Five Muslim protesters have appeared in court accused of attacking members of a rival Islamic sect during a demonstration.

Mirza Ali, 38, of Lambkins Mews, Walthamstow, Jordan Horner, also of Walthamstow, and three others are accused of being at the centre of a mass brawl in Edgware Road.

Violent clashes broke out during the anti-Shia protest on May 10, led by radical preacher Anjem Choudary, who also lives in Walthamstow.

Ali and Horner, along with Mohammed Ishtiaq Alamgir, 34, Of Kenilworth Road, Luton, Mohan Uddin, 35, of Trinity Road, Luton, and Kamran Khan, 28, of Wodecroft Road, Luton, are accused of violent disorder and affray.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard the demonstration turned ugly when a war of words broke out between the protesters and members of the local community. 

“The protest was initially about the conflict in Syria, but in Edgware Road a number of males directed abuse towards the predominantly Shi'ite Muslim community,” said prosecutor Darren Watts.

“Demonstrators then attacked two members of the public. 

“Those members of the public were beaten to the floor, kicked and beaten with placards made of wood.”

Mr Watts said one of the victims suffered bruising on his face and body, as well as a head wound which required stitches. 

The defendants insisted on standing throughout the court appearance.

All indicated they will plead not guilty to the charges, though no pleas have been formally entered yet.

All five men were freed on bail yesterday on the condition they do not attend any political or religious demonstrations and are not allowed to leave the UK.

They are also banned from contacting each other, Mr Choudary, or another eight named individuals linked to the demonstration.

The case was sent to Southwark Crown Court, with a first hearing set for August 28.