The leadership of the racist English Defence League continue to claim it is a “peaceful” organisation—but the arrest and conviction of key members paints a different picture.
Jeff Marsh, Welsh EDL organiser and the man behind Casuals United—an organisation that brings together football gangs in support of the EDL—was sentenced on Thursday for causing an affray and possessing an offensive weapon.
Marsh pleaded guilty and was given a four-month suspended jail term, 150 hours community service and ordered to pay £600 costs. He was also banned from football matches for five years.
This is not his first conviction. In 1989 Marsh was convicted of grievous bodily harm, for stabbing two Manchester United supporters and was jailed for two years. In 1986 he was convicted of a football related assault in Halifax.
In a separate case, two EDL protesters were found guilty of public order offences in Luton magistrates court on Friday.
Bryan Kelso, 27, and Kevin Carroll, 40, were given conditional discharges. They were arrested last year after being part of a crowd who confronted anti war protesters, telling them to “fuck off” and singing a song with the words “bin Laden’s mother is a whore.”
And EDL protester Lee Pullen appeared at Nottingham magistrates court on 23 February charged with assaulting a police officer and breach of the peace after the EDL protest in Nottingham in December last year. The case continues.