A prominent member of a group of political axe-grinders and malcontents, whom self-style as The Rabble (or Raja’s Rabble), has avoided a second spell in prison.
Last Friday (17th February, 2023), Gary Leese, 59, of Kandel Place, Whitworth, a dedicated follower of a notorious unemployed, Tameside-based conspiracy theorist, Raja Miah, 49, pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault at Tameside Magistrates’ Court.
His court appearance followed an incident at a meeting of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council in July, 2022, at the end of which Leese threw a water bottle into the civic chamber, almost striking a senior female paid officer. The missile, it is understood, was aimed at another senior paid officer but missed the intended male target. A paper cup had been thrown in the same direction almost immediately beforehand.
The meeting was marred by other scenes of serious disorder as The Rabble packed out the public gallery in order to protest about what they, and most notably Raja Miah, say is a long-running, far-reaching ‘cover-up’ of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the town by a conglomerate of police officers, senior paid council officers, Labour councillors, safeguarding partners and the press in return for Asian block votes at local and general elections (read more here).
Already serving a suspended sentence following the most recent in a lengthy line of court appearances, in November 2022 over an indecent communication, Leese was handed a six month community order and a £60 fine over his latest offending. The court did not trigger the suspended sentence, thus avoiding a second term in prison for the defendant. He was jailed in December, 2020 over breach of a restraining order,
Gary Leese was promised support at court by Raja Miah and The Rabble, but that didn’t materialise on the day. The Bradford-born cult leader having a multitude of legal and regulatory issues of his own to contend with at the moment (read more here).
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr Howard Sykes, issued the following statement following the truncated trial and sentencing hearing:
“Abuse of any kind is never acceptable in any walk of life. Intimidation and assault of staff and members of the council have no place in Oldham Borough. This individual has been taken to court and punished accordingly, and I welcome that.”
Those viewed were both echoed and amplified by the Council Leader, Cllr Amanda Chadderton:
“We will never tolerate abuse of council staff or Members, and will always seek to take the strongest possible action against those who think it is acceptable to harm, threaten or intimidate our colleagues.
“We welcome constructive challenge and debate, and actively encourage people to take part in democracy – but violence is never, and can never be, acceptable.
“I hope this case sends out a strong message to those who seek to undermine the democratic process, or prevent people from doing their jobs, with violent and abusive behaviour. Shameful scenes such as those in our Council chamber last July must never happen again.”
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said it would not be appropriate to comment on the matter.
Page last updated 0625hrs on Tuesday 21st February, 2023
Thank you for reading and a polite request: If you wish to make a contribution to the running costs of this website it would be very much appreciated. Donations can made securely, via PayPal at this link.
Corrections: Please let me know if there is a mistake in this article. I will endeavour to correct it as soon as possible.
Picture credits: Twitter
Right of reply: If you are mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let me have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory it will be added to the article.
© Neil Wilby 2015-2023. Unauthorised use, or reproduction, of the material contained in this article, without permission from the author, is strictly prohibited. Extracts from, and links to, the article (or blog) may be used, provided that credit is given to Neil Wilby Media, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.