A PRUDHOE man threw a missile towards a police line during a Black Lives Matter counter-demonstration in summer 2020, a court has heard.

Daryhs Moore, who "identifies as black", but got involved in the counter-demonstration in Newcastle city centre against Black Lives Matter supporters, has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Moore, 23, of Fern Close, was seen to bend down and pick up a missile and throw it towards the police line at a time when others were behaving violently and other missiles were being thrown, a court heard.

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He was also seen pointing and shouting towards police horses and pushing through the crowd.

Penny Hall, for Moore, said he was going to town with friends, not to take part in the protest, but accepted becoming involved.

Judge Edward Bindloss, referring to a pre-sentence report, said: "He identifies as black and is more likely to identify with the Black Lives Matter protesters had he been there for political reasons, and he didn't really know what was going on."

Usman Ogiden became the first person from those in favour of the movement to be sentenced.

The court heard Ogiden was seen on CCTV at the front of the Black Lives Matter group then dodges police to head towards the counter-protesters, who were shouting. He got involved in a verbal confrontation with a police inspector and stands face to face with an
officer and refuses to move away.

The 22-year-old, of Hedgehope Road, Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle, was gesturing and pointing at the other group, and he went on to take a bottle from someone else and threw it at the counter-protesters.

Richard Bloomfield, defending, said he attended to support the Black Lives Matter movement and acted out of character. He said he attended a previous, similar event at the Centre for Life, when there was no trouble.

Mr Bloomfield said: "The significant difference between this event and that one is at this event, the organisation the English Defence League attended."

He added that he was studying sports science and custody would prevent
him completing his degree, and he helps to look after his mum, who is in a wheelchair.

Christopher Simpson and Christopher Wood, from the opposing side, were the latest to be locked up from their side of the divide in a separate hearing at Newcastle Crown Court.

Simpson, 50, of Cedar Road, Fenham, Newcastle, was seen at the monument around 4pm, positioning himself at the front of the crowd while drinking alcohol from a can and appeared drunk.

When the group surged towards police, he joined in then threw a can of alcohol over
the head of the counter-protesters towards the police and it landed in front of a police dog.

Around 45 minutes later, he was seen singing in the crowd and when the police tried to clear the plinth of the monument, he was at the back pushing forward and refused to move back.

Mr Bloomfield, who also represented Simpson, said: "He attended out of curiosity to see what was going on. He didn't go there to fight and he didn't go there because he is racist.

"The high watermark is throwing a can that didn't hit anyone."

Wood, 52, of Malvern Road, Washington, was seen drinking from a can and joining in chanting. He then threw a can at the police, which narrowly missed a female officer, who managed to move out of its way.

Wood was then seen on the plinth singing Rule Britannia and God Save the Queen.

Tom Bennett, for Wood, said he "deeply regrets his behaviour" and says it was "stupid and wrong", and didn't intend to hit anyone with the can.

Moore got two years suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work, Ogiden was jailed for 26 months, Simpson got 29 months in prison and Wood got 28 months.