The British National Party has said that it will hold a rally in honour of its first claimed martyr, whose Asian killer was jailed for eight years for manslaughter yesterday.
Keith Brown, a father of eight and friend of the party leader, Nick Griffin, was stabbed to death by his neighbour Habib Khan, a Muslim community leader. A judge said that the dead white man and his skinhead son had both been involved in acts of racial aggression towards the Khan family.
The BNP said that it will hold a rally in Stoke-on-Trent on September 20 to protest about the case and Staffordshire Police’s handling of the long-running neighbours’ dispute. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced that it had cleared the force of any blame.
Officers had dealt with more than 100 complaints in five years from the feuding families.
Khan, 49, had been cleared of murder but was found guilty of manslaughter after a jury heard that he stabbed Mr Brown, 52, with a kitchen knife during a row on the pavement.
Judge Simon Tonking said that although Khan was acting in defence of his own son, his action in stabbing Mr Brown went beyond that which was reasonable. Khan had to be punished with “a significant custodial sentence”.
Julia Barker, the mother of Mr Brown’s children, said: “There has been no justice done. We knew it wasn’t going to get done. They are always crying out this racial abuse. They attacked our family. Mr Khan had a panic button put in, Mr Brown didn’t. Both should have been treated equal. When it was our family, nothing was done. The police let our family down as far as I am concerned. Me and the rest of my children will never be able to forget what happened that day. It is a disgrace. He’s got away with it.”
The far Right has portrayed Mr Brown as the “first nationalist victim of Islamic jihad against Great Britain”. Stoke’s BNP councillors shouldered the coffin at his funeral, which is posted on YouTube.
Michael Coleman, a BNP councillor in Stoke, where the far-right party is now placed second only to Labour in the popular vote, said: “We have a man here who has been murdered in the street. It is an outrageous betrayal of justice. Staffordshire Police . . . go softly with ethnic minorities [unlike] the indigenous population. We won’t put up with being treated like this.”
An IPCC investigation released yesterday cleared the force of any blame. Len Jackson, a commissioner, said: “The evidence suggests that on a number of occasions Staffordshire Police attempted to resolve the issues between Mr Brown and Mr Khan. However, no one could have anticipated that this long-running neighbour dispute would have such a tragic outcome.” The Khans were given a panic button after Mr Brown’s teenage son Ashley beat his middle-aged Asian neighbour unconscious.
The police had attempted mediation between the two families but found Mr Brown “immovable”.
The IPCC discovered that the BNP became involved when one of Mr Brown’s friends suggested that a BNP councillor could help with the neighbours’ dispute. The BNP alleged that police had refused to study a homemade DVD offered to them showing a member of Khan’s family kicking Mr Brown’s knee. However, the IPCC said that the DVD only showed a young Asian man apparently making a kicking motion. Mr Brown is off screen, no contact can be seen and, although there is good audio, no sound comes from Mr Brown.
Minutes of that meeting between police and the BNP describe the DVD as showing an argument about the location of a fence and make no mention of any crime.
The Browns claimed that the police ignored incidents where the Khans poisoned their puppy and cut their brake leads, but no records of such complaints were discovered.