A MAN caught with an iron bar claimed he had armed himself to for protection against the English Defence League.
Shamraiz Aurangzeb was caught with the black-handled extendable bar on July 9, when a protest by the far-right group engulfed Halifax.
Calderdale Magistrates’ Court heard the 21-year-old left his home in Hawthorn Terrace, King Cross, Halifax, with the weapon after spotting EDL supporters from his window.
He was found with a group of other Asian males by police, who stopped and searched them and found Aurangzeb with the bar.
He said he had picked up the weapon for protection because he was afraid.
Aurangzeb, who has no previous convictions, admitted possessing an offensive weapon.
Philip Cockcroft, mitigating, said: “This would not have happened if an extreme right-wing organisation with its own motives and purposes hadn’t chosen to lumber Halifax with its presence.”
Magistrates sentenced him to a 12-month community order with a four-week curfew between 7am and 7pm.
He was also ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.