The barrister representing Anjem Choudary's acolyte Michael Coe has condemned the press for portraying him as a "beast and a monster."
Coe's barrister made the claim today, as he awaits sentencing for knocking a schoolboy unconscious because he cuddled his girlfriend in the street.
Coe, a Muslim convert, has a long record of violent offences starting when he was 16, including assaults, burglary, robbery and violent disorder.
The married father of two was convicted in August of attacking the boy because he took exception to the 16-year-old cuddling his teenage girlfriend in Newham, east London, in April.
He was due to be sentenced for assault occasioning actual bodily harm on November 11, but the case was delayed after a clerical mix-up.
The 35-year-old was radicalised in prison by al-Qaida terrorist Dhiren Barot in 2007 while serving an eight-year term for firing a shotgun at police during an arrest.
Coe, since known as Mikaeel Ibrahim, has attended a number of extremist demonstrations, including protests over the banning of niqabs in France and the values of Sharia law.
He became a close associate of convicted hate preacher Choudary, founder of the banned organisation al-Muhajiroun, of which Coe was a member.