Three men have admitted their roles in trouble which broke out during an English Defence League protest in a busy Black Country town centre. Angry scenes unfolded in Leicester Street, Walsall, in September as the EDL held a protest and disorder erupted as supporters left a pub.
Kyle Kirkbride, of Rugeley, and Peter Jelley, of Shrewsbury, both admitted threatening behaviour, while John Sharpe, of Leamore, Bloxwich, admitted racially aggravated harassment at Walsall Magistrates Court yesterday.
Mrs Clare Davis, prosecuting, said during the afternoon of September 29 there had been 300 EDL supporters in Yates’s, 100 in Varsity and more elsewhere and disorder erupted when 200 to 300 supporters left the pub. Some stewards, EDL supporters and police suffered injuries.
The court heard Sharpe made racist remarks to a police officer. Miss Davis said the 45-year-old, of Hawbush Road, was not part of the protest and was in the “wrong place at the wrong time”. Mrs Sheila Hicklin, mitigating, said Sharpe had a drinking problem. District Judge Michael Morris ordered him to pay a £100 fine, £150 compensation, £85 costs and £15 victim surcharge.
Miss Davis said Kirkbride, aged 24, of Springfield Avenue, had made rude hand gestures to Asian men. Mr Jason Georgiou, mitigating, said he was not racist and was responding to the men. He was given a £280 fine, told to pay £85 costs and £15 victim surcharge.
Peter Jelley, aged 24, of Prescott Close, Shrewsbury, denied being involved in violence. In mitigation, Mr James Hand said he has no strong political views. The hearing was adjourned for a pre-sentence report and he was released on conditional bail to return to court on February 6 for sentencing.