London

Ex-EDL leaders Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll cleared

  • 16 October 2013
  • From the section London
English Defence League leaders Tommy Robinson (C) and Kevin Carroll arrive at Westminster Magistrates Court
Image caption Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll left the EDL earlier this month

Two former English Defence League (EDL) leaders have been cleared of a charge of obstructing the police.

Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll were accused of trying to defy a ban on marching from the East London Mosque to the scene of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

The pair denied obstructing police near Aldgate East station on 29 June.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was "insufficient evidence" to proceed with the case.

Mr Carroll, Mr Robinson's second cousin, learned of the decision when he attended Westminster Magistrates' Court to stand trial.

The pair were charged after attempting to stage a charity walk to Woolwich Barracks via the East London Mosque, with a plan to lay flowers in memory of Fusilier Rigby on Armed Forces Day.

Police said they offered two alternative routes which avoided Tower Hamlets and the mosque, and warned that anyone who tried to march to Woolwich would be arrested.

'Hijack'

Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also pleaded not guilty to two further public order charges relating to an EDL demonstration in east London on 7 September.

He is accused as a public assembly organiser of failing to comply with the condition of limiting speeches at the rally to 30 minutes, and is alleged to have incited others to breach the condition.

Mr Robinson and Mr Carroll, who set up the EDL in 2009, announced their withdrawal from the group earlier this month over concerns of the "dangers of far-right extremism".

During his court appearance Mr Robinson said he had received a number of death threats from both Muslim extremists and Nazis, since resigning and it had "upset a lot of people".

He said: "The people who the death threats are coming from are the people who I was opposing anyway - they were the elements that were always on the outside of the English Defence League, they were around it always wanting to hijack it."

A previous bail condition preventing him from entering the east London borough of Tower Hamlets has been revoked.

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