Teenager charged with assaulting emergency worker during violent protest outside Merseyside asylum seeker hotel

12 February 2023, 11:32 | Updated: 12 February 2023, 13:56

14 other people were arrested, who have since been released on conditional bail
14 other people were arrested, who have since been released on conditional bail. Picture: PA/Twitter
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A teenager has been charged with assaulting an emergency worker in a protest outside an asylum seeker hotel in Knowsley, Merseyside.

Jarad Skeete, 19, was among 15 arrested and has now been charged with violent disorder and assault by beating of an emergency worker. He will appear in court tomorrow.

Fourteen other people were arrested following the disorder, including two women and a 13-year-old boy. They have been conditionally bailed pending the outcome of police enquiries.

Merseyside Police were called to Knowsley Suites Hotel where an "initially peaceful protest" and counter protest had been taking place on Friday evening.

Protest turned into violence, with shocking videos shared posted on social media showing the destruction taking place on the streets outside the hotel.

During the disorder, rocks were thrown and a police van was set on fire.

A peaceful protest turned violent outside a hotel holding asylum seekers on Friday night
A peaceful protest turned violent outside a hotel holding asylum seekers on Friday night. Picture: PA

Home Secretary Suella Braverman condemned the "appalling disorder" and said the "alleged behaviour of some asylum seekers" was never an excuse for violence.

"I condemn the appalling disorder in Knowsley last night," she said.

"The alleged behaviour of some asylum seekers is never an excuse for violence and intimidation." She thanked Merseyside Police officers for their efforts to keep people safe.

Read More: Suella Braverman condemns 'appalling disorder' in 'violent protest' outside asylum seeker hotel

The hotel has been used to accommodate asylum seekers since January 2022, according to Knowsley council.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The scenes outside the hotel and violence toward police officers last night by a group of people in Merseyside were totally unacceptable.

Suella Braverman condemned the "appaling disorder"
Suella Braverman condemned the "appaling disorder". Picture: Getty

“We are working closely with Merseyside Police and partners on the ground to ensure the safety of those in our care and the wider community.”

Members of refugee crisis charity Care4Calais were at the scene and said they were "trapped" amid the chaos.

A spokesman for the organisation wrote on Twitter: "We are deeply distressed a far right protest in Knowsley has led to riots.

"We can’t imagine the terror of the people inside the hotel. Far right protestors have set fire to a police van.

"The situation at the hotel in Knowsley where the far right are demonstrating & we are trapped in the car park still seems out of control.

Founder of Care4Calais tells Paul Brand about last night's riots outside hotel

"The police all ran up the road outside the hotel about 20 mins ago, and didn’t come back. Lots of shouting.

"We are tweeting from the hotel that’s the subject of a far right protest in Knowsley, Liverpool. We are trapped in the car park, surrounded by hundreds of far-right protestors who have broken through police cordons.

"Still trapped with counter demonstrators outside the hotel where the far right demo has become violent.

"Police trying to find a way for us to leave safely. People are very frightened: it is shocking to think how refugees in the hotel must be feeling."

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