Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, denied stirring up hatred, saying her blogs were to educate people

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, denied stirring up hatred, saying her blogs were to educate people

A 79-year-old woman who campaigned to be an MP and praised Hitler on a website blog has been found guilty of stirring up racial hatred.

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, a self-confessed white supremacist and anti-Semite, stood as an independent in Stoke-on-Trent in June’s election.

She described Adolf Hitler as a good man and wished Great Britain to be “white only”.

She was found guilty of three charges at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

The jury found her not guilty of a fourth charge of publishing written material with the intent of stirring up racial hatred.

Judge Mr Recorder Julian Taylor said some of the articles contained the “most vile details” he’d ever read and that she should be “thoroughly ashamed” of herself.

Fielding-Morriss, of Stuart Avenue, Draycott in the Moors, Stoke-on-Trent, stood in a by-election in Stoke Central in February 2017 after the resignation of the then Labour MP Tristram Hunt and again in the general election last summer.

She polled just under 250 votes in both elections.

She is the leader and only member of the Abolish Magna Carta Reinstate Monarchy Party, the court heard, and she commissioned a party website she could blog on where she made the inflammatory comments.

In four blogs between September 2016 and September 2017, she included statements about how asylum-seeking Jews were like termites and made comments about mentally disabled migrant children, jurors were told.

Remarks ‘justified’

Fielding-Morriss admitted to police after her arrest she was a white supremacist, a fascist and an anti-Semite but denied stirring up hatred, saying it was to educate people.

Jurors heard she was not on trial for being racist or a fascist but for whether she intended to stir up racial hatred by publishing the comments.

Representing herself, Fielding-Morriss said her defence fell under freedom of expression, set out in the Human Rights Act, and the special defence of public good and being justified in the interest of science, arts, literature and learning.

Although she accepted several posts were insulting, Fielding-Morriss said had no reason to believe that publishing the remarks would constitute an offence.

Her final submission to the jury was: “Don’t mind if you find me guilty as I’ve done my best to save you from extinction.”

Fielding-Morriss is due to be sentenced on Friday.

She was told by the judge he was “strongly considering” a custodial sentence and she should secure herself legal representation.

BBC News

Disgraced Richard Broughan will still be able to attend meetings

Controversial councillor Richard Broughan has been banned from council premises for three months – except to attend meetings.

Members of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s standards committee imposed the sanction after upholding one complaint and partially upholding a second against the Abbey Hulton and Townsend councillor.

The first complaint – which was fully upheld – related to an incident at a Stoke-on-Trent pub in October 2016.

The second complaint related to an incident at the Travellers Rest pub, in Milton, which was also upheld by the committee. But a subsequent incident at a Milton fish and chip shop was not upheld because Mr Broughan was not on council business at the time.

Mr Broughan did not attend today’s hearings and was tonight unavailable for comment.

The first complaint was lodged by Frank Buxton who described Mr Broughan as ‘intoxicated’ and ‘swearing loudly’. Mr Broughan accepted there had been an issue with the payment for drinks and that he got into an argument with a man at the bar.

But according to Mr Buxton’s statement, Mr Broughan was not served and was asked to leave. Outside the pub he told Mr Buxton he was a councillor and handed him his business card. Mr Buxton subsequently made a formal complaint to the council about Mr Broughan’s behaviour.

Council investigator Clare Clarke ruled Mr Broughan’s behaviour put him in breach of the council’s code of conduct.

Speaking at today’s hearing, she said: “Mr Broughan was acting as a councillor and I have been provided with the business card he presented on the night in question. I was able to meet with the landlord’s son and daughter and the statement from them corroborated that version of events.”

Chairman Ross Irving condemned Mr Broughan and claimed he has a drink problem.

He said: “Officers from the democratic services department have spent a considerable amount of time and effort after difficult meetings where it was clear that Mr Broughan was under the influence of drink. Mr Broughan has a serious problem with alcohol – he cannot go around behaving like he was.”

The committee found Mr Broughan had breached authority rules about treating others with respect and his behaviour had brought the authority into disrepute.

The second complaint related to a verbal spat with a man in January which started in the Travellers Rest and continued at a chip shop. It was also claimed Mr Broughan threatened to have the Travellers Rest shut down. He accepted a police caution for an assault at the chip shop, which meant paying £100 compensation to his victim, apologising to him and attending an alcohol management course.

Mr Broughan has insisted he was not acting in an official capacity. But council investigator Christopher Parry found Mr Broughan was acting in an official capacity at the Travellers Rest and in an unofficial capacity at the takeaway.

The committee found he breached authority rules during the Travellers Rest incident. He must write a letter of apology to the complainants and the chip shop manager. He will also have to attend training.

Mr Irving had earlier likened the committee’s powers to a ‘toothless tiger’.

He added: “Mr Broughan has behaved in an appalling way. This is one of the worst cases the panel has heard for a considerable period of time.”

Stoke Sentinel

A RACIST who once tried to evade justice by fleeing to America has been jailed for nine months for a hate crime against his neighbour.

Judge Paul Worsley QC told Simon Guy Sheppard, who has several convictions for hate crimes, he had expressed such ‘vitriolic’ and racially aggravated views that he merited the sentence.

The judge also imposed a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order to try to prevent the council tenant repeating such comments.

Sheppard, 61, of Cockrett Court, Selby, had told a jury at York Crown Court he was unhappy that a black man had been allocated a flat in his block of flats.

He said he had “barracked” a Sky engineer working on a satellite dish at the neighbour’s flat about the neighbour’s conduct on June 16, 2017, and used a racist word to describe the neighbour ‘because I was being as nasty as I could be.’

He denied intending the neighbour to overhear, using the same word with a swear word to describe his neighbour and running a hate campaign of racist taunts and actions.

The jury convicted him of using racially aggravated words to the engineer but acquitted him of a two-year racial harassment campaign. Sheppard had denied both charges.

His barrister Stephen Grattage said in mitigation that Sheppard had not offended for a protracted period of time and had medical difficulties.

Opening the prosecution, Martin Robertshaw alleged Sheppard persistently used the racist word whenever he saw the neighbour and matters came to a head on June 16.

Giving evidence, Sheppard agreed with Mr Robertshaw the only objection he had against the neighbour was that he was black and not British, adding he “had ‘taken over a white man’s wife.’

He objected to the “taboo” on using the racist word, claimed being called a “racist” was worse and alleged the “system was completely geared” in favour of black people.

Sheppard was convicted last year of a hate crime by complaining to a Selby council officer that the authority was “fly tipping” by “dumping Africans all over”

In 2008, Sheppard claimed asylum in the USA under freedom of speech law when he skipped bail partway through a trial at Leeds Crown Court for publishing racially inflammatory material.

His asylum bid failed and he was deported back to the UK, where he had been convicted in his absence, and was jailed for nearly four years.

York Press

SHORE leave turned into trouble for five drunken sailors who pitched into early-hours fights in Weymouth town centre, a court was told.

A judge at Dorchester Crown Court told the ratings from HMS Cumberland that they should have been jailed for their attacks on people in Weymouth during their night out last August.

But he opted for fines instead after hearing from senior officers that the men had acted out of character and the RN had put them on restricted leave since the incident.

The five – Ricky Stenning, 22, of Brighton Road, Croydon; Mark Bowker, 22, of Brook Croft Road, Manchester; Matthew Newbold, 19, of Broomfield Lane, Sheffield; Thomas Bailey, 19, of Kelly Close, Plymouth; and Andrew Blagg, 20, of Edridge Close, Bushey – returned to court for sentencing after all pleading guilty to affray.

Stenning also admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and Bowker admitted one count of common assault.

Each man was fined £1,400 for affray and ordered to pay £200 costs. Stenning and Bowker were also fined £600 for their counts of assault and to pay compensation to the man they attacked in St Alban Street.

Dorset Echo

From 2009

A racist who made anti-Muslim comments on his mobile to police claimed that he had not intended to make the abusive call, but had sat on his phone.

Jordan Henry, 39, made offensive remarks over the phone to officers just before 7pm on April 28.

Henry, of Ardrossan’s Glasgow Street, appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week and pled guilty to one charge.

The court heard that Henry made a 999 call and said: “Bunch of Muslim b******s” before hanging up. Police called Henry back and he answered saying: “Awright, what’s happening man? When we blowing it up?”

When the police officer identified himself, Henry claimed the call was a mistake and that he had been sitting on his phone. He was then asked to provide his details to which he gave a false name and address. When challenged, he provided the correct information.

Police attended Henry’s address. On coming to the door, he said: “Is this about the phone call regarding the Muslims?” He then stated that it was “only a laugh”.

Later at the police station, Henry made comments such as: “There’s no freedom of speech in this country. Rule Britannia.” During this time his phone rang with Islamic sounding music similar to when Muslims are being called to prayer.

Defending Henry, solicitor Brian Holliman said that his client had been drinking and that he had given false details to the police because he had thought it was his friend “winding him up”.

He added: “He’s made a total mess of this.

“He tells me the first call; the phone had been in his pocket and he had not deliberately called the police. It’s quite apparent when listening to the call, other voices are in the background. It does not appear that it was directed at anyone on the other side of the call. It doesn’t take away that that comment was made.

“It was objectively concerning and alarming. It was a stupid thing to have said and it would have been alarming to the call handler to have heard. He does not hold views relating to religious prejudice.”

Henry was fined £320.

Ardrossan Herald

Michael Sancaster sank his teeth into the face of a 24-year-old man in Newcastle city centre during an altercation

Michael Sancaster who bit off part of a man's eyebrow in a city centre attack (Image: Northumbria Police)

Michael Sancaster who bit off part of a man’s eyebrow in a city centre attack (Image: Northumbria Police)

These are the horrific injuries a man suffered when a thug bit off part of his eyebrow in a city centre attack outside a takeaway.

Violent Michael Sancaster, 33, was drinking alone at the Eazy Street bar but was thrown out after he began to bother a woman on a hen party.

He decided to go to the Magic Flame takeaway following the incident where he then got into an argument with a 24-year-old man.

Sancaster became involved in a physical altercation but was thrown out by takeaway staff before the situation escalated.

However, he lay in wait for his victim outside the takeaway and 20 minutes later approached him to offer a reconciliatory handshake.

The man went to shake his hand only for Sancaster to shout “kidding”, before punching the man in the face and wrestling him to the ground.

A court heard how a fight then ensued during which the violent thug sunk his teeth into the eyebrow of his victim and ripped out a chunk of it.

 The injury inflicted by Michael Sancaster when he bit part of a man's eyebrow in a city centre attack (Image: NCJ Media)

The injury inflicted by Michael Sancaster when he bit part of a man’s eyebrow in a city centre attack (Image: NCJ Media)

Friends of the victim flagged down a passing police car who quickly attended the scene and Sancaster, of Marshall Street, Sunderland, was arrested.

His shocked victim was left with blood pouring from the gaping three-inch wound that required stitches in hospital.

Sancaster later admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and he was jailed for 40 months at Newcastle Crown Court.

Following the case, investigating officer Detective Constable Matt Murray branded Sancaster a “dangerous offender” who deserved to spend time behind bars.

He said: “Michael Sancaster had found himself alone in a bar in the hours before the attack and in my opinion was looking for a fight.

“He had been thrown out of a bar for bothering a hen party and was angry when he made his way to the Magic Flame takeaway.

“There he came upon his victim and his group of friends. He tried to start a fight but they were not interested in engaging with him.

“Instead he waited outside the takeaway and sucker-punched his victim at the same time as they were trying to make peace.

“This was an unprovoked attack that ended up with Sancaster tearing out a piece of his victim’s eyebrow with his teeth.

“It is a violent assault by someone that I would describe as a dangerous offender.

“I am glad to see him handed a lengthy custodial sentence.”

Newcastle Chronicle

A man has been jailed for having explosives, weapons and ammunition following a joint investigation by police in Hertfordshire and Counter Terrorism officers from the Met and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

Warren Snedden, 45 (05.05.73) of Longcroft Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday, 15 June to a total of 10 years’ imprisonment and to serve an additional five years’ on extended licence.

Snedden was previously found guilty on Tuesday, 27 March of having an explosive substance. He also previously pleaded guilty to a number of other offences including: possession of documents containing information likely to be useful for terrorist purposes; possession of firearms and ammunition; and, production of cannabis.

Police were alerted to a suspicious transaction on an online auction site in July 2017, where a number of chemicals associated with the production of the explosive TATP were purchased. Further enquiries linked the purchases to Snedden.

A search warrant was carried out on 29 September 2017 by Hertfordshire Constabulary at his address in Welwyn Garden City, where officers found the chemicals in Snedden’s bedroom, along with a number of tilt switches that are often used in the production of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Police also found component parts of a firearm, an air rifle and over 200 rounds of ammunition – all items Snedden was specifically prohibited from possessing, having previously been convicted of an armed robbery offence in 2001. A small number of cannabis plants were also found growing in his garden.

Snedden’s digital devices were seized and later examined. Detectives found copies of terrorist-related manuals and documents detailing how to make and create home-made ammunition, weapons and explosives.

Snedden was charged and remanded in custody; he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 2 October 2017, and his case was subsequently referred on to Woolwich Crown Court for trial.

Commander Clarke Jarrett, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Snedden never gave a full explanation as to what he was planning to do with the array of chemicals, weaponry and ammunition he had stockpiled. What is clear is that what he was doing was putting both himself, his neighbours and the public in great danger.

“This was a joint investigation between the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command and colleagues from Hertfordshire Constabulary, as well officers from ERSOU’s counter terrorism policing unit. The excellent work across all three has led to a number of dangerous components and weapons being taken out of circulation.

“The case is also a further reminder of the need to be ever-vigilant and I would urge anyone who sees any suspicious activity or behaviour to ACT and report it to police.”

Any suspicious behaviour or activity can be reported via this online tool or by calling the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Detective Superintendent Rob Bartlett, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing for ERSOU, said: “Although we may never understand why Snedden stockpiled these items and was viewing such material, there is no doubt that he posed a very real threat to society.

“This case was a great example of agencies working together in order to prevent someone from causing harm, and removing dangerous weapons and chemicals from circulation.

“The Action Counters Terrorism campaign urges people to be vigilant to suspicious activity such as the ordering of illegal firearms or the gathering of chemical materials so this is a timely reminder for people to be alert and report anything they find concerning.”

Snedden was convicted of the following offences:

Two counts of having an explosive substance; two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon; two counts of possession of a firearm without a certificate; possession of ammunition without a certificate; possession of ammunition when prohibited; possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of crime; three counts of possession of a document containing information useful for terrorist purposes; production of cannabis.

Met Police