Published On: Sun, Jan 11th, 2015 on 1:45 pm

Two Leeds men among 50 jailed for violent EDL rally in Birmingham

EDL Birmingham Violence

Two English Defence League (EDL) supporters from Leeds have been jailed for their role in violence that erupted in Birmingham in 2013.

Both are among 50 protesters who appeared before Birmingham Crown Court to be sentenced for violent disorder at a rally on 20 July 2013.

Gareth Wall, 25, of Moresdale Lane, Leeds, was handed a sentence for nearly two years (20 months).

Father-of-two James Harrington, 30, from Swarcliffe Road, Leeds, was sentenced to two years alongside three EDL supporters late last month.

Around 200 people were involved in clashes with police that saw approximately 30 officers injured.

Harrington himself was seen on CCTV trying to hit police with a length of wood.

Slabs and bottles were thrown at police who were trying to maintaining order, and a Muslim prayer cap and a Pakistani flag were set on fire in the street.

Superintendent Richard Baker, from Birmingham police, said: “In July 2013 we launched a major operation to try and maintain calm and order for the thousands to allow the demonstrators a safe and peaceful place to stage their event, whilst allowing everyone else to go about their business in the city without concern.

“In the main the policing operation was successful, however there was a minority who were intent on causing violence and disruption – and it is those people who are now facing the most severe sentences.”

Detective sergeant Harjit Ubhi led the year-long police investigation into the disorder.

Following the sentencing, he said: “To see all of those involved in the disorder finally brought to justice is a great testament to the hard work and dedication of the officers who painstakingly worked to identify and arrest those responsible.”

One EDL supporter is still wanted on warrant in connection with the investigation.

Two others are yet to appear before court, charged with violent disorder at a counter-demonstration on the day of the protest.

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