Five Anti-War Protesters found Guilty of Public Order offences

11/01/2010

Five anti-war protesters have today been found guilty of public order offences at Luton magistrates' court for their protest at the homecoming parade of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment in Luton on 10 March 2010.

Jalal Ahmed, Yousaf Bashir, Ziaur Rahman, Sajjadar Rahman Choudhury and Munim Abdul, all from Luton, were convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words that were likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress to the public.  Two other defendants, Ibrahim Anderson and Jubair Ahmed were found not guilty for their part in the demonstration.

CPS Thames and Chiltern Complex Casework lawyer Paul Harrison said, "It is always a difficult job to balance the rights of those wishing to express their views on political issues against the need to protect the public from distress and alarm.  In this case, the CCTV footage available showed the five defendants making verbal remarks and displaying placards as part of their protest against the march of the Royal Anglian Regiment, which we believed to be threatening, abusive and insulting words that were likely to cause alarm and distress to the supporters of the homecoming parade.

"We welcome District Judge Mellanys finding that their conduct was threatening and did in fact cause alarm and distress to others present at the parade.  She also agreed with the CPS that the defendants' behaviour, in this instance, went beyond what is reasonable when taking part in a lawful demonstration."

The defendants were each given conditional discharges to last two years and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £500.