May 09, 2009

Burnley BNP supporter’s appeal fails

A POLITICIAL campaigner claims he set off a Burnley Town Hall fire alarm because he feared people were trapped behind a fire door.

But town hall staff insist they had told British National Party supporter John Rowe that the venue’s public gallery had been closed for a full council meeting in February, 2008, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Councillors and mayor Coun Ida Carmichael, along with staff and the public, were forced to evacuate the building just after 7pm.

Police arrested Rowe, who was found inside the town hall complex and he was later convicted by Burnley magistrates of causing criminal damage. He later lodged an appeal against the ruling.

Problems began when Rowe, 54, of Tennis Street, Burnley, arrived to witness the council meeting, the crown court was told.

Because of previous altercations with officials, Rowe had been told that he must give 48 hours notice, in writing or by telephone, if he wanted to turn up for meetings.

Head porter David Bristow said Rowe, who attended the meeting with a pushbike, was told he should not sign the visitors’ book as he was barred from the proceedings.

Mr Bristow said: “He was obviously upset and said it was ‘bloody ridiculous’ that he was not allowed in, and that he had every right to be in there as a member of the public and a council tax payer.”

Giving evidence later, receptionist Diane Whittle said she told Rowe that the gallery was closed for the meeting.

Mercedes Jabbari, representing the respondents, said Rowe was seen walking along a corridor towards the gallery when the alarm sounded.

Martin Hackett, defending, said Rowe’s case was that, on finding the door to the gallery locked, he genuinely believed people on the landing would be trapped in the event of a fire.

Rowe said, in the witness box: “It appeared to me that if I was locked out then other people would be locked in.”

Earlier Mr Bristow had said that the fire door could only be opened from the inside.

Judge Andrew Woolman, sitting with magistrates, dismissed Rowe’s appeal.

Lancashire Telegraph


Gothmoth said...

Not relevant but nice to see Sophie Lancaster's mum is nearer to getting Sophie's Law:

Hatred and

iliacus said...

Sad, sad loser.

In other words, typical BNP !

The Green Arrow said...

I feel like a sausage has been thrown into the caravan's back door.

Anonymous said...

In other words, typical BNP !

cant be that typical he,s not a skinhead thug ,looks more like a gimp.

Anonymous said...

He reminds me of the old janitor from Please Sir. Didn't he used to wheel a bicycle around wherever he went?

Another BNP weirdo.

Dicky Barnbrook(Artist) said...

He looks a bit like my old mate Denis Nielsen.

byebyebnp said...

Sorry Anon, but there isn't a "typical" BNPer - but when I spot them out leafletting in pairs I always recognise them, because:

One looks like a football hooligan, and the other looks like a pervert !!

And I'm sorry to stereotype, but it's amazing how often that's the case.

Anonymous said...

@ byebyebnp

It is unfair to stereotype. Not all perverts look like BNP members.