Jail for pair who trashed Blind Beggar pub believing EDL members inside

PUBLISHED: 13:43 10 September 2012

Blind Beggar, Whitechapel

Blind Beggar, Whitechapel

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Two thugs have been jailed after targeting the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel after mistakenly believing members of the English Defence League were inside.

Shah Ali, of Hanbury Street, and Ruhal Roof, of Cambridge Heath Road, together with Mahfuz Rayhan, of Barking, were among a 30-strong mob which attacked the pub to confront followers of the far right political movement.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard terrified patrons at the bar found themselves “under siege” as missiles including glasses, bottles, road signs and street furniture were hurled into the beer garden.

Some of the gang forced their way into the garden, before a group led by Roof charged into the pub.

The attack, which took place last October, caused £6,000 worth of damage to the pub, the court heard.

Sentencing Ali and Roof, both 22, to 18 weeks in prison, Judge Alan Pardoe QC said: “The three of you have pleaded guilty to violent disorder and submitted your motivation for taking part in this violence was that you heard members of the English Defence League were inside the pub.

“All three of you now accept the people in the pub were not in fact members of the EDL.

“I must make it crystal clear that if they had been, that would have provided no justification for your activities. It’s not open to anyone to attack anyone of membership or presumed membership of any lawful organisation.”

Rayhan, the pair’s 18-year-old accomplice, was handed a community order with 200 hours unpaid work and 12 months supervision.

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