Dagenham and Collier Row men jailed over violence at Tommy Robinson protest
PUBLISHED: 10:02 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:02 02 October 2019
Two thugs from Dagenham and Collier Row are among 14 people to be sentenced for their part in "terrifying disorder" that broke out at a pro-Tommy Robinson demonstration.
John Cummings, 49 and of Hunters Hall Road, Dagenham, was jailed for 18 months while 25-year-old Mark Ransome, of Romford Road, Collier Row, was jailed for 12 months.
They were among six to be handed the prison sentences at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, September 30 after pleading guilty to violent disorder, while another eight people who admitted the same offence were jailed at the same court on Friday, September 27.
Prosecutor Aska Fujita told the court on Friday that police had become "overrun" by disorder in central London by those calling for former English Defence League leader Robinson's release from prison for contempt of court.
Footage from police bodyworn cameras showed officers with batons raised coming face to face with Free Tommy Robinson protesters, some of whom threw bottles, cones and other missiles.
At one point, the officers were so outnumbered they were forced to retreat to sanctuary at Great Scotland Yard, just off Whitehall, and away from the worst of the violence.
The Metropolitan Police said more than 20 officers were injured during the June 2018 disorder in Whitehall, with scaffolding, glass bottles and heavy barriers being thrown at police.
The group were brought to court after the Met launched Operation Augusta to investigate the violence at the protest.
Det SGT Matt Hearing, who led the operation, said officers reviewed "hundreds of hours" of CCTV and body worn video.
He added: "Peaceful protest plays an important role in our society. However, the actions of some involved in this demonstration showed a contempt both for the law and the police.
"Officers that day were there to ensure the safety of all those taking part, yet were met with abuse and violence."
Robert Hutchinson, a prosecutor from the London Crown Prosecution Service complex casework unit, said the "terrifying disorder" at the demonstration was "inexcusable".
"Protesters set out to intimidate and hurt police, injuring more than 20 officers who were protecting the public and tourists in central London on the day of Trooping the Colour, and who should have been able to go about their duties without fear of violence," he said.
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He added: "The strong case we built ultimately left the defendants with no choice but to plead guilty.
"The sentences passed should serve as a warning that those who direct violence towards police and act in this way will face prosecution and potentially prison."
In addition to Cummings and Ranson, eleven other men and one woman were sentenced for their part in the disorder.
Mitchell Feneck, 21, of Haverfordwest, Dyfed, Wales, was jailed for 10 months.
Max Hammet-Millay, 22, of Wenlock Road, Hoxton, was jailed for 12 months.
James Thomas, 28, of Priory View Road, Burton, Dorset, was jailed for 18 months.
Charles Haig, 24, of East Street, Seaford, East Sussex, was jailed for 12 months.
Danny Grealey, 43, of Ebberns Road, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was jailed for 18 months.
Andrew McLean, 20, of Field Street, Wolverhampton was jailed for 18 months.
Robert Sandford, 47, of Bolton Road, Hungerhill, Bolton, was jailed for 14 months.
David Anderson, 24, of Moraine Drive, Glasgow, was jailed for 14 months.
Keith O'Sullivan, 40, of Holmstead Way, Luton, was jailed for 23 months.
Kai Smith, 19, of Middleton Close, Chingford was jailed for 15 months.
Carl Backland, 59, of Grafton Way, Camden, was jailed for nine months.
Kate Beveridge, 35, of Singleton, Lancashire, was jailed for 15 months, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.