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English Defence League and opponents clash in Luton

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Media captionSupporters of Kevin Carroll clash with protesters in Luton

Members of the English Defence League (EDL) and opposing protesters have clashed in Luton town centre.

Trouble erupted after Kevin Carroll, 41, lost an appeal at Luton Crown Court against his conviction for hurling abuse at Muslims during a soldiers' homecoming parade.

Following the verdict, Carroll's supporters began chanting "EDL".

As police moved in to keep the two sides apart, missiles such as ashtrays and a restaurant knife were thrown.

More than 80 police officers, including British Transport Police, herded the group of protesters away from the court and towards the town centre.

Mounted police broke up the two groups and moved the EDL towards a disused area in the town centre where they were kept until they were sent towards to train station to make their way home.

'Great democracy'

Carroll had previously been found guilty on 10 March of using threatening words and behaviour likely to to cause fear harassment and alarm.

During a homecoming parade by the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment through Luton town centre, a group of Islamic demonstrators staged an anti-war protest.

A crowd began a counter demonstration and the two sides were kept apart by a cordon of police officers.

Dismissing the appeal, Judge Christopher Compston said: "We have no doubt at all that you did use threatening, abusive and insulting words and behaviour which was likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress."

He ordered that Carroll pay further costs of £330.

Following his failed appeal, Carroll said to the crowd outside court: "Thank you patriots and people of our great democracy for supporting me.

"God Bless our Troops, God save the Queen."

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