an afternoon of fun — it was a dangerous, unpleasant incident involving a mob attack on police officers just doing their duty,” he said.

Holmes, who has a string of violence and affray convictions, was arrested after throwing things at police and performing a strange “chicken dance” and taunting police, as seen on CCTV footage shown in court.

The CCTV also shows Everard helping to tear down the fencing and stamping on it, shouting at police and eventually hurling a section of it at officers.

He was standing near Hill, who was waving a St George’s flag, spitting at police and punching the fences once they had been felled. Britton was not seen on film, but the court heard he was seen throwing a section of the fence at police.

Defending Holmes, Mr Andrew Frymann said he had been drinking in a pub nearby and only joined in “because of the beer”.

Mr John Evans, defending Hill, said he had intended to protest legitimately. Meanwhile, Mr Wilbert Harris said Britton was “really sorry”, and Mr Simon Hanns, for Everard, said he had been swayed by what was happening around him.

From the Wolverhampton Express and Star. 21.05.11

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