Asian gang storm Brierfield pub after EDL protest: teen in court

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A TEENAGER who was part of a gang which smashed up a Brierfield pub, has walked free from court.

Burnley Crown Court heard how the 17-year-old had been one of a group of Asian males who pushed their way into The Feathers, in Colne Road, about two hours after the English Defence League had turned up in the town. In the disturbance, the landlord and landlady were both assaulted and injured and damage was caused.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted affray and criminal damage, on July 2nd last year. The defendant, who had no previous convictions, was given a 12 month youth rehabilitation order, with 100 hours’ unpaid work by a judge, who slammed his behaviour as “pure stupidity.”

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said, just after 2pm, members of the English Defence League arrived in Brierfield town centre, which was very busy at the time.

A large group of Asian males then congregated on the main road outside the library. The landlord and landlady of the nearby Feathers pub were outside, watching what was going on. Around 4pm, 20 to 30 Asian males ran towards the pub and about 10 pushed their way inside. Nobody in the pub was connected with the EDL and it was relatively quiet.

Miss Statham said the landlady was threatened and both she and the landlord were punched in the face. An elderly customer was so frightened he fled into the toilets. Tables and stools were upended and the defendant, who was not charged with any assault, kicked a 130-year-old door. The gang then ran out, after an elder was said to have told them what they were doing was wrong and they should go.

The landlord and landlady had suffered facial injuries. The defendant was arrested some days later, when police viewed CCTV footage of the incident.

Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt said the 17-year-old should not have been there and had put his entire future in jeopardy. She said: “I am not going to ruin your life and I will give you this chance.

“The youth offending team believe that they can work with you and put you back onto the right path.You are a grown up. You behave like one.”