Once again, Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, has jumped on a passing bandwagon in order to score More And Bigger Self-Publicity Opportunities For Himself Personally Now, this time over what looks like a hit-and-run outside a nightclub in the West Yorkshire town of Batley on New Year’s morning.
What happened can be put directly: at around 0440 hours, a young man called Joshua Adams Mitchell left the TBC club and very soon afterwards was struck by a blue Mercedes car which fled the scene. He suffered multiple and serious injuries as a result of the impact and is now in hospital in nearby Leeds. The vehicle was later recovered by Police.
As Lizze Dearden at the Independent has now told, “A man has been charged with running over a soldier outside a nightclub on New Year’s Day … Hamza Ali Hussain, 23, is accused of ramming a Mercedes into the man outside TBC in Batley, Yorkshire … He was due to appear at Leeds Magistrates’ Court charged with wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm”. Yes, the driver was of Muslim heritage.
This has proved to be meat and drink to Lennon, who has told his followers “It is alleged that around 15 Muslim males took offence to him being a serving soldier, started intimidating him calling him scum. It escalated and he and his friend were set upon by 15 males. This young soldier tried to step away across the road to diffuse the situation. It is then alleged that one of the Muslim males got into his Mercedes and proceeded to mount the kerb and mow down the soldier at circa 50mph according to an eyewitness”.
Except that the owner of the club has examined the CCTV and established that the driver of the Mercedes had not been in the club at any time during the night. But he had now moved on. “If it is politically motivated due to him serving in the forces then should it not be treated as a terrorist attack?” Lennon has since suggested that the driver should be charged with attempted murder; he has not been doing his homework.
Police can put further charges to a suspect. And in any case, Lennon has a problem with his claims of motivation. The Indy report confirms “West Yorkshire Police said there was no evidence to support allegations the man was targeted because of his service in the British Army”. The Police have stated “this incident is not believed to be racially motivated”.
Nor has there been any further sign of the “15 Muslim males” cited by Lennon, which with many of his followers has been accepted as fact, as has his suggestion that there was a 15-year-old “white girl” in the Mercedes, “probably a grooming gang victim”. There is only one reason to try flying that kite right now - to rile up his base and foment hatred.
None of that should detract from a young man suffering what may be life-changing injuries which may take months of healing - if they heal at all. But nor should this incident be used as yet another recruiting sergeant for far-right hate-mongering.
Stephen Lennon claims to have lots of details on this case. If he wants to be a responsible citizen, he should pass them to the Police, quit speculating and stirring, and butt out.
But then, if he did that, he would not be able to use someone else’s misfortune to boost his image and rile up his fans. I’ll just leave that one there.
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