Abdul Rafiq

A Muslim Rangers supporter who chanted sectarian remarks at a game at Ibrox Stadium has been fined £600.

Abdul Rafiq, 41, the only Muslim member of the English Defence League, was arrested at Rangers friendly game with Chelsea on 6 August.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court he pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated breach of the peace by shouting, swearing and uttering sectarian remarks.

Sheriff John McCormick also imposed a five year football banning order.

The court heard that Rafiq, from Kelvinbridge, Glasgow, was heard shouting phrases which hit out at Catholics and the Pope.

‘Sectarian phrases’

Fiscal depute Seana Doherty, prosecuting said: “The accused was standing in the Govan front stand wearing a flag around his shoulders bearing the Red Hand of Ulster logo.

“He was wearing an umbrella stand hat which was red white and blue and also had the Red Hand of Ulster logo on it, and carrying a blue Rangers backpack.

“He was seen by three police officers to stand up from the seat and chant sectarian phrases.”

The court was told Rafiq was warned by the officers to stop but continued and was arrested.

Defence lawyer Ashley Kane told the court: “Mr Rafiq is a member of the English Defence League, as a result of his membership to this and him being the only Muslim member of the organisation he does stand out.”

She said that he has been a Rangers fan for the majority of his life and has attended matches and sung songs.

Ms Kane added: “At the time of the offence he didn’t believe that his actions were offending anyone.”

She also said that if he had known he was offending anybody he would not have acted in that way.

BBC News

Richard Price, co-ordinator of the West Midlands division of the EDL Richard Price, co-ordinator of the West Midlands division of the EDL

A leader of the English Defence League who was described as a “political prisoner” after being jailed for violence at a march had already been placed on the sex offenders register for downloading indecent images of children, The Times can reveal.

The far-right group launched a campaign to free Richard Price, co-ordinator of the West Midlands division of the EDL, after he was jailed last month for violent behaviour. But Price, 41, had been convicted in June 2010 of making four indecent images of children, and possessing cocaine and crack cocaine.

That conviction followed an earlier arrest in 2009 for public order offences believed to have been connected with EDL marches. Police were understood to have seized and analysed his computer, leading to the discovery of sexual images of children that he had downloaded. His home was also searched and the drugs were found.

Price admitted four counts of making indecent images of children and two charges of possessing cocaine when he appeared at Birmingham Crown Court. He was banned from owning a computer for a year, given a three-year community supervision order and ordered to sign on to the sex offenders register for five years.

Price, from Quinton, Birmingham, and Collum Keyes, 23, also from Birmingham, were among 12 people arrested when they surged through police lines during a protest in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in May 2010.

When that case came to court in December, Price admitted using threatening behaviour. He was jailed for three months and given a ten-year Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order banning him from attending marches outside Birmingham. Keyes, who admitted disorderly conduct, was fined £150.

When Price was jailed, EDL members launched a campaign urging supporters to write to the Prime Minister and MPs to try to “win justice for Richard Price, EDL”.

The Aston Villa supporter, who has also been linked to football hooliganism, was even likened by his supporters to a modern-day John Bunyan, the Puritan Christian preacher and author of Pilgrim’s Progress who was jailed for continuing his sermons without the permission of the established Church in the 1600s.

But today’s revelation that one of the EDL’s leading members has been convicted of sex offences will come as a huge embarrassment to a group that has struggled to shrug off its reputation as a new version of the National Front.

In recent months, particularly following the political demise of the British National Party, the EDL has begun to attract more support. Its leader, who had previously used the alias Tommy Robinson, was traced by The Times and gave his first interview using his real name.

Stephen Lennon has vehemently denied that the group he started in Luton, Bedfordshire, is racist, saying that it has even set up a gay and lesbian division and given a prominent role to a Sikh supporter opposed to Islamic extremists.

Supporters of the EDL had claimed that Price became a political prisoner after he, along with Keyes, was banned from organising, controlling or travelling to any open-air protest outside Birmingham for ten years.

It was the first time a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order, sought by Thames Valley Police in conjunction with the National Domestic Extremism Unit, had been issued to a demonstrator connected to the EDL.

Last month, a database of EDL supporters was published on the internet. Hackers had attacked the group’s database of those who had made donations to the EDL and people who had bought clothing from its merchandise wing.

A RACIST thug who punched a taxi driver and dragged him along a street, has been jailed for 18 months.

Lee Preston, 22, targeted cabbie Mohammed Rashid, leaving him with two black eyes, a bruised face and grazes to his shoulders caused when he was dragged to the ground.

Mr John Hallisey, prosecuting, said the cabbie received a call at 9pm on April 16 to collect five men from Chaddesden.

He noticed they were carrying cans of lager and told them these could not be drunk in his vehicle

But after a few minutes, the men started drinking.

“Mr Rashid told them to stop and the response was to start hurling abuse.

“The defendant was saying ‘we are EDL,’ referring to the English Defence League,” said Mr Hallisey.

Preston, of Walbrook Road, Derby, began to throw beer cans out of the taxi until Mr Rashid closed the windows – a move which angered the passengers.

Mr Rashid stopped his cab and told the five to leave.

One said: “Get out and we’ll sort you out.”

When they eventually left, they failed to close the rear doors but Mr Rashid waited until he thought they had walked away before getting out of the cab..

But he was then grabbed and prevented from getting back into the vehicle before being attacked.

During this, he heard chants of “EDL” and one man said: “I’m going to kill you.”

When a second taxi driver stopped to help, he was also assaulted and had his vehicle kicked.

Police were called and Preston was found hiding under a bush.

He admitted affray and racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm.

Judge Granville Styler told Preston: “In drink you are a complete lout. This will tarnish your whole career if you are not very careful. This was a disgraceful episode as you no doubt now realise.”

Clive Stockwell, mitigating, told the court: “His record is of a nuisance drunk. I have read a statement from his father who is clearly of the view that his son had a difficulty with drink and he then behaves in a most disgraceful way.”

Mr Stockwell said Preston had gained some educational qualifications while in custody. When he is freed, his father plans to find him work on market stalls.”

The judge told Preston: “It may well be you find on the market stall most of your customers will be Pakistani people so you will have to change your attitude pretty quickly.”

Three other men have pleaded not guilty to charges arising from the night and are awaiting trial. A fifth man has pleaded guilty.

Derby Telegraph

A 25-year-old English Defence League member has pleaded guilty to daubing hate graffiti on land being considered as a site for a mosque.

Christopher Payne of Hucknall admitted spraying the graffiti but denied putting a pig’s head on the site in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire.

He appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court and will be sentenced on 21 July.

Police went to the property on 23 June where the slogan “No Mosque Here” was found spray painted on the ground.
Pig’s head

Payne pleaded guilty to causing racially or religiously aggravated alarm, dissent or distress and causing racially aggravated criminal damage.

Three other men aged 19, 21 and 31, have been arrested and questioned about the incident.

Payne, of Beardsmore Close, Hucknall, who is an events planner for the English Defence League, told the court that he sprayed the slogan but did not put the pig’s head on the grassland.

He was granted bail with a curfew but ordered to stay out of West Bridgford and not to go within 200m of a mosque.

He has also been told not to have any public association with the English Defence League.

A member of the public reported finding the graffiti near Collington Way in West Bridgford on Thursday.

BBC News

A judge has hit out at sentencing powers that prevented him from handing out a tougher punishment to a self-confessed racist who threatened to blow up a mosque.

Judge Niclas Parry said he found it “quite staggering” a religiously aggravated public order offence could only attract a fine as a punishment for former soldier John Parkin.

Parkin, who was jailed for 10 months for being in breach of an earlier suspended sentence, escaped separate punishment on two charges of religiously aggravated public order offences following two separate outbursts against Muslims in Rhyl.

On one occasion, Parkin, 26, of River Street, John Parkin, was seen near Ellis’ public house in Water Street in Rhyl, where there was also a mosque, in a drunken condition and he was warned about his behaviour.

The licensee heard him say: “I have got guns. I want to shoot Muslims in the head.”

He spoke about blowing up the mosque and the licensee found his remarks extremely racist and offensive, the court heard.

When police attended they found him shouting and remonstrating with security staff and he was arrested.

Yet he continued with his racist tirade saying: “Muslims are taking over the country. They need to go back to their own country.”

He later told police: “I am a racist. I hate Muslims”, adding that he was a member of the English Defence League, although it was said in court that he was not.

When interviewed, he said that he hated Muslims but would not say why.

Parkin was bailed but then on the night of Christmas Day he was refused entry into Ellis’ Bar because he was drunk and again indulged in a racist tirade.

He said: “Muslims are allowed in but I am not.”

When questioned by police he said he was drunk and could not remember but agreed that he would make such comments and believed Muslims should not be in the country.

“We don’t need them. They are taking over,” he said.

The two offences put him in breach of a 52 week prison sentence, which in June of last year was suspended for two years, following an attack on his then partner.

Sentencing Parkin today at Mold Crown Court, sitting in Chester, the judge branded him a racist and a bigot.

“You typify the ignorance that poisons our society,” he said.

“I frankly find it quite staggering, and I always have done, that the court’s sentencing powers for these matters are limited to a financial penalty.”

Parkin served in the British Army for five years – including a tour of Northern Ireland and two of Bosnia.

He was medically discharged after a landmine exploded in Basra, fracturing his skull.

Wales Online

An ENGLISH Defence League supporter who chanted “Muslim bombers off our streets” has been jailed for eight months.

Daniel Parker, 39, was with a group who, according to a judge aimed “vile and disgusting” abuse at a religious leader.

The group had been on an EDL march in April when they began throwing stones outside Barnsley Muslim Community Centre.

The imam came out to find EDL supporters shouting abuse including “Why don’t you go back to your country?”

Prosecutor Louise Gallagher told Sheffield Crown Court that the imam heard a loud bang on the window as he was about to lead prayers and then went outdoors, where he “found the language abusive and racist.”

When arrested, Parker, of Prince Arthur Street, Barnsley, told police he was shouting “because he was drunk and an idiot”. He admitted an unusual offence of religiously aggravated harassment.

His barrister Tina Dempster said he was the only one of the group arrested and, if he had not admitted chanting, would probably not have been charged.

Judge Roger Keen said Parker was of previous good character.

But he added: “You and others ought to understand that that sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and people like you will go to prison.

Yorkshire Post

Shane Overton

A Lincoln man has been issued with a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Crasbo), following his attendance at an English Defence League demonstration in Newcastle last year. 

Shane Overton (38) of Parker Avenue, Lincoln, was granted a 10-year Crasbo at Doncaster Crown Court yesterday, Wednesday March 9, which prevents him from attending any public meeting organised by the EDL.

Overton entered a guilty plea racially aggravated public order (section 5 Public Order Act) following an incident on a train at Doncaster on May 29 last year, for which he was arrested by British Transport Police.

DC Andy Haworth from the National Domestic Extremism Unit, a national police unit who worked alongside BTP and Lincolnshire Police, said: “It is only the second time a Crasbo of this nature has been granted to individuals participating in Defence League demonstrations, and it is widely anticipated other police forces will follow suit and apply for Crasbos to stop violent individuals from subverting other wise legitimate, lawful, protests.

“While the Defence Leagues are entitled to protest, violence has been a persistent feature of their demonstrations, and on this occasion on the offence was committed while travelling from a demonstration.

“We are working to support all police forces with Crasbo applications against any individual who persistently commits criminal acts at (or travelling to and from) Defence League demonstrations, regardless of whether they profess to support the Defence League or oppose it, in order to ensure future demonstrations are peaceful and lawful.”

A/DI Simon Bromiley, from Lincolnshire Police, said: “We are extremely pleased with this result. We have worked closely with our national partners on this case and we are hopeful that utilising this kind of legislation will enable us to curb Overton’s offending and tackle racism and Islamophobia in our community in the future.”

Chief Inspector Tom Naughton of British Transport Police said, “Racist abuse of any sort is unacceptable, but the nature of Overton’s insults levelled at a family minding there own business sat on the platform were despicable.

“Everyone has the right to travel without fear of abuse or threatening behaviour, and when that behaviour is further exacerbated by racist undertones, our stance becomes firmer still.

“BTP and the wider rail industry will not tolerate any form of racism on the rail network and we welcome the Crasbo handed to Overton.”

The local CPS Criminal ASBO lead, Yvette Levy, said: “No one should be made to feel fear or concern for their safety purely because of the language they speak or the colour of their skin. Overton’s victims were subjected to racially offensive language whilst patiently waiting for their train.

“The extreme views expressed by Overton caused two children to cling to their parents in fear.

“We have worked closely with the National Domestic Extremism Unit to ensure the strongest possible case was built and that any ASBO imposed against him would truly prevent further offending and protect the public.

“Overton is now prohibited from travelling on the country’s rail system or entering any railway station which is a significant step forward for the safety of train users.”

Lincolnshire Police

A 17-YEAR-OLD youth has been ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work after carrying out a religiously aggravated attack on a police officer.

The Cherry Willingham youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was previously found guilty of assaulting off-duty Muslim police officer PC Rizwaan Chothia by Lincoln magistrates following a two-day trial held earlier this month.

He faced trial alongside Daniel Odling, 26, of High Street, Blyton, near Gainsborough, who was found guilty of religiously aggravated threatening behaviour and fined £450 and ordered to pay £500 costs plus a £15 victims’ surcharge.

During the trail, the court heard how a group of six or seven men entered the Grandstand on Carholme Road, where 30 to 40 Muslims were gathered for a meeting on July 9 last year, and behaved in a threatening manner.

The meeting was held to identify a site for a new place of worship after the Lincoln Islamic Association’s application for a mosque in Boultham Park Road was rejected.

Magistrates were told the uninvited group turned up following publicity about the event, and used profane and blasphemous language against the Muslim community members who were gathered.

Jane Loader, prosecuting, said: “Some of the men entered the meeting hall and were abusive to members of the Muslim community.

“The males and some attendees at the meeting then went outside and a confrontation took place. The 17-year-old youth approached PC Chothia and said ‘come on then’ while gesturing with his hands.

“He was trying to antagonise him and provoke a reaction but PC Chothia did not respond.

“The youth swung his right arm, making contact with PC Chothia’s face in a punch-come-slap motion.

“Again, PC Chothia did not respond.”

The court heard that PC Chothia was uninjured in the attack but alarmed and distressed by the group’s intrusion and blasphemy.

He had recognised the 17-year-old youth, who has no previous convictions, from a photograph at the police station.

In mitigation, magistrates were told the youth deeply regretted going to the meeting.

Sunil Khanna, defending, said: “He lashed out but it is accepted no injury was caused.

“He never used any blasphemous language or comments about Islam.

“This incident occurred because he followed other people and was led down the wrong path but he has now come a long way from the views he held a year ago.”

Chairman of the bench Hefina Brumpton gave the youth a 12-month youth rehabilitation order and a 12-month supervision order.

He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work pay £100 costs.

This is Lincolnshire

A violent car-jacker who tried to slash a man across the neck with car keys has been jailed.

Aaron Muxlow was sentenced to 33 months in prison after carrying out a series of verbal and physical attacks.

Muxlow, 21, appeared at Cambridge Crown Court for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to theft, criminal damage, using threatening or abusive words or behaviour and robbery.

Quentin Newcomb, prosecuting, said Nicholas Birch and Luke Banaszkiewicz were driving on Spril 12 to see friends at Arbury Court in Cambridge.

Mr Banaszkiewicz got out to meet friends and Muxlow, of Cambridge Road, Stretham, Ely, approached the car, grabbed the keys from the ignition and demanded Mr Birch give him all his possessions.

When Mr Birch said he did not have anything to give him, Muxlow hit him several times before Mr Birch fled and his friend returned asking for the keys, the court was told.

Muxlow then slashed at Mr Banaszkiewicz’s neck with the keys, leaving a mark, before driving off in the car.

On May 25, Muxlow verbally abused Neera Saini, co-owner of Derby Stores, Derby Street, when she challenged him over a missing bottle of wine worth £6.

He returned on June 3 and intimidated her husband, Karter Singh, because Mr Singh was following him to check nothing was stolen.

Then on June 10, he attacked a cyclist’s bike, falsely claiming the owner, Jon Clarke, was a “pervert” who had taken wine from his trousers.

When Mr Clarke went into the Mace store, in Green End Street, he heard “banging and scratching noises” and went outside to see his bike wheel buckled and Muxlow walking off.

Mr Clarke later returned to the scene with a police officer and they found Muxlow still there.

He was arrested and placed in a police van by Pc Linas Pekarskas but started hurling racist abuse at the officer, shouting ‘EDL’ .

Mark Shelley, mitigating, said: “When he is sober he is actually quite pleasant. When he drinks and takes drugs he is aggressive and unpleasant.”

Judge Jonathan Haworth said the robbery was the “aggravating feature” and sentenced him to a total of two years and nine months in prison, reduced by the 121 days he has spent in custody.

Cambridge News

A 37-year-old Hull man flew to Canada to meet a teenage girl he had been grooming on the Internet, a court heard.

When Brett Moses arrived in Vancouver, he then took an 11 hour bus journey to meet the 13-year-old in Grand Forks.

He was stopped by Canadian police following concerns by the parents of one of the girl’s friends.

Moses, a security guard in Hull, has now been given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after earlier pleading guilty to sexual grooming.

Hull Crown Court heard that he first started speaking to the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on an Internet chat room in 2004.

He claimed to be a 13-year-old called John Smith and initially spoke to the girl’s father.

It was him who introduced Moses to his daughter, having heard claims of “John” being beaten and abused by a foster father.

The correspondence continued for seven or eight months, in which time Moses was introduced online to some of the 13-year-old’s friends.

It was June 2005 when Moses travelled to Canada.

On arrival to Grand Forks, he telephoned the 13-year-old girl, but got no reply.

He then called her friend, whose parents questioned Moses and went to meet him, asking to see identification.

The prosecution said Moses claimed to have lost his ID, saying he was Brian Patterson and that John Smith was his foster son, and had been too ill to travel.

Eventually Moses confessed to the authorities, was detained and deported to the UK, where he was met by British police.

This is Hull