The Rotherham 12 trial ended today in a huge victory for the ten defendants who choose to plead not guilty, as the jury accepted the legitimacy of self-defence against racist attacks and acquitted them all. You can read the official campaign statement here, and there’s a decent write-up on the Guardian.
The other two who initially pleaded guilty will now be applying to change their pleas, so hopefully they can be cleared too.
In the words of the campaign statement:
“The jury, as representatives of the local population, have understand the impact of race and religious hatred fueled by far right groups on the Asian Muslim residents of Rotherham. They have also understood the need for communities under siege to defend themselves when facing intolerable levels of racist threats and violence…
Apart from the actions of the far right groups, our anger is reserved for the South Yorkshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service. The prosecution evidence clearly acknowledged that far right groups were intent on causing community divisions and sgregation, deliberate fear & intimidation and terror through perpetual acts of violence and murder. Instead of protecting the Asian Muslim community, the police too turned against us. It beggers belief, knowing what the police and the CPS knew, that the defendants were even arrested, never mind charged and dragged through a trial.”