Drunken race hate shame

Police at the scene as far-right groups stage an anti-immigration rally in Wigan town centre, as anti-racist protesters rally against their rally
Police at the scene as far-right groups stage an anti-immigration rally in Wigan town centre, as anti-racist protesters rally against their rally

A MAN has appeared in court charged with spouting racial slurs during a far right town centre protest.

But Phillip Ruddy claimed he had nothing to do with the neo-Nazi group National Front, who clashed with Hope Not Hate and the Liverpool Anti-Fascists in Wallgate two weeks ago, and had just got caught up in it while drunk.

Ruddy, of Berwick Place, Whelley, pleaded guilty to racially/religiously aggravated harassment.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard that on September 19 police were on patrol outside the Last Orders pub due to the NF protest against immigration.

The procession had stopped outside the pub and the crowd became aggressive. Prosecuting, Katie Beattie explained that officers’ attention were drawn to a man who was shouting and behaving aggressively.

He was standing about 1ft away from the opposing groups with his hands down his pants. Ruddy at first refused to move his hands out of his shorts when asked by police officers so they repeated themselves for him to take his hands out.

The court was told that Ruddy again refused, instead retorting back with a racist comment and turning to his friends making a sexual reference while his hands were still in his shorts. Officers immediately arrested the 30-year-old and he later admitted making the comment.

Defending, Bob Toppin said Ruddy had just been in town enjoying drinks with friends when the commotion began.

Describing the defendant as having “one too many pints”, Mr Toppin said he couldn’t think of anybody less racist than his client and insisted he was just caught up in the moment. It’s a bit ironic really that someone who doesn’t even know what the National Front is about or what it was there for was arrested on that day when windows were damaged and the group was spouting very racial remarks.

“And the only person who gets arrested is my client and who is no more a member of the National Front than I am. He accepts he was stupid and it was not malicious or racist by any means.”

Ruddy was fined £140 and ordered to pay £85 costs, £20 victim surcharge and £150 charge.