Men in court over violent clashes at Sunderland mosque demonstration

Six men have admitted causing disorder at a far-right demonstration at the site of a new mosque in Sunderland.

Around 200 people attended the pre-planned demonstration on St Mark’s Road in Millfield on Saturday, October 6 2012, where a former council transport depot is being converted into a mosque for up to 150 Pakistani Muslims.

The English Defence League, Scottish Defence League and Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition were among the protesters. A group of Muslims and locals also attended in a counter-demo.

Numerous arrests were made and 13 people in total charged with a range of public order offences.

At Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on March 18 2013 six of those charged pleaded guilty to the charges.

Ronald Wood, 39, of Lonnen Drive, Gateshead, admitted causing racial or religious aggravated harassment, alarm or distress, but said he was “not a racist”. He was fined £215.

Shaun Bunting, 34, of Fenhall Green, County Durham, admitted disorderly conduct and was fined £238.

Dean Spence, 23, of Yew Close, Spennymoor, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was fined £178.

Anthony Farrer, 37, of Cleveland Road, Sunderland, admitted disorderly conduct and was given a six-month discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs.

Darren Stokoe, 21, of Norman Avenue, in Sunderland, admitted causing fear or provocation of violence. He will be sentenced on April 9.

Stephen Brown, 32, of Palmerston Road, Sunderland, admitted causing fear or provocation of violence and that the offence was racially aggravated. He will be sentenced at a later date after the Probation Service assesses him.

Sky Tyne and Wear, 18 March 2013