LONDON (Oct. 14)
The Jury in the trial of four leaders of the British National Socialist movement was in seclusion here today, pandering a verdict due tomorrow on whether the four neo-Nazis had violated the British Public Order Act. Testimony was completed Friday. The defendants, who acted as their own counsel, during the nine-day trial, are Colin Jordan, leader of the movement; John Tyndall, secretary; Denis Pirie, and Roland Kerr-Ritchie.
The defendants consistently denied they had organized and equipped a paramilitary branch of the movement called Sparhead for the purpose of displaying force to gain political objectives in violation of the Public Order Act. They also denied organizing Spearhead “in such a manner as to arouse reasonable apprehension in other persons, ” as charged against them.
In his charge to the Jury, Justice A. Barry indicated doubt that the prosecution had demonstrated that Spearhead was organized and trained for the display of force. In considering the lesser charge of arousing apprehension, the Judge told the Jury that it was essential to know the type of literature issued to Spearhead members, the kind of speeches made, the sort of uniforms worn and the exercises they carried out.
One of the last of the defense witnesses was John Bean, leader of the British National Party, one of the country’s smaller neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic groups. Bean testified that he broke with Jordan’s group because he objected to its “brain washing” methods.
In another development here concerning resurgent fascism, students at Leicester University today voted to cancel an invitation previously extended to Max Mosley, son of Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the fascist Union, to participate in a campus debate scheduled for tomorrow.
Young Mosley was to have proposed during the debate this week a motion stating that the students at Leicester “believe the present laws governing the right of free speech should not be altered. ” Plans to propose an amendment to those laws are being advanced in Parliament now, and are directed against the Mosleyites as well as against other fascist and neo-Nazi elements in Great Britain. Protests poured in on the student leadership when the announcement was made that young Mosley would speak and propose his motion. The invitation was canceled after a two-hour discussion by the Student Council.