Seaford man among 14 jailed after ‘free Tommy Robinson’ protest in London
A Seaford man is among 14 people who have been jailed for violent disorder following a ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ demonstration in London.
Charles Haig, 24, of East Street, Seaford, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment on Monday (September 30), after pleading guilty to the violent disorder in Whitehall, London, on June 9, last year, police said.
Scaffolding, glass bottles and items of street furniture, including heavy barriers, were thrown at police during the demonstration last year, said police.
More than 20 officers suffered injuries, said a police spokesman, and serious disruption was caused to members of the public, local businesses and the local community as a result.
Operation Augusta was launched by the Metropolitan Police to bring those involved in the disorder to justice.
Detective Sergeant Matt Hearing, who led the Operation Augusta team, said: “This investigation proved extremely challenging with hundreds of hours of CCTV, video and body worn video to examine.
“However, such was the weight of evidence brought against those charged, that all pleaded guilty.
“Peaceful protest plays an important role in our society. However, the actions of some involved in this demonstration showed a contempt both for the law and the police.
“Officers that day were there to ensure the safety of all those taking part, yet were met with abuse and violence.”
Robert Hutchinson, prosecutor from the London CPS complex casework unit, said: “The terrifying disorder wreaked by these individuals in the heart of London on 9 June 2018, was inexcusable.
“Protestors set out to intimidate and hurt police, injuring more than 20 officers who were protecting the public and tourists in Central London on the day of Trooping of the Colour, and who should have been able to go about their duties without fear of violence.
“This was a complex case and has involved exceptionally close liaison with the police from an early stage to determine appropriate charges that reflected the seriousness of their crimes. The strong case we built ultimately left the defendants with no choice but to plead guilty.
“The sentences passed should serve as a warning that those who direct violence towards police and act in this way will face prosecution and potentially prison.”