LONDON: A British man has been accused of carrying out a racist attack on members of a law firm for assisting migrants in the UK.
Police said on Sept. 7, Cavan Medlock, 28, allegedly entered the premises of Duncan Lewis Solicitors in Harrow, northwest London, and conducted a “racially or religiously aggravated attack” on solicitor Sheroy Zaq.
He also threatened to kill one of the firm’s directors, Toufique Hossain, and Ravindran Tharmalangram, another employee, with a large knife.
At his trial at the Old Bailey court in London, it was also claimed that Medlock had planned to display the flags of Nazi Germany and the Confederate States of America while taking members of the firm hostage.
He faces five charges, including causing racially aggravated alarm, harassment or distress; battery; and causing fear of unlawful violence.
Prosecution barrister Adam Harbinson told the court that Medlock, who appeared at the trial via video link from prison, where he was remanded in custody, admitted to police after his arrest that he wanted to take hostages and display the flags “so that like-minded people would take action.”
This came after heightened attention on immigration into the UK, following a number of high-profile incidents involving asylum seekers trying to enter the country by crossing the English Channel from France.
British newspapers reported that UK Home Secretary Priti Patel was considering a raft of tough measures, including building asylum centers abroad in countries including Morocco, to make illegal immigration to Britain less appealing, while also suggesting that “activist lawyers” were delaying efforts by UK authorities to deport failed asylum seekers.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors wrote to the Law Society after the alleged attack, asking it to contact Patel to “ensure that public attacks on the legal profession are prevented from this point forth. It added: “The position as it stands is untenable, dangerous, and cannot be allowed to persist.”