A member of the BNP hit an anti-fascist protestor round the head with a camera tripod as the two sides clashed in Liverpool city centre, a court was told.
Peter Tierney, 52, denies striking campaigner Nick Barnett, saying it was “an accident”. Tierney stood trial at Liverpool crown court yesterday after denying a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.
John Dixon, prosecuting, told the court that on St George’s Day, Thursday April 23, last year, the BNP were handing out leaflets in Liverpool city centre. Mr Dixon said an “informal political movement” calling themselves the Merseyside Coalition Against Racism and Fascism – of which Mr Barnett is a member – heard about the campaigning and headed into the city to hand out their own leaflets.
The two sides clashed verbally in St John’s Gardens, behind St George’s Hall. Mr Barnett, 30, in his evidence said his group were shouting “Nazi scum” at the BNP, who were shouting back: “Get a wash, get a job”.
Mr Barnett said the BNP were moving toward the front of St George’s Hall and he went to run past them so he could hand out his leaflets first. As he did, he said he felt something hit him on the back of the head. When he turned around, Mr Barnett described seeing Tierney stood by him with the camera tripod in his hands. He went to hospital and had to have a cut to his head glued.
During his time on the witness stand, Tierney, of High Street, Hale Village, said the anti-fascists ran at them “screaming like banshees” and he only used the tripod as “a barrier” to stop himself and a friend being attacked as he felt they were in danger.
The jury of six men and six women watched CCTV of the incident numerous times throughout the day. The case was set for three days but is now expected to finish [today].
Liverpool Daily Post