Man jailed after disorder during Sunderland demonstration

A man has been jailed after violence flared during a march and counter demonstration in Sunderland.

Monday, 17th September 2018, 12:08 pm
Updated Monday, 17th September 2018, 14:12 pm
The march makes its way through Sunderland city centre

Police made three arrests on Saturday afternoon following disorder in the city centre.

The Wearside-based Justice for the Women and Children Group, which campaigns against sexual violence and assault, organised a march through the city centre, which was joined by members of the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA).

The march makes its way through Sunderland city centre

March organiser Tasha Allan defended the group's involvement in the protest: "The football lads are not racist, they have proved that," she said.

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"Just because somebody has said somebody is racist does not mean they are."

The two groups marched down Fawcett Street before turning up up High Street West to make their way to the former Crowtree Leisure Centre site for a rally addressed by speakers including UKIP leader Gerard Batten.

Previous Justice for Women and Children Group protests have passed off without incident but trouble erupted on Saturday when the march reached Keel Square, where a counter demo organised by Sunderland Unites and Stand Up To Racism North East was taking place.

Some protesters defied the efforts of march stewards and tried to break through police lines which separated the two groups.

Two of the three men who were arrested were charged with assaulting a police officer.

Lee Graham Parkinson, 36, of no fixed abode, appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates Court this morning and pleaded guilty to the charge.

He was jailed for 12 weeks, with a further 12 weeks to run consecutively imposed for breach of a suspended sentence.

Fifty-eight-year-old Thomas Allen, of Hartside Road, Sunderland, who was also charged with assaulting a police officer, will appear before South Tyneside Magistrates on Monday, October 15.

A third man, aged 24, has been served with a fixed penalty notice for disorderly behaviour.