EDL chief faces assault sentence

The leader of the English Defence League from Bedfordshire is due to be sentenced for assaulting a fellow-member of the far-right group.

Stephen Lennon, founder of the English Defence League (EDL) headbutted his victim shortly after speaking at a rally of 2,000 followers in Blackburn, Lancs, on April 2.

The 28-year-old, from Luton, launched a tirade against a man from the North East, who was accused of putting messages on the internet about police informers and “grasses” amongst EDL members.

Trouble then broke out between EDL members and fellow supporters from the North East.

Shortly after, Lennon, who was surrounded by his own security guards and EDL stewards, then lunged or stepped forward and headbutted Alan McKee, 33, from Gateshead.

The attack was witnessed by two police officers who stepped in to quell the trouble.

Lennon, who is on bail, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault but was convicted by District Judge Peter Ward following his trial at Preston Magistrates’ Court last month.

The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports and Lennon will be sentenced on Thursday, police will also apply for a criminal Asbo (Anti-social behaviour order) to prevent Lennon attending any further EDL rallies.

The Blackburn rally alone, where 13 arrests were made, cost £500,000 out of the Lancashire Police budget.

From the Rutland and Stamford Mercury . 04.11.11

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