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Wirral man jailed for leading violent attack on anti-fascist meeting
10:51am Friday 27th September 2013 in News
SIX men involved in a violent attack on anti-fascist activists in Liverpool city centre have all been put behind bars.
Jailing the men, including one from Wirral - said to be the leader, Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said: "You are all members or have associations with groups which happen to hold right-wing views and positions, whether it be the National Front, English Defence Force or North West Infidels.
"It is that common feature which brought you all together to Bold Street because you had been made aware that there was to be some form of anti-fascist meeting planned to take place.
"It is quite clear you all went onto Bold Street with a view to disrupt or prevent that meeting taking place, even if you did not intend direct violence beforehand."
He continued, "Although the violence was short-lived it was in full view of passers by, initially out in the street before it spread into a nearby cafe and causing tables and chairs to be overturned and glasses to be smashed and, naturally, customers inside the cafe were understandably distressed."
As the men, who had all admitted violent disorder early on the evening of July 6 last year, were led to the cells, their supporters who had crowded into the public gallery clapped, raised their arms in salute and shouted, "No surrender" and "No justice at all."
In the footage shown to Liverpool Crown Court, a group of about ten - led by 25-year-old Birkenhead man Liam Pinkham - is seen purposefully striding across the street from Renshaw Street.
Outside the Cafe Tabac they are seen confronting the smaller group of anti-fascists, who were about to hold a fund-raising event in the News from Nowhere bookshop.
Some of the group, their identities partly-concealed with hoods or scarfs, followed their targets inside and kicked and punched them, outnumbering them two-to-one, before fleeing.
Their victims, who suffered minor injuries including one with a large lump on his temple, did not make statements to the police.
Pinkham, of Whetstone Lane, Birkenhead, whose previous convictions include affrays connected with the English Defence League, was jailed for 17 months.
The judge said he had led the group across the road and "was the instigator of the violence and continued through that violence inside the cafe.
"You have a pattern of disorder and violence in public places."
Anya Horwood, prosecuting, said when Pinkham's mobile phone was examined by police it showed he had received a text about the event and suggests it should be "stormed."
"He was at the front of the group, ahead of the rest and was invalid in the initial attack by launching himself at the opposing group.
"He was seen attacking a male, entering the cafe with his arm pushing towards a male, and seen pushing the upper body or head of a male and then with Shane Calvert grappled with the same male.
"The group then ran away in various directions."
Calvert, 31, of Shetland Avenue, Blackburn, who admitted being in the English Defence League for four years, and Michael Kearns, 39, of Dovecot Avenue, Dovecot, Liverpool, were both jailed for 14 months.
Peter Hawley, 53, of Ailsa Road, Blackburn, received 13 months, 22-year-old Matthew Coates, of Albert Road, Southport was jailed to ten months and Stephen Dumont, 18, of Rosewood Close, Netherley was sentenced to nine months detention.
Dumont had also been convicted of two public order offences while on bail for the offence involving shouting racist and religious taunts through a megaphone at Asians at a mosque in Ashton-under-Lyne.
David Watson, defending Pinkham, said, "If he had not gone over to confront a male with whom he had history then it would not have precipitated the violence that occurred."
He added that Pinkham did not accept being a member of a political group, but has friends who are.
He had been living with three men and regularly drinking, but now lives with his pregnant girlfriend and has a full-time job.
A seventh defendant, Nathan Smith, 21, of North Road, St Helens, failed to attend court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.