A father-of-two who kicked a police officer in the back during violent protests in Westminster has been jailed.
Daniel Allan, 35, knocked the officer to the ground, but was later spotted in the crowd due to his “distinctive appearance” – a pair of luminous yellow shorts.
Southwark Crown Court heard that Allan had travelled from his home in Sunderland to attend demonstrations in London, in which groups of right-wing protesters sought to “protect statues” around Whitehall and Trafalgar Square.
The demonstrations took place following global Black Lives Matter (BLM) marches, that were sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of white police officers in the US in May.
Prosecutor Nicholas Alexander said there had been “running battles throughout the day” between police and demonstrators in central London.
“Protesters were throwing items, liquids and abuse at officers,” he said.
The court was shown footage of the incident on June 13 2020, which was captured from multiple angles and shared widely on social media.
In it Allan, who is shirtless and wearing brightly coloured shorts, runs at the officer from behind and launches a “running flying kick”.
Mr Alexander said that Allan’s actions had “emboldened other protesters to move forward and attack police officers”.
“He had drunk eight cans of lager and become angry after he had been hit by a police officer with a baton,” he said.
Mr Alexander added that Police Sergeant Richard Lambert, the victim of the attack, said that the incident had added “another level of subconscious angst” to his already stressful job.
Allan had admitted one count of violent disorder against a police officer.
The court heard that Allan confessed in a police interview that he held right-wing views, and had been “disgusted” at what he had seen of the BLM marches the week before.
He had then decided to make the “significant” trip south with his brother and a friend.
Allan has 51 previous convictions for a total of 111 offences, including repeatedly being drunk and disorderly.
Sentencing Allan, Judge Sally Cahill QC said that the assault on Sgt Lambert was “appalling behaviour”.
“This was a man who had his back to you and was walking away,” she said.
“You might have thought that you were here to protect statues, but that was the last thing you did when you got here.
“At the time I am told you had drunk eight cans of lager, no doubt that was a factor in your appalling behaviour.”
Judge Cahill added that the “widespread and large-scale acts of violence” that Allan participated in had come at a “huge cost to the public as a whole”.
Allan, of Ridley Terrace, Sunderland, was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment, but was not ordered to pay compensation to Sgt Lambert.
On Friday a second man, Alfie Hubbard, 25, of Rider Road, London, entered a not guilty plea to a charge of violent disorder at the same incident on June 13.
Hubbard will be tried on November 23 2020.