A PROTESTER became involved in a large-scale brawl in a bookmakers after walking home from an anti-mosque demonstration, a court heard.

Adam Handley, of Wilton Street, Astley Bridge, denies using unlawful violence after a fight broke out in the William Hill bookmakers in Halliwell Road.

Handley had earlier attended a demonstration in Bolton town centre, on June 29 last year, in which more than 100 protestors demonstrated against a planned mosque in Blackburn Road, Bolton Crown Court was told.

The 25-year-old told the court that an image which included his address and telephone number, had been circulated on a Facebook page named Exposing Bolton and Manchester Racism.

Handley was walking home via Halliwell Road at about 3.45pm after the demonstration, when an Asian man pulled up in a car close to the bookmakers, the court heard.

The pair traded insults before Handley allegedly said: "If you are going to do it, bring it in here where you are on camera."

A fight then broke out inside the bookmakers with punches and kicks being thrown by "more than half a dozen people".

In a statement read to the court, one staff member said: "It was clear that something was going to happen. When the incident unfolded I was scared for the safety of staff and customers."

Police were called by staff at the bookmakers, who arrested Handley.

Giving evidence, Handley claimed that the incident was a racist attack against himself, and that he had been targeted for about a week since the image was posted online.

Handley denied that he was racist and said that he was only violent because he was defending himself. Staff claimed Handley was jeering and shouting.

In another statement read to the court police officer Lee Ganley said: "The behaviour of the Asian males was disgusting.

"They were openly swearing when there was children around, which didn't seem to stop them.

"Their behaviour was intimidating, and it was impossible to reason with them."

Rizwan Umar, aged 28, of Rawson Road, Heaton; Yasin Marviadi, aged 24, of Witney Close, Halliwell; and Zakir Channa, aged 24, of Martindale Gardens, Halliwell; all previously admitted their part in the brawl.

The trial continues.