The #Brierfield stitch up continues #edl

11:20am Sunday 3rd June 2012 in Chorley

Two Chorley men took part in a ‘demonstration’ by the English Defence League ended in an Asian teenager being floored in the street and another being run over.

EDL supporters have been accused of running a series of unnannounced demonstrations in Blackburn, Accrington, Clitheroe, Simonstone and Brierfield in retaliation for the arrest of their leader Tommy Robinson in June 2011.

Protests were also staged outside the home of MEP Sajjad Karim, with his wife and eight-year-old daughter inside.

But prosecutor Emma Keogh told Preston Crown Court that it was a confrontation between the far-right protesters and dozens of Asian rivals which had placed 12 people in the dock.

Bernard Holmes, the EDL Blackburn division’s ‘commander’ led the operation on July 2 last year, aided by several ‘lieutenants’ and ‘footsoldiers’.

Miss Keogh said 17-year-old Azhar Iqbal was set upon by several white men in Castle Street. And nearby, Irfan Mehdi was run down by an EDL supporter’s car.

Holmes, 26, of Bolton Road, Blackburn is in hospital with chronic pancreatitis and did not attend the hearing.

He has admitted causing racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence alongside Leonard Hawley, 47, of Worcester Road, and David Wilson, 47, of Devon Road, all Blackburn, and Jason Smith, 43, of Torquay Avenue, Bur-nley. Graham Smith, 48, of Drapefield, Chorley, Leanne Thornton, 26, of Oak Avenue, Todmorden, Paul Blundell, 45, of Lee Street, Longridge, John English, 24, of Shorrock Lane, Blackburn, Martin Corner, 31, of Corporation Street, Chorley, Jordan Lonsdale, 20, of Ribble Lane, Clitheroe, Paul Jackson, 41, of Springbank Terrace, Blackburn, each admitted using threatening behaviour.

David Garratt, 45, of Darwen, who admitted possession of a chisel is now seeking to change his plea.

None of the 12 are accused of being directly involved in the gang attack or car incident but it is said that they were part of a larger out-of-control group which descended on Brierfield that day.

Defence lawyers insisted there was no pre-meditated plan to cause trouble.

Judge Norman Wright remanded the 11 on bail until tomorrow.


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