23/03/2010

Four Charged After Protesters Clash

Four demonstrators have appeared in court charged with violence against police after breaking away from their designated protest areas in Bolton on Saturday.

Daniel McNulty, 25, of Cypress Road, Normanton, West Yorkshire was charged with a public order offence and bailed to appear at Bolton Magistrates' Court on 9 April.

Amanda Rutland, 36, of Bates Lane, Aylesbury, was been charged with a public order offence and bailed to appear at Bolton Magistrates' Court on 16 April.

Aaron Green, 22, of Southern House, Bolton, was charged with a public order offence and bailed to appear at Bolton Magistrates' Court on 1 April.

Nicholas Williams, 20, of no fixed address, was charged with a public order offence and appeared at Bolton Magistrates' Court yesterday (22 March).

Thirteen others were issued with fixed penalty notices, 17 remain on bail, 34 were released without charge, three people were cautioned and one man was transferred to West Yorkshire to be questioned in connection with an unrelated assault.

In total police made 73 arrests on the day. At least 54 were affiliated to Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and 17 were affiliated to The English Defence League (EDL) police said. More than 3,500 protesters clashed in Bolton town centre.

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Byrne, of Great Manchester Police, said: "Everyone has a democratic right to protest. We respect that right and spent nine weeks meticulously planning this event to ensure a demonstration could go ahead safely.

"I strongly refute any allegations that my officers were heavy handed and had it not been for the thorough planning and sheer bravery of officers on the day - who prevented what was a clear attempt to cause serious disorder - many people could have been very seriously injured."

Over 1,300 police officers and staff worked on the operation on the day costing an estimated £300,000.

Two police officers were treated at the Royal Bolton Hospital; one for a fractured finger and another for a dog bite.

(PR/GK)

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