Searchlight Magazine

Suspended jail term handed to English Defence League protester

A protester at an English Defence League march in Walsall has been given a suspended jail term and banned from any demonstrations for four years.

Peter Jelley was caught on CCTV gesturing and shouting at a line of police in Walsall as trouble broke out at the rally last autumn. He was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody, suspended for a year, and given a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order at the town’s magistrates court.

The 24-year-old from Shropshire admitted a public order offence of using threatening or abusive behaviour at a previous court hearing and was sentenced yesterday.

The footage from the afternoon of September 29 was played to District Judge Michael Morris and showed Jelley walking up to officers and ‘gesticulating and shouting.’ This was despite the efforts of a female to pull him away.

Mr Paul Nicholas, defending, said: “He has faced up to what he has done, he has faced up to being part of the march. He is shameful of what he has done.”

He insisted his client had disassociated himself from others and had become angry after a relative was hurt. The court was told Jelley has previous convictions for a racially aggravated offence in 2011 and assault the year before.

District Judge Michael Morris said: “You went there knowing what would happen. You were on the frontline facing up to police, clearly agitated and pointing to police.”

Jelley, of Prescott Close, Shrewsbury, was sentenced to five months in custody, suspended for a year.

He was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work and go to an adult attendance centre for 36 hours.

He was also ordered to pay £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Credit: Express and Star

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