A WELL-known hard man has been jailed after being convicted of an offence relating to the ride-by shooting of a nightclub bouncer.

John Henry Sayers was given a three-and-a-half-year sentence at the Old Bailey on Friday after being convicted of perverting the course of justice, a court official said.

During the trial, jurors were told the defendant was “a man to be feared” who had “acquired and promoted a reputation” and would not allow his name to be disrespected.

He had initially been accused of ordering the attack on doorman Matthew McCauley outside the Tup Tup Palace on June 6 2015, but was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder, alongside co-defendant Michael Dixon, 50. Both men are from Walker, Newcastle.

Prosecutor Simon Denison QC had claimed Sayers ordered the attack after his son was turned away from the Newcastle nightclub weeks earlier, but this was rejected by the jury.

The 54-year-old was also cleared of conspiracy to possess a shotgun with intent to endanger life, while Dixon was found guilty of the same offence and given a life sentence with a minimum of eight years, the court official said.

Sayers and a third defendant, Michael McDougall, 50, were convicted of perverting the course of justice over a false statement given in 2017.

Convicted murderer McDougall, who is serving a life sentence, told “a pack of lies” by trying to claim he was the gunman in the incident, jurors heard.

As a result, he was given two years to run consecutively after his current life sentence

Sayers had previously been cleared of ordering another murder – the doorstep shooting of a man in 2000 – and subsequently cleared of nobbling the Leeds jury in that case.

However, he is a convicted robber and tax evader and is said to be a name to be feared in Tyneside.

Northern Echo

Details of the murder conviction can be found here.

Grant Ainley was due to be jailed for 20 weeks when he ran from Kirklees Magistrates’ Court

A man fled from court after being jailed for attacking a security guard who challenged him as he stole from a Huddersfield supermarket.

Grant Ainley bit the Asda worker’s little finger and threatened to smash a stolen bottle of champagne over his colleague’s head.

The 35-year-old was jailed for 20 weeks by Kirklees magistrates but ran from the court building before he could be taken into custody.

The incident happened at the Aspley branch of the supermarket on August 29 when Ainley was challenged as he tried to take two bottles of champagne.

Prosecutor Alex Bozman said that he told the security guard to get out of his way.

When the member of staff asked Ainley to put the alcohol down he threatened to smash a bottle over his head, magistrates were told.

The security guard managed to take one of the bottles off Ainley but he maintained a grip on the other one.

With help of his colleague Nicholas Foard the security guard managed to detain him, Mr Bozman said.

He told magistrates: “Ainley made threats that he would spit and bite at them.

“He scratched Mr Foard on his hand with his nails and bit him on the little finger, causing injury.”

Ainley, of Eastlands in Almondbury, was arrested but refused to comply with a police station drug test.

Mr Foard said in a victim personal statement read out to the court: “I come to work every day to do a job I enjoy.

“I do not come to work for people to steal from us or, even worse, get assaulted.

“My injuries may be scratches and bites but I do not know if he has any diseases.”

Ainley pleaded guilty to stealing from the store, assault and refusing to provide a sample for a Class A drug test.

He also admitted to the theft of meat and wine totalling £116 from Almondbury Co-op between June 7 and 17.

Jonathan Slawinski, mitigating, explained that Ainley had struggled with a drug problem since the age of 19.

He had managed to overcome this problem but still owed money to drug dealers.

Mr Slawinski explained: “When people stop using drugs they don’t always escape their past as debts catch up with them.

“The only way he knew how to get rid of the debt was sadly to do what he knows how to do and steals from the shops.”

He added that Ainley had been drinking at the time of the thefts but was “somewhat ashamed” of what he did to the security guard.

As magistrates pronounced their sentence, Ainley fled from courtroom number two before security staff could take him into custody.

A warrant was issued for his arrest. When he is released from his prison sentence he will have to pay Mr Foard £100 compensation.

Huddersfield Examiner

 Michael Vickers, who has been locked up for 27 months

Michael Vickers, who has been locked up for 27 months



A KEIGHLEY man has been jailed for more than two years for a catalogue of offending, including ramming a car off the road and using someone else’s passport to travel to Spain.

Michael John Vickers, 35, of Shann Crescent, Keighley, was jailed for 27 months for 15 separate offences, which also included spitting in a police officer’s face and a racially aggravated public order offence.

Bradford Crown Court was told the offences relate to an ongoing feud between Vickers’ family and another family in the town.

The first offence to take place was on January 9, 2017, prosecutor David Hall explained.

He said Vickers used racist language towards two Asian men, before punches were exchanged, initiated by Vickers’ son.

Shortly after Vickers and his son got out of their car and continued to be aggressive, punching and kicking the men.

The next offending was three counts of breaching a non-molestation order while at prison on May 19 and June 14, when he sent letters and an abusive Snapchat message to his former partner.

On July 31, 2017, he failed to surrender to custody at Leeds Magistrates Court and was convicted in his absence.

He breached the non-molestation order again on August 4, 2017, when police had to be called to arrest him when he was found hiding in the loft at his former partner’s house.

He resisted arrest and also assaulted a police officer by spitting in his face, and was “argumentative and difficult after being arrested”, said Mr Hall.

On December 9 last year, while driving along Oakworth Road, Keighley, Vickers rammed another vehicle off the road.

He was driving towards a Nissan Micra in his Mitsubishi L200 pick-up truck, causing the car to swerve out of the way. He then turned his truck round and chased the car, ramming it from behind, damaging the car and causing the three passengers minor injuries.

He also admitted sending threatening Snapchat messages to a man who was due to give evidence in a court case, and affray, where he along with three other men drove to another man’s house, before getting out, pointing a stick towards the man in his seventh floor flat, and making a throat-cutting gesture.

On May 8 of this year, he was arrested at Leeds Bradford Airport after flying home from Alicante using a friend’s passport.

Julian White, mitigating, said the offending was due to an ongoing feud between families, and many of the offences were due to frustration from Vickers at the situation.

He said Vickers fled to Alicante in an attempt to lay low to stop the feud, “but realised it was pointless and came back”.

In sentencing, the Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said Vickers had “been appearing at court with depressing regularity”.

He said: “The racially aggravated abuse troubles me, what happened was out of order.

“You used your car as a weapon which is clearly dangerous driving. This court does not approve of feuds.”

Vickers was jailed for six months for the racial incident, one month per non-molestation order breach and six months for affray to be served concurrently.

He also received one month for assaulting a police officer, 12 months for dangerous driving, three months for perverting the course of justice, and five months for using false travel documents to be served consecutively, and no further penalties for failing to surrender and criminal damage.

Telegraph and Argus



A DRUG addict who robbed a college lecturer at knifepoint has been jailed.

Craig Gilroy, 23, of Ribble Road, central Blackpool, took cash, an iPhone and food from his victim when he pounced on the man in an alleyway at the back of a mini market on Palatine Road.

The thug pleaded guilty to robbery at Preston Crown Court yesterday, and was jailed for two years and eight months.

Louise Whaites, prosecuting, said Gilroy approached his victim on November 3 and was holding a glinting eight inch bladed knife by his waist.

Gilroy demanded money, but the lecturer, who was walking home from Blackpool and the Fylde College university campus on Palatine Road, said he did not have any.

Miss Whaites told the court: “The defendant pushed him against the alleyway wall, raised the hand holding the knife and held it to his neck and again requested money.”

The man gave him £10 cash and went on to give him his iPhone, worth £495, and a bag of food.

He waited in the alley until Gilroy had rejoined two other men and moved away from the area, and became extremely distressed when he arrived home.

Gilroy, who was wearing a hooded top at the time, with a scarf up to his nose, later sold the mobile for £20 and bought two bags of heroin.

The thief, who has 65 previous offences on his record, told his partner he had “jacked some guy”, but denied the offence when questioned by police.

Paul Humphries, defending, said his client accepted using the knife to threaten, but denied any intent to use it to cause harm. He also denied threatening to kill the man if he went to the police.

Mr Humphries said: “He tells me he is very sorry. He understands the pain and misery he has caused the male and his family.

“He wishes he could turn the clock back. He was at a low point in his life.

“There was also a food shortage in the house.”

Gilroy had also been on a methadone programme but was not attending at the time.

Judge Philip Butler said: “It must have been a terrifying experience for the man.

“That he suffered no physical injury is very little mitigation because one can imagine the psychological effect”.

From 2011

Blackpool Gazette

A thief who was short of money in the run up to Christmas targeted the same shop two days running.

Craig Gilroy, 30, of George Street, North Shore, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft.

He was given a 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £47 compensation with £85 costs plus £20 victims’ surcharge.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said Gilroy was detained at the B and M Bargains store, Whitegate Drive, on December 23 at noon, after stealing three jars of coffee valued at £14.

CCTV showed he had been in the shop the day before and taken four bottles of liqueur worth £47.

He had a record of 29 previous offences of theft and similar matters and at the time of the offence was on post prison sentence supervision.

Howard Green, defending, said in the run up to Christmas his client was short of money and decided to steal to get some. Gilroy, who had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, was estranged from his family.

He had no permanent accommodation but was allowed to sleep at the address he had given.

He had also missed appointments with the probation service on his post prison sentence supervision.

Blackpool Gazette

A prisoner apologised after making loud banging noises from his cell under Blackpool Magistrates’ Court which could be heard in the courtrooms.

Craig Gilroy, 30, of Chesterfield Road, North Shore, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft.

He was sentenced to a six months community order with up to 15 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service, banned from entering Marks and Spencer, Church Street, for six months and ordered to pay £35 compensation with £85 costs plus £85 victims’ surcharge by District Judge Jane Goodwin sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor, Andrew Robinson, said Gilroy took a woman’s jacket worth £35 from Marks and Spencer on September 16 at 10.15am.

He was chased but got away.

At midday security officers spotted him and when he was apprehended Gilroy was found to have five jackets valued at £175 from Marks and Spencer which he had stolen just minutes earlier.

Gilroy at the time of the thefts was on licence from prison.

He had a criminal record of 99 previous offences.

Brett Chappell, defending, said his client had stolen from Marks and Spencer because his benefits had not yet been in place and he had been using Spice.

Blackpool Gazette

Richard Broughan apologised over arguments in pubs

Richard Broughan apologised over arguments in pubs

A councillor has apologised after arguing with residents.

Stoke-on-Trent City Councillor Richard Broughan was found by the authority’s Standards Committee to have got into a drunken argument over payment at a pub.

He had failed twice to write an apology letter and attend extra training, after being asked to do so by the council.

Mr Broughan has now apologised and confirmed he went to training for alcohol issues and will attend code of conduct sessions.

The Standards Committee upheld a complaint from an unnamed Stoke-on-Trent pub, during which the councillor, who represents the For Britain party on the Abbey and Hulton ward, was said to be “intoxicated and swearing” whilst arguing with a man at the bar, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

In a second complaint about a different incident – which was partially upheld – it was claimed Mr Broughan threatened to have the Travellers Rest pub in Milton shut down.

In a related incident, the councillor accepted a police caution for assault at a Milton fish and chip shop, but this complaint was not upheld by the committee as he was not on council business at the time.

Mr Broughan was previously ruled to bring the authority into disrepute over claims he made sexual remarks about a woman dressed as an elf.

BBC News