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Demonstrator Peter Atkinson jailed for beating photographer with flagpole during Dover protests

A right-wing thug repeatedly smashed a Union Jack flagpole into a photographer covering the Dover immigration demonstration in January.

Fascist Peter Atkinson, 46, struck his victim, who lay helpless on the ground, so many times it broke the pole.

Today 46-year-old Atkinson was jailed for SEVEN years for the vicious assault which left snapper Kelvin Williams needing hospital treatment for a fractured elbow.

Peter Atkinson
Peter Atkinson

The Merseysider then fled the scene – but was tracked by police who recognised his distinctive trainers, Canterbury Crown Court heard.

Judge Adele Williams told him: "Your behaviour was wholly unacceptable."

Prosecutor Paul Valder told how Mr Williams was a National Union of Journalists-accredited photographer who had claimed to be independent.

Far-right protestors march towards the port of Dover
Far-right protestors march towards the port of Dover

But checks later showed he was associated with a group known as United Against Fascism.

The prosecutor added that Mr Williams and a fellow photographer were following the demonstration when they came across a group of right-wingers near a petrol garage in Folkestone Road.

"Peter Atkinson’s actions were completely unacceptable and left a man with significant and long-lasting injuries to his arm" - Ch Supt Andrea Bishop

As the cycle-helmeted victim fled, he fell over and looked up to see Atkinson, armed with a flagpole, raining blows down.

He raised his arm to protect himself and was struck on the elbow, causing a fracture. As a result, he says, he has not been able to work and continues to suffer pain.

Atkinson, of Brunswick Mews in Birkenhead, Merseyside, was one of more than 50 people arrested in connection with disturbances in Dover on January 30.

A police officer came across the victim and provided him with first aid before he was taken to hospital for further treatment.

Photos were taken of the assault, which left the victim with multiple bone splinters to his elbow, and at 3.45pm Atkinson was identified and arrested. He was searched and found to be in possession of a small rock.

Atkinson pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and was jailed.

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

Chief Superintendent Andrea Bishop said: "My officers are continuing to work tirelessly to identify all those responsible for offences committed both before and during the demonstrations in Dover on 30 January.

"Peter Atkinson’s actions were completely unacceptable and left a man with significant and long-lasting injuries to his arm.

"Kent Police has a statutory duty to facilitate peaceful protest but we will not tolerate anyone who comes to Dover intent on causing trouble."

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