TEN men accused of violent disorder after right-wing organisations demonstrated in Rotherham town centre have gone on trial.
Mr Paul O’Shea, prosecuting, opened the case at Sheffield Crown Court this morning.
He said that on September 5 last year there was a march organised by right-wing group Britain First and other similar outfits including Yorkshire's Finest in the wake of the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.
The march came less than a month after the death of Muslim OAP Mushin Ahmed (81) who was killed in a racially-motivated attack as he made his way to the mosque, Mr O’Shea said.
He said that on this occasion an anti-facist counter demonstration was organised due to the strong feelings running in the town — because “people had had enough”.
Mr O’Shea said that after the marches ended at 4pm, trouble erupted near to the William Fry pub on Wellgate when both sides encountered each other.
The right-wing protestors, he said, shouted racist abuse at passing Asian men, “but got more than they bargained for here and fairly quickly, because they became significantly outnumbered by a great many men, many of whom were on the way home from the counter protest”.
The prosecutor said that all the defendants accepted being present at the scene and it was up to the jury to decide if what they did was in self-defence of themselves or of another person, which they claim.
The ten, who have men all denied violent disorder, are:
Mohammed Saleem (44), Mount Street, Masbrough
Nasrum Rashid (22), Fraser Road, Broom
Moshin Mahmood (18), James Street, Masbrough
Abrar Javid (38), St John's Road, Eastwood
Sadaqat Ali (40), Milton Road, Eastwood
Imran Iqbal (30), Clough Road, Masbrough
Arshad Khan (45), Wellgate Mount, Rotherham
Shaban Ditta (32), Cambridge Crescent, East Dene.
Akaash Nazier (22), Cow Rakes Close, Whiston.
Asif Zaman (48), Wellgate Mount, Rotherham, who also denies a charge of possessing an offensive weapon in Wellgate on the day of the protests.
Two men who were charged in connection with the same incident — Haseeb Alam (19), of Selwyn Street, Eastwood, and Mahroof Sultan (37), of Grosvenor Road, Eastwood — have both admitted violent disorder and will be sentenced at the end of the trial.
The trial is expected to last up to six weeks.
Mr O’Shea said people from the “other side” of the incident were due to face trial later this year.
We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.