The leader of the English Defence League has been convicted of assault after he headbutted a man at a rally.
Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, of Luton, launched a verbal attack on a fellow member of the farright group before attacking his victim, Preston Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday.
Lennon, founder of the EDL, ‘goaded’ a crowd of followers during a rally by 2,000 supporters in Blackburn on April 2.
The 28-year-old launched a tirade against a man who was accused of putting messages on the internet about police informers and ‘grasses’, before trouble broke out in the crowd among EDL members, the court heard.
Alan McKee, 33, from Gateshead, was pulled from the crowd by stewards for his own safety and taken away by police officers.
But the court heard he later confronted Lennon who then lunged or stepped forward and headbutted Mr McKee.
Lennon denied assault and claimed during his speech he had harangued another man, also called Alan, an Alan Smith, from Newcastle, who was a member of an EDL splinter group, the North East Infidels, intent on causing trouble.
Last month we revealed that members of the EDL were protesting outside HMP Bedford, where Lennon was being held, campaigning for his release.
After a day-long trial District Judge Peter Ward convicted Lennon of common assault.
Sentencing was adjourned until November 3 when police will apply for a criminal Asbo (anti-social behaviour order) to prevent Lennon attending EDL rallies.
Outside court, Lennon said: “It’s a fit-up.
They are fabricating evidence. I have had ongoing harassment. All this is about getting an ASBO that will ban me from demonstrations and protests. It is meant to be a democracy but this is a stitch-up.”