A group of English Defence League supporters have been jailed for more than 75 years after violence flared at a protest in Birmingham two years ago.
Fifty men have appeared before Birmingham Crown Court over the past five weeks to be sentenced for violent disorder after ugly scenes were witnessed by police and visitors to the second city on 20 July 2013.
Following the disorder, which was largely seen at the EDL’s Centenary Square demonstration site, an inquiry was launched by detectives from the force’s criminal investigation department to track down those who brought violence to the streets of Birmingham.
People were arrested from as far afield as West Sussex and Tyne and Wear, having travelled to the West Midlands to take part in the demonstration.
A number of officers suffered minor injuries as they tried to restore order amongst the violent minority.
The sentences ranged from a 12 month community order to 3 years 8 months imprisonment.
Superintendent Richard Baker, from Birmingham police, said: “In the main the policing operation was successful, however there was a minority who were intent on causing violence and disruption - and it is those people who are now facing the most severe sentences.
“This week’s court proceedings should send a clear message to those who are intent on coming to the West Midlands to cause trouble - we will not tolerate such behaviour.
“We recognise that the residents, visitors and businesses of Birmingham were both concerned and inconvenienced on the day and we hope that residents of the city are reassured by our efforts to bring those involved in the disorder to justice."
Detective sergeant Harjit Ubhi led the year-long police investigation into the disorder. Following today’s final sentencing, he said: "To see all of those involved in the disorder finally brought to justice is a great testament to the hard work and dedication of the officers who painstakingly worked to identify and arrest those responsible.
“Our inquiry has seen us liaise with forces across the country in a bid to identify people who had travelled far and wide to take part in the protest, and subsequently arrest them.
"Twenty people were arrested at the time and we continued to arrest people up and down the country over the weeks and months that followed.
Two men, Dean Kenny and Mark Morgan, failed to attend court for their sentencing hearings and a warrant was subsequently issued for their arrest.