From poster boy of the Brexit referendum to a jail term in less than three and a half years - that is all it took for Billy Charlton to fall foul of the law and get himself a custodial sentence. And his jailing once more suggests that Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, has once more made a serious error of judgment.
Billy Charlton in the blue Nike top ...
Charlton found himself on the front page of the Murdoch Sun in June 2016: the paper used a snap from the referendum count at Sunderland as part of its Brexit result celebrations. The Murdoch goons somehow missed that he was an EDL supporter and had previously been seen behind a Combat 18 banner. And that’s a neo-Nazi group.
Lennon’s involvement with Charlton came as part of his crusade against what he claimed was an epidemic of “rape gangs”, which were populated by Scary Muslims™. He visited Sunderland to lend his support to the campaign Charlton was also backing. It had been claimed that a young woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been attacked and perhaps even kidnapped and sexually assaulted, by men alleged to be of Turkish origin. The Police had investigated but had not charged anyone.
... and at the right of picture here ...
Lennon lent his support to the protests; Charlton did rather more, and ultimately he was charged with six counts of stirring up racial hatred. To show that he had taken on board Lennon’s variation on “free speech”, the Sunderland Echo noted that at one protest event, “a woman had to be ‘escorted away for her own safety’ for carrying a placard that said ‘rape does not have a race’”. It wasn’t the only inconvenient fact he dismissed.
Around 85% of sex attacks in the Sunderland area are carried out by white males. Charlton gave his audiences the impression it was all being done by migrants. His videos were apparently picked up by Rebel Media - presumably because Lennon was working with them at the time. He denied all the charges. The jury was not convinced.
... and en route to justice ((c) Sunderland Echo)
That may have been because “Charlton said the ‘vast majority were migrant’ when asked who was committing rapes in the city and claimed he ‘could not remember one rape in Sunderland committed by a local’”. Also, “Charlton had attended the White Man March in Newcastle, which was supported by the far right and was ‘anti Muslim, anti Islam’”.
Worse, “He also spoke at a ‘Protect our Borders’ protest in Dover and Miss Beattie [prosecuting] said he gave a speech in South Shields about people going to Mosques and 'saying they should go into the Mosques and sort them out’”. Yet worse still, “One police officer said she was ‘flabbergasted’ by Charlton's aggressive manner during questioning”.
The trial judge told Billy Charlton “You are not on trial for your political views or being a member of any party or for being associated with anyone or even your anti-immigration views, your are entitled to hold them. This is a trial about racial hatred. The jury has found your speeches were intended or likely to stir up racial hatred.”
And with that, Tommy Robinson’s ex-Combat 18 pal was sentenced to 21 months. Lennon’s TR News site hasn’t even mentioned him. Another one under the bus.
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