Jailed EDL rioter Steven Cooke ‘lied to court about being hero soldier to get sentence cut’

Ministry of Defence say they have no record of Steven Cooke serving in army – after his jail term is cut due to his service to his country

West Midlands Police picture of EDL convicted EDL rioter Steven Cooke
West Midlands Police picture of EDL convicted EDL rioter Steven Cooke
An EDL rioter who had his jail sentence slashed after claiming he was an Afghanistan war hero has NEVER served in the British Army, it has been claimed.

Judges at London’s High Court cut Steven Cooke’s two year jail term to 16 months on Wednesday (June 17) after hearing that he joined the rally due to being furious at the killing of drummer Lee Rigby – and how he had faced the Taliban in Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion Royal Anglians.

But the Ministry of Defence said they have no record of Steven Cooke, aged 39, having served with the army.

An MOD spokeswoman said: “There is no Army service record for Steven Cooke with a date of birth of July 19, 1975.”

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said anybody accused of lying in court could be investigated by police and could face prosecution for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

EDL rioter Steven Cooke
EDL rioter Steven Cooke

Cooke was jailed for two years at Birmingham Crown Court in January after he was caught on CCTV chanting “scum” at United Against Fascism (UAF) protesters and hurling missile towards police during an EDL march in Centenary Square in July 2013.

In cutting his jail term Lord Justice Bean, Mr Justice Spencer and Judge Nicholas Cooke QC said they were taking account of his “powerful personal mitigation” – including his service to his country.

But a source close to Cooke has told the Birmingham Mail that he has never served in the army and that “the closest he has ever been to a military uniform when he was a teenage cadet”.

The source also claims that Cooke has repeatedly used the solider line to “pull women” and secure free drinks in his hometown of Lowestoft, in Suffolk.

Pics from Facebook of Steven Cooke EDL rioter

The source, who did not want to be named, said Cooke had held various factory jobs, adding: “I just can’t let this go. He has never served Queen and country.

“There are plenty of brave men and women who never came back from Afghanistan. I just can’t believe that he has stooped so low to be using this line to secure a ‘get out of jail free card’.

“It is true that he has a disabled child, which has also been used to get the sentence cut, but the soldier line is simply not true.

“The fact that it has helped him shorten his sentence is a disgrace. The closest he has been to a uniform was back when he was a cadet. “Somebody really should have checked his story.

“He tells a lot of lies, but this is the cherry on top of the cake. It was always wrong that he has used it to get drinks but that didn’t really hurt anybody. This is totally different.”

Cooke handed himself in to police after CCTV images of the 2013 march were made public.

EDL rioter Steven Cooke
EDL rioter Steven Cooke

The rioter, who was working as a food hygiene supervisor at the time, was filmed chanting “scum” at United Against Fascism (UAF) protesters and hurling missile towards police.

He went on to plead guilty to violent disorder at Birmingham Crown Court in July last year.

Up to 300 were involved in clashes in Birmingham city centre.

Cops holding the rival factions apart were targeted with missiles, including rocks and lumps of metal, leaving 30 officers injured.

More than 50 men were jailed for over 75 years for their involvement in the violent protest.

Cooke’s lawyers pointed to his experiences in Afghanistan and argued he ought to be shown mercy as he is the father of a disabled child.

They also said there was no evidence that his involvement was racially or religiously motivated, or that he had taken part in inflammatory chanting.

Allowing the appeal, Mr Justice Spencer said the two-year prison sentence did not reflect the distinction between Cooke’s lesser role and those of others involved.

“Although he does seem to have thrown items at the police, it seems they were empty plastic bottles rather than items that could have caused damage,” he said.

“We think that a distinction needs to be made between him and those who had records for violence.

“He had no similar record. He had positive and powerful personal mitigation.”

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