Andrew Parker, The Sun, March 31, 2011
Five thugs sent on a £2,000 trip to keep them out of trouble ended up attacking a man during the jaunt.
They were among 19 known troublemakers taken away to avoid clashes with English Defence League marchers near their homes.
Town hall bosses spent more than £2,100 on the day trip, which was supervised by a cop and five council staff, a court heard.
The group, aged 17 to 19, were taken to Blackpool Pleasure Beach amid fears they could become embroiled in the EDL march in Dudley, West Midlands.
But soon after arriving at the Lancashire resort, the Asian yobs began aiming racist chants at dad-of-two Derek Brownhill, 30.
Then Riad Hussain, 19, punched him so hard both his “feet left the ground” and he was knocked unconscious, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor David Swinnerton said Sandwell Council organised the trip to “distract the 19 from anti-social behaviour” during the march against plans for a mosque in Dudley. Hussain was locked up for ten months.
Raja Rashid and Fahad Atiq, who were on bail at the time over a separate hammer attack, were given 21 months and 16 months.
Wasim Telhat and Mazahar Taheir received community orders. All five admitted assault.
Last night Race Equality Sandwell boss Derrick Campbell said: “I would not say the trip had failed. Its purpose was to keep them away from the march.”