A man on trial for involvement in a disturbance outside a hotel in Merseyside, where asylum seekers were staying, claimed that he attended a “peaceful protest” in response to reports of the hotel’s residents allegedly soliciting local girls.
61-year-old Brian McPadden acknowledged attending a demonstration outside the Suites hotel in Knowsley on February 10th of last year, but denied throwing any of the objects that caused injury to three police officers or starting a fire on a police van.
During that period, the court was informed that 163 unmarried men were residing in the hotel as they awaited rulings on their requests for asylum.
Mr. McPadden, a previous employee of a factory, is currently facing charges of violent disorder at Liverpool Crown Court alongside four other individuals.
The judge, Mr Justice Watson, instructed the jury on Monday to declare the three women on trial – Cheryl Nicholls, Nicola Elliott, and Jennifer Knox – as not guilty. He stated that there was not enough evidence to prove that they had used or threatened to use violence illegally with others present at the time.
The jury has been informed that eleven individuals have been found guilty for their involvement in the occurrence.
According to McPadden, he spontaneously attended the protest, wearing shorts and not trying to conceal his identity. He maintains that he did not contribute to turning it into a riot.
He claimed that he did not have an issue with all asylum seekers, but rather a few of them who he believed were trying to flirt with young girls at the park in Kirkby.
The police cameras captured him yelling “we are the innocent ones, not them” and “there is one thing you don’t understand, you don’t know Kirkby, we stand up for ourselves.”
The jury has viewed video footage from the police that shows McPadden yelling, “They better not leave that place in the next few days because they’ll be dead” and “Every Friday we’ll be here, those bastards won’t be.”
During the interrogation by prosecutor Martyn Walsh, McPadden clarified that the statement was not meant as a death threat towards the asylum seekers. Instead, it was a cautionary message to the police about potential attacks from local youths. McPadden also mentioned that Kirby had been particularly agitated on that day.
The individual expressed his shame for using offensive language towards the hotel guests. He was caught on camera in front of a police van, gesturing and yelling at the hotel while saying “we stick together, you are not from our town, these people are foolish.” Meanwhile, objects were being thrown at the police.
The trial continues.