Thirty two men jailed
A group of EDL supporters have been handed sentences totalling more than 55 years after violence flared at a protest in Walsall last year.
Thirty two men have this week appeared before Wolverhampton Crown Court to be sentenced for violent disorder after ugly scenes were witnessed by police and visitors to the town on September 29, 2012.
Following the disorder, at the EDL’s Leicester Street demonstration site, an inquiry was launched by detectives from the force’s criminal investigation department to track down those who brought violence to the streets of Walsall.
Operations were conducted across the Midlands and further afield to arrest those believed to be involved in the disorder.
Men were detained from as far and wide as County Durham and Dorset, having travelled to the Black Country to take part in the demonstration.
After protestors listened to speeches and displayed their flags, factions of the crowd of around 700 supporters started to turn violent with missiles being thrown at police who were trying to maintaining order.
One officer was even hit on the head with a table leg after members of the protest group smashed up garden furniture from a nearby pub beer garden. The officer, who was wearing protective clothing and a helmet, was not seriously hurt.
Chief Superintendent Dave Sturman, commander of Walsall Police and the lead officer on the day of the protest, said: “A major operation was launched to try and maintain calm and order on the streets of Walsall that day and in the large part it was successful, however there was a minority who were intent on causing violence and disruption − and it is those people who are now facing the most severe sentences.
“This week’s court proceedings should send a clear message to those who are intent on coming to the West Midlands to cause trouble − we will not tolerate such behaviour.
“A team of detectives have worked tirelessly on this investigation for more than a year, determined to trace those involved in the disorder and bring them to justice.
“People who commit public order offences such as these should not rest easy as, no matter how long it takes, we will find you.
“We recognise that the people of Walsall were both concerned and inconvenienced on the day and we hope that residents of the town are reassured by our efforts to bring those involved in the disorder to justice.”
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Dunn led the year-long police investigation into the disorder. Following today’s final sentencing, he said: “To see all of those involved in the disorder finally brought to justice is a great testament to the hard work and dedication of the officers who painstakingly worked to identify and arrest those responsible.
“Our inquiry has seen us liaise with forces across the country in a bid to identify people who had travelled far and wide to take part in the protest, and subsequently arrest them.
“Thirty people were arrested at the time, and we continued to arrest people up and down the country over the weeks and months that followed.
“We recovered many hours of CCTV, mobile phone and police footage which led to more than 450 hours of detective work to painstakingly track those involved throughout the day’s events and then put a name to those faces.
“These court proceedings underline the fact that we will pursue people who commit crime in the West Midlands, no matter how long it takes, and bring them to justice.”
Full list of people sentenced: –
ESLIE SILK, aged 37, Gatcombe Road, Bristol. GUILTY PLEA 9/4/13. Sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.
DEAN LIDSTER, aged 44, Hatfield Road Stratford, London. GUILTY PLEA 9/4/13. Sentenced to 28 months imprisonment.
CHRISTOPHER JELLEY, aged 28, Broadway Close, Sutton Farm, Shrewsbury. GUILTY PLEA 9/4/13. Sentenced to 22 months imprisonment.
RICHARD SCHULZ, aged 38, Burns Close, Farnborough, Hampshire. GUILTY VERDICT 12/11/13. Sentenced to 45 months imprisonment.
KIRK JONES, aged 28, Barrier Road, Hinkley, Leciestershire. GUILTY VERDICT 07/10/13. Sentenced to 33 months imprisonment.
DEAN SMITH, aged 33, Irving Road,Tipton. GUILTY VERDICT 12/12/13. Sentenced to 27 months imprisonment.
PETER KIRKHAM, aged 30, New Rowley Road,Dudley. GUILTY PLEA 12/11/13. Sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.
MARK BAKER, aged 44, Manor House Gardens, Wednesbury. GUILTY PLEA 09/04/13. Sentenced to 21 months imprisonment.
JOHN CURETON, aged 48, Rollaston Road, Radford, Coventry. GUILTY VERDICT 07/10/13. Sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.
KIRK REEVES, aged 40, Colliery Row, Swadlingcote,Derby. GUILTY PLEA 13/05/13. Sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.
NICHOLAS COOPER, aged 28, Hawbush Road,Bloxwich. GUILTY PLEA 07/10/13. Sentenced to 27 months imprisonment.
MARK CONROY, aged 36, The Worthings, Stirchley, Birmingham. GUILTY PLEA 05/06/13. Sentenced to 30 months imprisonment.
CRAIG FORWARD, aged 38, Neptune Street, Tipton. GUILTY PLEA 09/04/13. Sentenced to 25 months imprisonment.
GARETH BALLAN, aged 28, Silverdale Place, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. GUILTY PLEA 12/11/13. Sentencing adjourned until 13 January 2014.
SAMUEL PHIPPS, aged 18, Lingfield Drive, Great Wyrley, Staffordshire. GUILTY PLEA 9/4/13. Sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years, and 200 hours of voluntary work.
STEPHEN BENNET, aged 23, Beacon Street, Walsall. GUILTY PLEA 9/4/13. Sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.
MYLES SMITH, aged 39, Parkfield Way, Seacroft, Leeds W. Yorks. GUILTY PLEA 9/4/13. Sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.
STEPHEN CURRIEN, aged 30, Watton Close, Bilston. GUILTY PLEA 24/7/13. Sentenced to 28 months imprisonment.
BEN BANFIELD, aged 35, Megthatches Green, Bristol. GUILTY PLEA 9/4/13. Sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.
LEE COXSHALL, aged 34, Greswold street, West Bromwich. GUILTY PLEA 2/12/13. Sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years.
JACK LAMBERT, aged 25, Blenheim Drive, Wednesbury. GUILTY PLEA 24/7/13. Sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.
JACK CLARK, aged 22, Boundary Road, Birmingham. GUILTY PLEA 2/12/13. Sentenced to 16 months imprisonment.
DARREN DAVIES, aged 49, Severn Road, Acocks Green,Birmingham. GUILTY PLEA 15/7/13. Sentenced to 22 months imprisonment.
DOUGLAS RALSTON, aged 53, Alexandra Road, Tipton. GUILTY PLEA 19/7/13. Sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.
LEE ROGERS, aged 26, Walker Street, Tipton. GUILTY PLEA 15/7/13. Sentenced to 24 months imprisonment.
GARY LYCETT, aged 55, Eagleworks Drive, Walsall. GUILTY PLEA 15/7/13. Sentenced to 26 months imprisonment.
ALAN TURNBULL, aged 32, Rigby Drive,Chadsmoor, Cannock. GUILTY PLEA 24/7/13. Sentenced to 26 months imprisonment.
Neil McDIARMID, aged 50, Williams Road, Shoreham By Sea, West Sussex. GUILTY PLEA 2/12/13. Sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.
RONALD HATTON, aged 59, Woodsford Lane, Moreton, Dorchester,Dorset. GUILTY PLEA 6/9/13. Sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years, and 200 hours unpaid work.
CHRISTOPHER BOYALL, aged 31, Astill Drive, Leicester. GUILTY PLEA 29/10/13. Sentenced to 24 months imprisonment.
DUNCAN SMITH, aged 43, Cardiff Street, Pennfields Wolverhampton. GUILTY PLEA 24/7/13. Sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years, and 200 hours unpaid work.
A 17-year-old from Brownhills was given 8 Months detention and a training order, having been found guilty of violent disorder.
MICHAEL THOMAS, aged 49, Dominion Road, Leicester. GUILTY PLEA 24/7/13. Sentenced to 28 months imprisonment.
A 16-year-old from Walsall was found guilty of violent disorder and given a 12 month referral order, and ordered to pay £85 costs.
The following people were all convicted and sentenced earlier this year for other offences relating to the protest on 29 September 2012:
KYLE KIRKBRIDE, aged 25, Springfield Avenue, Staffordshire. Convicted of public order offences and fined £280, ordered to pay costs of £85 and compensation of £15.
ADAM BRADY, aged 18, Illingworth Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire. Convicted of a public order offence and given a final warning.
PETER JELLEY, aged 25, Prescott Close, Shrewsbury. Convicted of a public order offence. Sentenced to 20 weeks impriosnment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £85
JACK BEASLEY, aged 24, Cedar Road, Bishop Auckland, Durham. Convicted of a public order offence and sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £250
JOHN SHARPE, aged 46, Hawbush Road, Leamore, Walsall. Convicted of a public order offence and fined £100, ordered to pay costs of £85, and compensation of £150
ABU BAKIR, aged 23, Mill Street, Walsall. Convicted of possession of an offensive weapon. Sentenced to 25 weeks and a given a CRASBO.
ROHEEL RASHID, aged 23, Manor Road, Walsall. Convicted of assaulting a police officer. Sentenced to 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months.
AMAR KHAN, aged 28, Bentley Drive, Walsall. Convicted of assaulting a police officer. Sentenced to 14 weeks, suspended for 12 months and to pay costs of £600.
MOHAMMED WAQAS, aged 22, Delves Road, Walsall. Convicted of a public order offence. Sentenced to 12 weeks and given a CRASBO for 2 years.
RICHARD BRADLEY, aged 39, South Road, Tipton. Convicted of Criminal Damage. Given a conditional caution and ordered to pay £150 compensation.