A man has denied deliberately ramming an anti-mass migration protest with his car, instead blaming the “racist mob” for causing the collision.
Stephen Bedford, 36, has reportedly denied allegations that he intentionally rammed his car into a number of anti-mass migration protesters earlier this week, accusing what he described as the “racist mob” of protesters — who were on foot — as causing the collision.
Bedford was initially arrested after the incident last Wednesday evening, which saw him knock down at least one male protester — who was demonstrating against Ireland’s open borders immigration policy — with his car.
The accused is believed to have live-streamed the collision onto his personal Facebook page, which appears to be littered with posts supporting militant left-wing causes in the country.
According to a report by The Journal, Bedford denied the charge of dangerous driving during a sitting of the Dublin District Court when he appeared on Thursday, claiming that the protesters were the ones at fault for the collision.
Video of the incident was reportedly played within the courtroom, with it at one point showing two protesters as being on the bonnet of the vehicle Bedford was driving.
Glen Lynch, Bedford’s barrister, is reported as saying that his client tried to drive slowly, but that he was forced to “flee for his life” after “inadvertently” coming across the group of protesters, with Bedford also reported as having claimed that some protesters had threatened to kill him previously.
Bedford reportedly described the demonstrators as kicking his car, adding that the protesters had supposedly “threw themselves in front of my car” as he “tried to get away from a racist mob”.
However, a member of Ireland’s police force, An Garda Síochána told the court that there were no records of Bedford making any complaints about such threats, while also alleging that the man had four other routes available to him to move away from the protesters that he did not take.
The law enforcement officer also reportedly told the court that Bedford had “strong political and moral beliefs”.
Bedford was granted bail by District Court Judge Bryan Smyth on the condition that he sign in three days a week at a police station, as well as that he does not attend any demonstrations “involving anti-immigration protests”.
According to eyewitnesses, Bedford has appeared near at least one protest since the hearing, with the man being allegedly spotted in the vicinity of a pro-open borders demonstration that took place in Dublin on Saturday.