An English Defence League protester who punched a Cumbrian policeman during a banned demo in east London has been jailed for five months.
Darrell Copeland, 44, charged a line of police and smashed Sergeant James Lloyd, from west Cumbria, in the face as the officers struggled to control demonstrators from the far-Right group.
Sgt Lloyd was one of a group of 25 officers from the county who were sent to London to help officers in the capital police the demo, which saw more than 60 arrests.
Copeland, who had been drinking, struggled violently as he was arrested, headbutting a window, threatening to do the same to police and shouting anti-Muslim abuse, City of Westminster magistrates were told.
He was held in custody after the protest on September 3 until his court appearance, when he admitted assault. District Judge Daphne Wickham heard that Copeland, from Milton Keynes, had previously been jailed for racist abuse.
Victoria Forbes, prosecuting, said he had joined EDL demonstrators at Aldgate station as officers tried to control the crowd.
He claimed he had come to London to visit his mother, not specifically to take part in the demonstration.
The Metropolitan Police said 61 suspects were arrested with 46 bailed to return to a north London police station in November.
Seven people – including Copeland – were charged with offences including assaulting officers and public order offences.
The EDL told Scotland Yard it planned a “static demonstration” following a 30-day ban by Home Secretary Theresa May on marching in six London areas.
It was the first time since the Brixton riots 30 years ago that police have requested powers to stop marches in London.
Scuffles broke out and bottles and firecrackers were thrown by members of the EDL as riot police, mounted police and dogs turned out on the streets in large numbers to maintain control.
More than 3,000 officers were made available amid fears of violence and clashes with opposition groups including Unite Against Fascism.
Police vans from forces including Cumbria, Lancashire and Grampian could be seen on the streets.
News and Star