Surbiton man faces charges over anti-Islam demo fight

Three men accused of fighting with Muslims have been temporarily banned from attending marches organised by far-right group the English Defence League (EDL) as part of their bail conditions. The trio appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 3 to jointly face charges of affray and threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour.

The allegations followed a protest march organised by the EDL, which opposes the spread of Islam and Sharia law. All three men were at the demonstration, which began outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington on October 24, before marching to Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, the court heard.

Christopher Long, 38, from Kent Way, Surbiton, was accused of kicking, overturning a table and fighting with an Asian man. Bryan Kelso, 28, who told the court he was homeless, was accused of grabbing a banner belonging to a counter-demonstrator and smashing it. Brian Bristow, 37, who is also homeless, has been staying on friends’ floors, having been evicted from his council house, the court heard.

All three were granted bail by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe on the condition they did not attend any marches, demonstrations or counter-demonstrations organised by the English Defence League. A prosecution request to bar the men from entering Westminster or going back to Speakers’ Corner as part of their bail conditions was rejected by the judge.

Mr Kelso and Mr Bristow were ordered to report to their nearest police station, which the court was told was Doncaster. All three will reappear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on December 15 for their next hearing.

Surrey Comet, 8 November 2010