A man who said he was “going to put nails in a stick” before attending an anti-Muslim protest insisted yesterday he is not racist
Kristopher Paul Woolf, of Queen Street, Ton Pentre, Rhondda, was one of five men arrested after police officers were alerted to offensive comments being made on a Facebook group trying to arrange the Rhondda March, a BNP anti-Muslim rally which was due to take place on Sunday, February 28.
Woolf, who pleaded guilty at Rhondda Magistrates’ Court to committing a religiously aggravated public order offence of using words to cause alarm or distress on January 15, has been warned he could face jail.
Simon Beattie, prosecuting, said 129 people were linked to the Rhondda March page on Facebook. He said: “One person who left a message was the defendant.”
He said Woolf, asked on the site whether he was going on the march, replied that he was, writing “I’m going to put some nails in a stick”.
But 30-year-old Woolf dismissed this comment as “childish banter” when interviewed by police. Mr Beattie added: “He said he had no intention of attending the march or harming anyone. On reflection he said he understood that minority groups could get alarmed or distressed. He said he wasn’t a racist.”
Although the Rhondda March did not take place following the arrests of five men in relation to comments they had made on Facebook, the proposed event sparked such outrage that almost 1,000 people joined an opposition group on the same website called “We say no to the planned Rhondda Valleys racist march”.
Kelly Robson, who grew up in the Rhondda, said she set up the group as a platform for “intelligent, informed, peace-loving residents of the Rhondda Valleys”.
Woolf was granted unconditional bail until his next hearing at Rhondda Magistrates’ Court on March 30. The other four men who were also arrested in relation to comments posted on the Rhondda March page have been bailed until June.