Six men have appeared in court following an incident in which English Defence League supporters were involved in violence outside a Nuneaton town centre pub. The men were arrested after police turned up to deal with fights which broke out in Bridge Street, Nuneaton, and in the doorway of the George Eliot pub.
Noting at the crown court in Leamington that the incident had taken place as long ago as February 2011, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano asked why it had taken so long to get to court. Prosecutor Aliya Rashid explained that the police had been searching for witnesses and trying to track down other people who had been involved.
At the court, five men from Nuneaton, Tamworth and Rugeley, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to a charge of violent disorder. They were Daniel Edkins, 31, of Marston Lane, Nuneaton; Stephen Ginelly,51, of Franklin Court, Nuneaton; John Horton, 43, of Johnson Close, Rugeley; Neil Grant,45, of Stoneleigh Court, Coton Road, Nuneaton; and Christopher Tully,26, of Cadogan Road, Dosthill, Tamworth.
But Douglas Tully, 44, also of Cadogan Road, Dosthill, pleaded not guilty to the charge. His barrister Jane Sarginson explained that he would admit a public order offence, but denied using any unlawful violence during the incident.
Mrs Rashid said that was not accepted by the prosecution, commenting that he was the brother of ‘one of the main defendants’ when the EDL group had approached the pub. So his case was adjourned for trial, which is expected to take place in July, and he was granted bail.
And of Christopher Tully’s ‘basis of plea’ that he had not been looking for trouble, she told the judge: “That is not accepted by the Crown. He stopped and put gloves on and a banner round his face before going to the pub.”
In January this year Ginnelly had been jailed for six months for his part in football-related violence outside the Granby pub in Nuneaton in March last year. Asking for an addendum to a pre-sentence report prepared for that hearing, his barrister Kevin Saunders said he wanted it to consider the effect the sentence, which he has now served, has had on Ginnelly. Judge de Bertodano agreed, and also ordered pre-sentence reports on the other four men who had pleaded guilty.
They were all granted bail, but the judge warned: “They are to be under no illusions that, despite the lapse of time, custodial sentences must be at the forefront of the court’s mind.”
Coventry Telegraph, 9 May 2014