Wednesday 14 February 2018

Last two defendants in Rotherham 12 case taste victory after prosecution offer ‘no evidence’

https://socialistworker.co.uk/images1412/Image/Rotherham-two-court.jpg


The last two defendants in the Rotherham Twelve case walked free on Tuesday—after a police chief was unfit to give evidence. Not guilty verdicts were recorded for Haseeb Alam and Mahroof Sultan who were facing charges of violent disorder at Sheffield Crown Court. The prosecution offered no evidence.

 

The court heard that key prosecution witness Chief Inspector Richard Butterworth was too ill to attend. Butterworth gave evidence in the original trial of ten of the Rotherham twelve who were acquitted of violent disorder by a jury in a landmark victory.

The 12 were among a 400-strong peaceful Unite Against Fascism demonstration against a Nazi march in September 2015. It came two weeks after 81 year old Mushin Ahmed’s racist murder.

 

Butterworth was in command of policing on the day. Fascists outside a pub, well known as a Nazi haunt, violently attacked the anti Nazi demonstrators as they walked home. Four fascists were later jailed for violent disorder. A defence campaign for the Rotherham 12, supported by unions and other justice campaigns, adopted the slogan “self defence is no offence”, see below.

http://uaf.org.uk/2016/07/rotherham-12-defence-campaign-self-defence-is-no-offence/

 

Solicitor Matt Foot said, “This result really does mean self defence is no offence. I’m delighted for them”.

 

One of the Rotherham 12, Abrar Javid, who was found innocent at the first trial in November 2016, said, “Acquittals of the two defendants is a vindication of what we’ve been fighting for—justice has been served.

” To be dragged through the courts for defending our communities against the far right was an injustice.  We believe South Yorkshire Police were politically motivated in pushing these charges. We will seek accountability”.

 

The twelve deserve all anti fascists’ thanks for what they have done since their wrongful arrests and their  refusal to be broken by the courts.

 

Phil Turner – Rotherham UAF


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