School cook from Lancashire who threw a bottle at police during violent pro-Tommy Robinson demo is spared prison

Kate Beveridge, a mother to a two-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter, threw a one litre plastic drinks bottle at police
Kate Beveridge, a mother to a two-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter, threw a one litre plastic drinks bottle at police

A drunken primary school cook from Lancashire who joined a violent pro-Tommy Robinson demonstration has been spared jail after being told by a judge to think about the example she is setting children.

Kate Beveridge, a mother to a two-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter, threw a one litre plastic drinks bottle at police when she was on the protest in central London in June 2018, while others hurled cans, traffic cones and various makeshift missiles during an afternoon of "disgraceful violence" in the capital.

Top row, left to right, Carl Backland, 59, Danny Grealey, 43 and Keith O'Sullivan, 40. (Bottom row left to right) Robert Sandford, 47, Kai Smith, 19 and David Anderson, 24. They are all defendants who have been jailed for being involved in serious acts of violence during a violent pro-Tommy Robinson demonstration in central London in June 2018

Top row, left to right, Carl Backland, 59, Danny Grealey, 43 and Keith O'Sullivan, 40. (Bottom row left to right) Robert Sandford, 47, Kai Smith, 19 and David Anderson, 24. They are all defendants who have been jailed for being involved in serious acts of violence during a violent pro-Tommy Robinson demonstration in central London in June 2018

The 35-year-old, of Singleton in Lancashire, was the only one of several defendants spared jail by Judge Deborah Taylor when they were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.

Read more>>> Preston to get permanent new anti-terrorist safety features from next week
They included 19-year-old Kai Smith, the son of a primary school teacher from Chingford in east London, who was described as a straight-A student and aspiring lawyer.

Sentencing Beveridge, the judge said: "You have two children aged 14 and two for whom you are the sole carer.

"You should think what sort of example you are setting your own children and the children at the primary school by the actions you carried out that day."

Far-right extremists Tommy Robinson was jailed for contempt of court

Far-right extremists Tommy Robinson was jailed for contempt of court

Beveridge wiped away tears as she was handed a 15-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 200 hours' community service.

Read more>>> Preston North End fans kick off after match date is switched
Her counsel, Sheryl Nwosu, said: "She expresses not only sorrow but embarrassment and shame. She does not align herself with what went on that day.

"She acted on intoxicated impulse ... this is a one-off."

David Anderson, Danny Grealey, Keith O'Sullivan and Robert Sandford were jailed for violent disorder, while Andrew McLean, 20, was sent to a Young Offenders' Institution for his role in the melee.

Prosecutor Aska Fujita told the court police had become "overrun" by disorder in the capital from those demanding former EDL leader Robinson's release from prison for contempt of court.

Footage from police bodyworn cameras showed flanks of officers with batons raised coming face to face with Free Tommy Robinson protesters, some of whom lobbed bottles, cones and other missiles.

Chants in support of the former EDL leader rang out during the protest, while snarling demonstrators could be seen on camera shouting "shame on you" at the police, adding "you're not English any more" to the tune of the hymn Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer.

At one point the officers were so outnumbered they were forced to retreat to sanctuary at Great Scotland Yard, just off Whitehall, and away from the worst of the violence.

Ms Fujita said: "It turned ugly. The police have been constantly abused, missiles were thrown at them, they have been punched, kicked and had barriers thrown at them.

"Each of the defendants were involved in serious acts of violence, including using weapons that could have caused serious injury."

Ms Fujita said "more than 20" police officers were injured, although nothing more serious than cuts and bruises.

She added: "That was due to sheer coincidence."

Student Smith was described as "at the head of a group chasing officers" into retreat, and was seen holding a stick and throwing missiles.

His counsel, Richard Gowthorpe, said Smith was "perhaps ironically" a local government and politics student and was going to take law or Spanish law at university - a career which is now on hold.

He said: "He never had any problems at school, (staff) describe in glowing terms how he was kind and reflective.

"He went from an A-star student who had a glowing career ahead of him to a criminal within the space of an hour."

Jailing Smith for 15 months, the judge said: "You are clearly an intelligent young man, it is all the more extraordinary in the circumstances that you were behaving as you were in the middle of your A-levels on which your future depends."

Sandford, 47, of Bolton Road in Hungerhill, Greater Manchester, was jailed for 14 months after he was among those to "take over" a bus full of tourists before hurling a traffic cone.

He handed himself in to police after he spotted himself on a Sky News broadcast of the violence.

O'Sullivan, 40, of Holmstead Way in Luton, Bedfordshire, was jailed for 23 months after he threw traffic cones and a metal barrier. His counsel, Timothy Banks, told the court his client "should have known better".

Grealey, 43, of Ebberns Road in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was handed an 18-month sentence after he admitted throwing a traffic cone at police. The court heard he did not originally intend to join the protest, and had wanted to go to the zoo instead.

McLean, of Field Street in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, was handed an 18-month Young Offenders' Institution term.

He told police he was protesting for the first time because he thought Robinson had been wrongly incarcerated for exposing paedophile grooming gangs after seeing posts on Facebook.

Anderson, 24, of Moraine Drive in Glasgow, was jailed for 14 months for throwing two bottles at police during the demonstration.

The asbestos remover had been working in Whitehall at the time and told the judge he was "so sorry."

An eighth defendant, 59-year-old Carl Backland, from Camden in north-west London, was sentenced to nine months in prison for throwing two cans at a police officer at close range after trying and failing to make his way to a counter-protest.

Defence lawyer Liam Loughlin said: "It was a mob mentality which took him over in a moment of madness.

"He is disgusted by his own behaviour and has supported those he went to protest against."

The judge added: "The motive and politics are irrelevant."

The group were the first of 14 defendants due to be sentenced for violent disorder during three hearings at the court.

Robinson was released from Belmarsh prison in south-east London a fortnight ago, two months into his nine-month sentence for contempt of court.