Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

EDL leader's assault charge dropped

Charges that Stephen Lennon assaulted a police officer at a Muslims Against Remembrance Day protest have been dropped

Prosecutors have dropped claims the founder of the English Defence League assaulted a police officer during clashes with Islamic protesters.

Stephen Lennon, 27, of Layham Drive, Luton, was due to go on trial on Wednesday afternoon at West London Magistrates' Court.

But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had withdrawn the charge after new evidence emerged.

However, a spokesman said Lennon will now face an offence under section four of the Public Order Act, but has yet to be charged.

Lennon was arrested by Met Police officers in Kensington, west London, as the nation stopped to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day last year.

He was among a group of EDL demonstrators which clashed with a militant Islamist group which burned poppies during the two-minute silence.

One officer suffered a head injury which required hospital treatment during the clashes involving more than 50 people.

Five others associated with his right-wing group were arrested and two Muslim protesters were held on suspicion of public order offences.

Members of the Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades have vowed to "expose the enemies of Islam".

Two men, aged 30 and 26, have since been charged with public order offences and are due to go on trial later this year.

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