Rotherham 12 were defending themselves in the face of an ‘unexpected onslaught’, court told

Protesters did no more than act in self defence while standing together against a “cauldron of hatred” from Nazi thugs, the Rotherham 12 trial heard.

Michael Mansfield QC, defending two of the men who are accused of violent disorder, said the “air was filled with fear” after the people of the town were “besieged and plagued”by “toxic” fascist groups who marched 14 times in 14 months.

An 81-year-old grandfather Mushin Ahmed was kicked and stamped to death in a brutal murder.

He died days before a march by Nazi group Britain First on 5 September last year.

Asian men, known as the Rotherham 12, were charged with violent disorder after a peaceful counter protest against.

A charge of possessing an offensive weapon against one of the defendants, Asif Zaman, was withdrawn on the instructions of the judge.

“The fear was not a fantasy—it was a reality,” Mr Mansfield told Sheffield Crown Court.

Read on… https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/43683/Rotherham+12+were+defending+themselves+in+the+face+of+an+unexpected+onslaught%2C+court+told

See also… The Wellgate Riot Trial

A note for commenters: This is an ongoing trial and it is very difficult therefore for readers to make a comment that could be published without falling foul of legal constraints designed to ensure a fair trial.

For those who make comments I cannot approve at the moment, should keep those ideas until the verdicts are out, Rik.

I apologise to Regular Reader and Woody for taking their comments down, they were in danger of going too far down the line, I warned commenters to avoid above. Held up comments will be published after we have the verdicts, Rik.

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8 Responses to Rotherham 12 were defending themselves in the face of an ‘unexpected onslaught’, court told

  1. Matt says:

    SWP – bla bla bla bla bla.

  2. reg reader says:

    “A charge of possessing an offensive weapon against one of the defendants, Asif Zaman, was withdrawn on the instructions of the judge.”

    Interesting.

    from an earlier report in the Rotherham Advertiser :
    A FATHER charged with possessing an offensive weapon during a mass brawl which broke out after a right-wing and counter protest claims he was brandishing a wooden artificial knife and not a blade, a court heard.
    Asif Zaman (48), of Wellgate Mount, Rotherham, is also charged with violent disorder along with nine other men after trouble broke out on Wellgate following a Britain First rally and counter protest on September 5, 2015.
    Zaman and his fellow Asian defendants clashed with right-wing members outside the William Fry pub.
    Prosecutor, Mr Paul O’Shea, has previously told the court the trouble was started by the right-wing members who shouted racist abuse at passing Asian men, “but got more than they bargained for” after becoming outnumbered by men on the way home from the counter protest.
    CCTV footage of the incident was played to the jury.
    During cross-examination, Mr O’Shea, said Zaman could be seen running towards the pub, where right-wing members were stood outside, holding a knife.
    Mr O’Shea said: “On the CCTV footage you have the knife in your hand, whoever it was you display it to didn’t fancy their chances and turn their back on you and run.
    “That person is not a shrinking violet when it comes to disorder — that person sees a knife, that’s what it was.”
    The defendant said he had run towards the pub because he was concerned his 16-year-old son and other children were being assaulted in the snicket next to it.
    Zaman told the court he was brandishing a wooden, martial arts training aid that he had retrieved from his car to act as a deterrent and for self-defence — not a knife.
    Mr O’Shea said Zaman could also be seen throwing something during the fracas, the defendant said it was likely to be bottle fragments that had hit him after it landed near him.
    The prosecutor asked why Zaman did not go home after he ran back to his car to dispose of the weapon.
    Zaman, who is the first defendant to give evidence, said: “I didn’t want to lead them to my house.”
    Mr O’Shea said: “But they have not followed you up your street.”
    Zaman answered: “They are at the bottom throwing objects and bottles at me, I’m not going to lead them to my house where my disabled mum is.”
    Zaman ran off because he saw the police coming, Mr O’Shea claimed.
    Zaman replied: “The whole problem in Wellgate was no-one saw the police”.
    The prosecutor said Zaman was asked by police in his interview if he saw anyone with any weapons during the trouble, to which he replied “just the glasses and bottles”.
    Mr O’Shea said he had lied to police and was delaying time to get his story straight.
    Zaman said he did not consider the wooden sticks to be a weapon.

    Many thanks to Phil Turner and the Socialist Worker for providing a weekly update on the trial.

    • Woody says:

      Mahroof Sultan is a violent LANDLORD who kidnaps and beats up his tenants.

      He has already been sentenced to 4 and a half years for kidnapping a teenage girl.

      You side with some really nice people….not

      Four men who abducted a teenage girl and held her to ransom over a £400 bill for rent arrears started jail terms yesterday.
      The gang grabbed Beata Daniova, 13, and took her from a friend’s home in Tinsley, Sheffield, before warning her mother that she wouldn’t see her daughter until the outstanding rent was paid.
      The four men were told they would spend a total of 10 years in prison for blackmail and abduction.
      Sheffield Crown Court was told that landlord Mahroof Sultan, 28, was owed £400 in rent.
      He gathered together a gang made up of his brother Raoof, 21, cousin Shamas Choudhrey, 21, and friend Atzaz Nazir, 20, to collect the money.
      They took Beata then blackmailed her mum Drahomira for the outstanding money, telling her she had to pay £400 if she wanted to see her daughter again.
      David Brooke, prosecuting, said Mrs Daniova rented a house from Mahroof Sultan on Grosvenor Road, Eastwood, Rotherham, where she was paying £100 a week in rent.
      But Mrs Daniova fell into arrears and was thrown out with her three children. She then moved into a house in Tinsley, Sheffield.
      Mr Brooke told the court: ‘She left without telling him where she had gone, while she owed him money. Mahroof realised she had left and was determined to track her down.’
      Mahroof, of Cranworth Road, Rotherham, who ran a pizza takeaway in the town, picked up Raoof, Mr Choudhrey and Mr Nazir, and went to the house of Mrs Daniova’s friend.
      They found her daughter there and Mahroof dragged Beata from the kitchen and frog-marched her to the car.
      The gang drove to Mrs Daniova’s new house, where Mahroof slapped her across the face and demanded the keys to his house.
      Mr Brooke said: ‘He told her she owed him £400 and, if she did not pay up, she would not see her daughter again.
      ‘Screaming she then ran after the car, asking them to let her daughter go, saying she would borrow the money.’
      Over the course of that evening and the following day – until she eventually saw her daughter again at 5pm – Mrs Daniova received 14 threatening phone calls.
      The court was played recordings of the conversations, when she could be heard pleading with the gang not to hurt Beata.
      She eventually arranged a cash drop off in the rubbish bin of a layby, with the help of the police.
      Mr Choudhrey, of Clarendon Road, Eastwood, Rotherham, was seen collecting the money after being driven to the spot by Raoof, also of Cranworth Road, with Mr Nazir, of Halsbury Road, Eastwood.
      The trio were arrested shortly afterwards, followed by Mahroof separately about 15 minutes later.
      Mahroof pleaded guilty to one count of abduction, one count of blackmail and one count of possession of a CS gas canister.
      Raoof admitted blackmail and perverting the course of justice from an unrelated driving incident, while Mr Choudhrey pleaded guilty to blackmail and Mr Nazir to abduction.
      Judge John Swanson said the night had caused Mrs Daniova ‘serious terror and concern’.
      Sentencing Mahroof to four-and-a-half years in prison, he said: ‘You are a young man in business who liked money too much.’
      Raoof was sentenced to two years in a young offenders’ institute, Mr Choudhrey was told he would spend two years in prison, while Mr Nazir woul
      Thats the main rotherham 12! Funny we’ve not heard of it before

  3. David says:

    These caveats on influencing the trial by commenters does not then apply to the SWP’s lilly guilding?

    • rothpol says:

      You make an important point. The SWP must take their own responsibility for what they publish, the problem is, the local Newspapers are not reporting on the trial online, so there is nothing to compare the story to for balance.
      We operate in an increasingly hostile environment so I have to bear in mind media law and libel law more carefully.
      This will become clear later in a post, Rik.

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