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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
BNP man admits pub assault
Mark Norwood
Norwood shouted that he was fighting for his country
A member of the British National Party who got into an argument with drinkers in a Shropshire pub has admitted common assault and obstructing police.

Mark Norwood, 41, a parish councillor of Old St Martin's Road in Gobowen, was given a six-month community rehabilitation order on Tuesday by Oswestry magistrates.

The court heard that Norwood had been in the Boars Head in Oswestry on 6 April when he asked Darren Hayward if he was Jewish, then pushed him back into his seat at the bar.

Norwood, who is a regional organiser for the BNP, later shouted at people outside the pub: "I'm fighting for our country. You should be in the British National Party."

Dripping saliva

The court was told that Mr Hayward kept Norwood in a wrestling hold until the police arrived.

Norwood's wife then drove to the pub to take her husband home, but he jumped from the car and ran across the road to attack Mr Hayward. Norwood was arrested.

The prosecution said that the 41-year-old's face was fierce and he had saliva dripping from his mouth.

Norwood's solicitor told the court that his client did not usually drink to excess and regretted not taking police advice to stay in the car.

BNP man appeals over 'free speech'
11 Jun 03  |  Shropshire

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