Black Lives Matter marcher and counter protestors jailed after violence flared at demo

A Black Lives Matter marcher who "goaded, instigated and escalated" a violent showdown with counter protesters has been put behind bars.
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Widespread trouble flared when members of North East Frontline Patriots, Protect the Monument from Black Lives Matter and other groups, including HellsAngels and veterans, attended the organised demonstration in Newcastle in June 2020.

Newcastle Crown Court heard both groups stated they planned a "peaceful" protest.

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But prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court from about 2pm that day, parts of the crowd became hostile and violent and police officers, dogs and horses were injured as well as members of the public.

Clockwise from top left: Darys Moore, Christopher Simpson, Usman Ogiden and Christopher Wood.Clockwise from top left: Darys Moore, Christopher Simpson, Usman Ogiden and Christopher Wood.
Clockwise from top left: Darys Moore, Christopher Simpson, Usman Ogiden and Christopher Wood.

Objects including glass bottles, metal cans and smoke grenades were thrown.

One Black Lives Matter marcher and three men involved in the counter protest have today been jailed for their part in the violence.

Student Usman Ogiden, of Hedgehope Road, Newcastle, who is in his second year of q sports science degree at Twickenham, was at the event to support Black Lives Matter and was seen to goad the counter protesters, argue with police and throw a bottle during the trouble.

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His barrister Richard Bloomfield said a prison sentence could mean the 22-year-old cannot complete his studies and his involvement in the violence could have been down to "immaturity".

Judge Robert Adams said Ogiden "goaded, instigated and escalated the violence" and sentenced him to 26 months behind bars.

Christopher Wood, 52, of Malvern Road, Lambton, Washington, threw a can at police, which narrowly missed an officer and was "chanting" then singing Rule Britannia and God Save the Queen as part of the counter protest.

Tom Bennett, defending, said Wood deeply regrets his behaviour, which he described himself as "stupid and moronic".

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The court heard he had decided to join the counter protest that day as he had been "angered by reports in the media".

Wood was jailed for 28 months.

Christopher Simpson, 50, of Cedar Road, Newcastle, works as a chef but had been furloughed at the time of the protest.

He threw a can during the violence.

Richard Bloomfield, defending, said Simpson has a "settled family life" and has been in no other trouble.

Judge Bindloss jailed Simpson for 29 months.

Darys Moore, 23, of Fern Close, Prudhoe, Northumberland, given two years, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work and rehabilitation requirements.

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He also threw a can after becoming involved in the counter protest.

Penny Hall, defending, said Moore had no plan to take part in any protest that day and had gone into Newcastle with friends.

Miss Hall added: "He identifies as black and more likely to be with the Black Lives Matter movement, had he been there for political and cultural reasons.

"He ended up on the wrong side."