WATCH: Sunderland man jailed after violence erupts at EDL rally

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A SUNDERLAND man has been jailed for taking part in violence at an English Defence League protest.

Stuart Snowball, 24, was one of dozens of troublemakers who were arrested after trouble flared during a rally of the far right group in Birmingham in 2013.

Fifty men have appeared before Birmingham Crown Court over the past five weeks to be sentenced for violent disorder after ugly scenes were witnessed by police and visitors on July 20, 2013.

The court heard how trouble flared within factions of the 2,000 strong crowd with missiles thrown at police.

A number of officers suffered minor injuries as they tried to restore order amongst the violent minority.

West Midlands Police launched an investigation to trace those responsible by studying CCTV footage and appearing on the BBC’s Crimewatch.

Now the EDL yobs have been jailed for a total of more than 75 years with sentences ranging from community orders to three years and eight months prison.

Snowball, of Howarth Street, Sunderland, has been jailed for 13 months.

Superintendent Richard Baker, from Birmingham police, said:

“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.

“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.

“This week’s 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.”