Four men sentenced for violent behaviour at demonstration to support Britsh troops


Four men who took part in a demonstration in support of British troops fighting abroad have today been sentenced for public order offences at Luton Magistrates' Court.

Richard Myers, Tony Griffiths, and Simon Hattle, all from Luton and James Butler from Crawley, West Sussex pleaded guilty to affray at Luton Magistrates' Court on 11 December 2009 for their part in the demonstration, which took place on 24 May 2009 in Luton town centre.

Butler and Griffiths received four months' custodial sentences.  Myers was sentenced to a total of seven months, which included one month for a suspended sentence he was the subject of and which related to another matter.  Hattle was sentenced to a total of four months in custody, which included one month in respect of a breach of a conditional discharge imposed for another matter.

Daniel Schreiber, Luke Allsop and Robert Rowe who also pleaded guilty to affray on 11 December will be sentenced on 4 February.

The demonstration to support British troops was organised in response to the protest made by anti-war demonstrators at the Luton homecoming parade by the Anglian Regiment on 10 March.

Four others have already been sentenced on 1 December at Luton Magistrates' Court for their in part in the disturbance.  In addition, Mohammed Bassatt is due to be sentenced at Luton Crown Court for affray on 3 February and Kier McElroy is due to stand trial for racially aggravated actual bodily harm at Luton Crown Court on a date yet to be fixed.

CPS Bedfordshire Chief Crown Prosecutor Richard Newcombe said, "The actions of the defendants in this case disrupted what was, in the main, a peaceful demonstration to support British troops fighting abroad.  CCTV footage clearly showed the men displaying violent behaviour towards others, by kicking out at bystanders and goading police officers.

"It was part of the prosecution case that some of the defendants deliberately directed part of their violent behaviour towards Asian bystanders at the demonstration. This has been reflected in the sentencing of those responsible.

"Thanks to the CCTV footage the CPS and Bedfordshire Police were able to build a robust case, which resulted in the defendants pleading guilty and the sentences imposed today."