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Dover protests: Martin Edwards jailed for throwing hubcap like Frisbee

A National Front "foot soldier" – described by how own lawyer as "not the brightest in the world" – has been jailed after using a hubcap as a Frisbee during January’s Dover clashes.

Martin Edwards, 45, travelled from his home in Bridgend in a mini-van to take part in the demonstrations in Kent.

But he was seen by police throwing a half-brick at left-wing demonstrators before picking up the plastic hubcap and flinging it "in the fashion of a Frisbee" at opponents.

Martin Edwards. Picture: Kent Police.
Martin Edwards. Picture: Kent Police.

Defence barrister Steven Mould told Canterbury Crown Court that neither missile hit anyone after Edwards had pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

"He is not the brightest person in the world. He is an individual by others and easily manipulated," he said.

"He deeply regrets his actions which were done out of anger and frustration. He is not one of the political elite in the National Front; not a leader. He is just a foot soldier.

"He is an individual who is not very bright and has been used by others with more sinister intent."

Police at the rally in January. Pic: @Kent_999s
Police at the rally in January. Pic: @Kent_999s

Edwards was jailed for 10 months after Judge Adele Williams told him that the CCTV footage from the incident was "terrifying" to watch.

At a separate hearing, a protester who joined in Nazi chants of "Seig Heil" during the Dover demonstrations was jailed for a year.

Darren Shield, 49, of Crystal Palace Park Road in Sydenham, south-east London, was involved in violent clashes in the town on Saturday 30 January 2016 and is one of 70 people arrested so far.

Officers continue to review hundreds of hours of footage of offences committed on the day, with Shield captured gathering teams of people before throwing objects and goading protesters with opposing views to his own.

Police form a human line at protests in Dover in a previous protest. Pic: @Kent_999s
Police form a human line at protests in Dover in a previous protest. Pic: @Kent_999s

He was also seen to join in with the Nazi chant of "Sieg Heil" as the two chanting sides goaded each other and threw missiles.

Judge Williams told him: "The violence which took place in the streets of Dover was very serious. I have no doubt that that the population of the town were caused considerable alarm and distress.

"It took a great deal of policing and this was wholly unacceptable violence."

Shield was arrested at his home address on Thursday 21 April 2016 and charged with violent disorder, which he later admitted.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

Investigating officer PC Pete Frampton said: "The courts have been very busy lately with those involved in the January demonstrations, which I hope sends a clear message to others that such behaviour will not be tolerated in this day and age.

"Shield is the 14 person sentenced so far and there are many others who are either awaiting sentencing or trial, or who are currently on bail.

"Everyone who attended the demonstrations had their own personal reasons for doing so, and we respect their right to peaceful protest. What we have absolutely no respect for is the truly appalling scenes witnessed that day, and our enquiries will continue until all those responsible are brought to justice."

Detective Constable Hilary Bell added: "This is another great result for the investigation team and more importantly the people of Dover.

"Offenders like Martin Edwards caused a great deal of anger within the local community for their criminal actions, which were wholly unacceptable and will simply not be tolerated."

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