A 41-year old man, who launched a verbal and physical attack on a man at a “Fight Racism” stall near The Mosque Kitchen in Edinburgh, has been placed on a Community Payback Order to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.
Andrew Jenkinson, of Ferniehill Place, was found guilty at the city’s Sheriff Court last month of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, shouting, swearing and making and uttering grossly offensive remarks and gestures in Nicolson Street on September 21 last year.
He was also found guilty of assaulting Dominic O’Hara by kicking him on the body and punching him on the head to his injury. Sentence had been deferred until August 18 for reports.
Mr O’Hara, 27, was at the stall handing out leaflets and talking to people about ending world racism, when Jenkinson came along, acted in a aggressive manner and talking about black people being monkeys.
“He said he didn’t like our literature and banners and was really het up,” recalled Mr O’Hara.
Jenkinson, he added, was shouting about the SDL saying: “We will hunt people like you down. You love Islamists”.
Mr O’Hara said a woman tried to reason with Jenkinson, but he called her ‘a pig.’
Mr O’Hara said he stepped between Jenkinson and the woman to try and defuse the situation. He was then kicked on the ankle and when he turned round was punched three times on the face.
Ruby Barrowman, 29, who had been at the stall with Mr O’Hara, said Jenkinson had told the South African black woman, who was with her daughter, to ‘go home.
He called her and Mr O’Hara ‘anti-white racists’ and shouted about the SDL.
Jenkinson told the court that the ‘Fight Racism’ stall was displaying flags, banners and collection tins.
He admitted to having ‘a heated debate” with the South African woman with the young girl. Things escalated, he said, when he was called a ‘Nazi’ and ‘Facist’.
He told them this was Great Britain and he was a proud patriot of his country.
The ‘Fight Racism’ campaigners, he said, were ‘anti-British, pro-IRA and Revolutionary Communists’.
He denied he was a member of the SDL.
Defence solicitor Elaine Clancy said her client was extremely anxious about the impact custody would have on his family.
He had two children he was in contact with and he lived with his father, who had health issues. He had only one previous conviction and that was a Road Traffic matter ten years ago.
Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC told Jenkinson: “This was a deeply unpleasant and unprovoked attack on the freedom of others to peacefully express their views, which is their democratic right.
“It causes me considerable concern, but because of the absence of a record and the contents of the Social Work report I will draw back from custody.”