Ex-EDL leaders will not face court over alleged obstruction of police

Two former English Defence League leaders will not have to answer a charge of obstructing police after prosecutors deemed there was insufficient evidence against them.

Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, and his second cousin Kevin Carroll were accused of trying to defy a ban on marching to the scene of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby passed a mosque.

The pair each denied a charge of obstructing police outside Aldgate East Tube station, east London, on 29 June.

When Yaxley-Lennon arrived at Westminster magistrates’ court to stand trial on Wednesday morning, he discovered the case had been discontinued. The Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence to bring the case.

The pair were attempting to stage what they claimed was a charity walk to Woolwich Barracks, in south-east London, via the East London Mosque, with a plan to lay flowers in memory of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich on Armed Forces Day.

Police said they offered two alternative routes that avoided Tower Hamlets, home to the East London Mosque, and warned that anyone who tried to march to Woolwich would face arrest.

A CPS spokeswoman said: “Both defendants were charged by police with obstructing a police officer in the execution of her duty, contrary to s89(2) Police Act 1996. The file was then passed to CPS London to prepare the prosecution case.

“When this case was reviewed, the lawyer concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the actions of the suspects amounted to the offence of obstructing a police officer in the execution of her duty, contrary to s89(2) Police Act 1996. We therefore discontinued the case.”

The pair, who set up the EDL in 2009, disclosed their withdrawal from the group this month.

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