Billy Charlton trial: Sunderland protester branded David Cameron 'spineless' in speech, court told

Billy Charlton pictured outside of Newcastle Crown Court
Billy Charlton pictured outside of Newcastle Crown Court

Jurors in the trial of a protester accused of stirring up racial hatred have watched video footage of his city centre speeches.

Prosecutors claim William Charlton's public protest talks spread hatred against "immigrants, Asians, black people and the police" and caused a rise in a city's racial crime and disorder.

It is claimed Charlton hid his racist agenda under the "cloak of respectability" that he wanted to protect women and children from attacks by speaking at the protests, in Sunderland.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 53-year-old, who is known to friends and supporters as "Billy", spoke along with Tommy Robinson at one of the organised protest events, where a woman had to be "escorted away for her own safety" for carrying a placard that said "rape does not have a race".

Charlton, of no fixed address, denies six offences of stirring up racial hatred and is being tried by a jury.

On the fourth day of the trial, jurors have viewed a speech made by Charlton, which Tommy Robinson attended and who can be seen on the video.

During the talk, last June, Charlton said: "This will never be Rotherham, it will never be Rochdale, this is Sunderland."

The city centre crowd clapped and cheered and chanted their demands for "justice".

Charlton branded David Cameron a "spineless ******" for his immigration policies.

He also told the crowd: "It's about those people they're allowing in.

"We don't put people in our communities that are going to attack our children."

He added: "This is about us, about our city and our town, this is ours, ours.

"I am proud to be a mackem, proud to be from Sunderland."

Charlton spoke about some people being punished, while others get "safe houses".

He added: "Get them off our kids, get them off our streets, get them out of Sunderland."

The court heard a woman had to be escorted away from the protest for carrying a placard that said "rape does not have a race".

A police officer involved said in a statement, which was read to the jury, said: "A female was standing on one of the benches, holding a sign. I don't know what the sign said.

"Some of the people gathered took exception to this, parts of the crowd were shouting in an aggressive manner, expletives were used.

"Due to the concern for the female's safety, we were assigned to escort her away from the area of the march.

"As she was escorted away, some of the people shouted and swore at the female.

"We took her to a safe location then she went on her way."

Another officer said the woman had become "tearful" as she was led away.

Charlton told police in interview he has "no control over other people's actions."

He denies all charges.

The trial continues.