A Muslim activist who beat a police officer with a stick while protesting a Tommy Robinson rally has walked free from court.
Omar Mohamad had chosen to travel all the way from Reading to protest a free speech event led by Robinson at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, held “to express views that were adverse to the Muslim community in the United Kingdom” — according to District Judge Richard Blake.
“We live in a democracy — people should feel free, within limits, to express their opinions,” he opined.
“You were with a group of other men. It is fair to say that immediately in front of you there was a fracas.
“You joined into the melee that happened and you joined in with your stick.
“While you do need that stick to walk with, you very much used it by wielding it around as a weapon. You brought the stick round and struck [Police Sergeant Guy Rooney] in the face.
“There is no doubt that this was a very significant injury that you caused with your stick.”
Sergeant Rooney had told the court how the attack had left his face so badly damaged that his children would not walk to school with him, and claimed he had been left with post-traumatic stress.
London: Massive Crowds Gather to Hear Geert Wilders Demand Tommy Robinson’s Release https://t.co/wHvBI24Pqa
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 9, 2018
Nevertheless, despite the violent nature of Mohamad’s attack and his decision to claim he was acting in self-defence and plead not guilty, the judge appeared to buy the picture painted by the defence of a sickly man with multiple illnesses, who had “shown genuine remorse”.
“You’re a man of sixty-two and of good character,” the judge said — a sightly curious assessment, given Mohamad just been convicted for assaulting causing actual bodily harm against an on-duty police officer.
He then handed down a six-month sentence, but suspended it so Mohammed was able to walk free without actually having to serve any time in prison, unless he reoffends.
Robinson, meanwhile, is currently serving two terms totalling 13 months — which, unusually, are to be served consecutively rather than concurrently — for non-violent contempt of court convictions, imposed for reporting on grooming gang trials in Canterbury and Leeds.