A 19-year-old man has been jailed for 16 months after he was found guilty of racially aggravated assault during a protest in Bedfordshire. Kier McElroy hit an Asian man with a banner in a shop doorway in Chapel Street, Luton, on 24 May last year.
Jurors at Luton Crown Court found McElroy guilty of racially aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm on student Venkateswara Muppalla. He had earlier admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm. However, he denied he was racist.
He also pleaded guilty to a second charge of affray, which resulted from his actions that day when he said he was drunk.
The assaulted Asian man was cornered by a group of people marching in protest over an earlier demonstration by a group of Muslims at a parade by the Royal Anglian Regiment in Luton.
The protest was organised by United People of Luton, the direct precursor of the English Defence League. Although the supposed subject of the demonstration was Muslim extremism, this didn’t prevent McElroy from randomly targeting a Hindu.