Decision due today on whether Billy Charlton will face 'race hate' retrial

Billy Charlton
Billy Charlton

A decision is due today on whether a Sunderland man accused of stirring up hatred during protests in the city will face a retrial.

William Charlton, known as Billy, was accused of targeting "immigrants, Asians, black people and police" during a series of public rallies in Sunderland and causing a rise in racial crime and disorder in the city.

The 54-year-old, of no fixed address, denied six charges of stirring up racial hatred during a trial at Newcastle Crown Court last month.

After a day of deliberation, jurors him not guilty of one charge.

But after a further half day of discussions, the panel was unable to reach any further verdicts on the remaining five alleged offences.
Judge Simon Batiste discharged the jury and told Charlton: "As you have heard, the jury have been unable to reach verdicts on most of the counts you face.

"The prosecution are going to have to make a decision as to whether they will seek to retry you or not.

"I will have the case back before me on January 11 next year."

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