London protests: Two men admit attacking police officers

London protests: Two men admit attacking police officers

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Media captionSome of the protesters in central London were seen attacking police

Two men have admitted attacking police officers during violence in central London on Saturday.

James Meikle and Daniel John Allan were arrested as right-wing protesters, Black Lives Matter supporters and the police clashed in the capital.

South African backpacker Meikle ran at a line of officers during anti-racism protests while Allan, 35, kicked a policeman in the back.

Both were remanded in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The court was told Meikle, who had been living in Devon, was due to fly to South Africa on Saturday evening but was spending his last few hours in the UK on anti-racism demonstrations.

During the march he put down his backpack and charged at the line from a distance of 50 yards (45.7m), clattering into two police constables before walking off laughing.

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More than 100 arrests were made after violence broke out on Saturday

Following his arrest he admitted that he had been drunk, explaining that he “wanted to see if I could get through the line”.

He later said he understood it was wrong and asked to apologise to the officers, the court heard.

Prosecutor Jennifer Gatland said that while neither officer had been injured, it was “clearly a deliberate act”.

Lynne Gothard, defending Meikle, said the marches were an “issue he cares deeply about”.

Meikle admitted two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker via video link.

‘Distinctive shorts’

In a separate case, father-of-two Allan pleaded guilty to one count of violent disorder against a police officer.

Ms Gatland said Allan had travelled from his Sunderland home as groups of protesters gathered in London saying they were protecting statues.

While in the capital he “kicked out” at a policeman from behind, “suddenly and without provocation”.

He was later spotted in the crowd because he was wearing a “distinctive” pair of luminous shorts, she said.

District Judge Nicholas Rimmer said the Allan’s actions appeared to have “catalysed the violence”.

Eleanor Fraser, for Allan, said the defendant has a previous conviction for violence in 2010, and suffered with depression and anxiety.

Both men will be sentenced at a later date.

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