The National Union of Journalists has stepped in after the EDL wrongly accused a trainee reporter at the Doncaster Free Press of “ripping up flowers” laid in honour of drummer Lee Rigby.

It stems from an English Defence League and Unite Against Fascism rally which took place in Sheffield 6 weeks ago.

The EDL filmed the incident and uploaded it to YouTube. The NUJ says that a woman in the clip has been incorrectly identified as trainee reporter Sarah Marshall.

Casuals United, a self styled “blog for peaceful hooligans,” which is affiliated to the EDL has published her picture as well as printing her Facebook page and her newspaper’s contact details stating:

“In the video below you can see Miss Marshall (the one prancing about in the sunglasses) rejoicing in the fact that her and these lunatics had gone on to take the flowers that had been laid for Lee Rigby and then proceeded to tear them to pieces and throw them about the place.

“What kind of human beings are these? What kind of people are Doncaster Free Press employing? Ring them and ask them. If Miss Marshall is not dealt with we will be outside Doncaster Free Press until she is.”

Marshall is being supported by the Doncaster Free Press and has been told not to go to the newspaper’s office for her safety. The NUJ is also providing help and the police are expected to put out a statement shortly.

“This is absolutely disgraceful. These thugs should be sought by the police and prosecuted. The NUJ will not tolerate these serious threats. This harassment of Sarah and other staff on the newspaper must be taken seriously. We are offering Sarah all the support we can,” said Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary.

“This is yet another example of the EDL’s record of targeting the press. We know from experience that the EDL has attacked journalists and its members are capable of following up these threats. Attempts to prevent journalists working constitute a serious attack on press freedom and individual liberty; it must be dealt with.”