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Two final men jailed for EDL violence in Birmingham city centre protest

Birmingham | News | Published:

Two final men have been jailed for violent disorder after they took part in an English Defence League protest in Birmingham.

Michael Wilson, aged 20, was sentenced to a 12 month jail term, while 42-year-old Dean Kenny, was sentenced to 18 months in his absence after failing to attend court. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The two sentences bring the total jail term imposed for those who took part in the disorder in 2013 to more than 78 years for the violent disorder, after 50 other men appeared before Birmingham Crown Court in December and earlier this month.

Around 2,000 protesters gathered in Birmingham city centre on July 20, 2013, where ugly scenes were witnessed by police and visitors to the city.

Operations were conducted across the Midlands and further afield to arrest those believed to be involved, with appeals to trace suspects on social media and BBC's Crimewatch early last year.

The sentencing began on December, 11, 2014 with January 30 seeing the final two sentences being passed bringing the total of defendants to 52.

Superintendent Richard Baker, from Birmingham police, said: "Violence has no place on the streets of Birmingham, regardless of motivation or whatever cause people are supporting.

"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.

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"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.

"These court proceedings should send a clear message to those who are intent on coming to the West Midlands to cause trouble - we will not tolerate such behaviour.

"A team of detectives have worked tirelessly on this investigation for more than a year, determined to trace those involved in the disorder and bring them to justice.

"People who commit public order offences such as these should not rest easy as, no matter how long it takes, we will find you.

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"We recognise that the residents, visitors and businesses of Birmingham were both concerned and inconvenienced on the day and we hope that residents of the city are reassured by our efforts to bring those involved in the disorder to justice."

Detective Sergeant Harjit Ubhi led the year-long police investigation into the disorder. Following today's final 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.

"Our inquiry has seen us liaise with forces across the country in a bid to identify people who had travelled far and wide to take part in the protest, and subsequently arrest them.

"Twenty people were arrested at the time and we continued to arrest people up and down the country over the weeks and months that followed.

"We recovered many hours of CCTV, mobile phone and police footage which led to many months of detective work to painstakingly track those involved throughout the day's events and then put a name to those faces.

"These court proceedings underline the fact that we will pursue people who commit crime in the West Midlands, no matter how long it takes, and bring them to justice."

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