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13 Charged Over Violent Clashes At Millfield Mosque Demonstration

Sky Tyne & Wear by Ruth Holliday | Friday, 1 March 2013 | Click here for original article



Police have charged 13 people after a demonstration at the site of a new mosque in Sunderland turned violent, as far-right groups including the EDL clashed with local Muslims and anti-fascists.

Around 200 people attended the pre-planned demonstration on St Mark's Road in Millfield on Saturday, October 6, 2012, where a former council transport depot is being converted into a mosque for up to 150 Pakistani Muslims.

The English Defence League, Scottish Defence League and Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition were among the protesters.

Police have now charged 13 people with public order offences, one person has been given a caution and one person has been issued with a fixed penalty notice.

All those who have been charged are banned from attending any demonstrations in Sunderland or entering St Mark's Road or Chester Road.

Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth from Sunderland Area Command, said: "We were disappointed a protest that was planned as peaceful resulted in a minority of people involved in disorder.

"This had a huge impact on local residents and since then we have been working closely with the local community and partner agencies to respond to community concerns and make people feel safer.

"Protests have taken place since then and have passed peacefully, however this does not mean we are complacent and we continue to monitor the situation and ensure we have an appropriate police presence in the area for any future protests."

The full list of charges is as follows: Darren Stokoe, 21, of Norman Avenue, in Sunderland, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Anthony Farrer, 37, of Cleveland Road, Sunderland, has been charged with disorderly conduct and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

An 18-year-old male youth has been given a caution for causing fear or provocation of violence.

Gary Bigger, 41, of Clarke Street in Kilmarnock, Scotland, has been charged with causing racial or religious aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

William Smith, 44, of McLurian Crescent, Renfewshire, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Warren Faulkener, 41, of Webb Avenue, Seaham, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and possessing a controlled drug and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 21.

Shaun Bunting, 34, of Fenhall Green, Durham, has been charged with disorderly conduct and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

A 17-year-old male youth has been charged with causing racial or religious aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 21.

Simon Biggs, 47, of Todd's Nook, Newcastle has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Lewis Spence, 26, of Orchard View, in Durham, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 28.


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