An English Defence League supporter attacked a police horse, punching it eight times during last month’s demonstration in Blackburn.
Robert Gavin Tromans was one of five people to appear at the town’s magistrate court on Friday in connection with disorder during the rally. Tromans, 29, of Beverley Road, West Bromwich, attacked the horse as police formed a mounted cordon to control a crowd on Northgate. He pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour and was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report with a warning a custodial sentence could not be ruled out.
Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, said Tromans, a former soldier, was a supporter of the EDL but not a member and had attended the rally with an organised coach party.
“His intention was to get back to his coach and not to cause any trouble,” said Mr Church-Taylor.
Also appearing in court was David Monks, 34, of Haydock Street, Bolton, who pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour. He was made subject to an electronically monitored curfew between 8pm and 6am for 91 days. The court heard a man attending the rally in Blackburn was punched unconscious by fellow supporters after heckling one of the speakers. Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said CCTV of the incident showed Monks throwing a punch but it did not show whether it connected.
“The other man was in fact punched unconscious but not necessarily by this defendant,” said Miss Allan.
Lisa Swales, 27, of Eastfield Gardens, Bradford, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer during the rally. She suddenly lunged forward and grabbed his testicles, the court heard. She was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, made subject to community supervision for 12 months with a condition she attends the stop binge drinking programme.
Susan Bowden, defending, said Swales had attended the demonstration with a group of friends but wasn’t involved with the EDL.
Thomas James Ferguson pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour after being ordered to leave the rally. He was drunk, became abusive and swung a punch at an officer before he was arrested. Ferguson, 22, of Cherry Tree Guest House, Islington, Blackburn, also pleaded guilty to theft from a shop and two offences of failing to answer bail. He was jailed for 28 days.
Patrick Joseph Doyle, 48, of Cobourg Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty. He had caught the officer on the temple and knocked his helmet off, the magistrates were told.
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