A MAN has admitted starting a scuffle which left a mother critically injured with bleeds on the brain.

Dale Hart was due to stand trial at Bolton Crown Court yesterday accused of causing racially aggravated grievous bodily harm to the woman and racially aggravated assault of the woman’s teenage son.

The court heard how the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffers from a disease which affects her kidneys, stops her blood clotting in the usual way and makes her more susceptible to bleeding.

The woman and her three children were walking along Padbury Way on June 3 and Hart was heading along the pavement in the opposite direction.

Judge Martin Walsh was told how 29-year-old Hart believed the woman’s son had bumped into the pram being pushed by his partner and the court was shown CCTV, taken from a nearby bus, of the defendant aggressively confronting the boy. Hart swung a punch at the teenager, and made racially insulting remarks, as the mother and the rest of her family tried to intervene.

A scuffle ensued and, shortly afterwards, the woman collapsed with two subdural haematomas, bleeds on the brain, which needed surgery.

After discussions between the prosecution and defence Hart, of Grantchester Way, Breightmet ,pleaded guilty to affray and racially aggravated assault of the boy.

Colin Buckle, prosecuting, said: “It cannot be said with any degree of certainty when, during the incident, that the subdural haematoma began.” But he added that Hart’s behaviour had started the incident.

Rosalind Scott-Bell, defending, said: “He is a man who has previous convictions, albeit non for the last 10 years. It is out of character for him now to behave in such a way. Something quite clearly went wrong that day.”

Judge Walsh adjourned sentencing until Friday to allow pre-sentence reports to be prepared on Hart. “The fact that I am asking for a report and extending his bail is no indication of the sentence,” he added.

Bolton News

An avowed supporter of neo-Nazi beliefs who took part in the violent and chaotic white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in this city last year was found guilty Friday of first-degree murder for killing a woman by ramming his car through a crowd of counterprotesters.

A jury of seven women and five men began deliberating Friday morning and took just over seven hours to reach its decision that James Alex Fields Jr., 21, of Maumee, Ohio, acted with premeditation when he backed up his 2010 Dodge Challenger and then roared it down a narrow downtown street crowded with counterprotesters, slamming into them and another car. Heather D. Heyer, 32, was killed and 35 others injured, many grievously.

The deadly attack in the early afternoon of August 12, 2017 culminated a dark 24 hours in this quiet college town. It was marked by a menacing torchlight march through the University of Virginia campus the night before, with participants shouting racist and anti-Semitic insults, and wild street battles on the morning of the planned rally between white supremacists and those opposing their ideology.

As the sounds and images of brutal beatings, bloodied faces and hate-filled chants spread across the country and around the world, this city quickly became identified with the emergence of a new order of white supremacy that no longer felt compelled to hide in the shadows or the safety of online anonymity.

Many in their emboldened ranks shouted fascist slogans, displayed Nazi swastikas and Confederate battle flags and extended their arms in Sieg Heil salutes. And many also wore red Make America Great Again hats, saying they were encouraged in the public display of their beliefs by President Trump, who later that week would say that there were “very fine people” on both sides of the demonstration.

Fields’s conviction followed six days of testimony in Charlottesville Circuit Court, where Heyer’s deadly injuries were detailed and survivors of the crash described the chaos and their own injuries. Jeanne Peterson, 38, who limped to the witness stand with the help of bailiffs, said she’d had five surgeries and would have another next year. Wednesday Bowie, a counterprotester in her 20s, said her pelvis was broken in six places. Marcus Martin described pushing his then-fiancee out of the Challenger’s path before he was struck.

Susan Bro, Heyer’s mother, sat near the front of the crowded courtroom every day watching the proceedings overseen by Judge Richard E. Moore. Fields’s mother, Samantha Bloom, sat in her wheelchair on the other side, an island in a sea of her son’s victims and their supporters.

[From wary observer to justice warrior: How Heather Heyer’s death gave her mom a voice]

For both prosecutors and Fields’s defense lawyers, the case was always about intent. Defense attorneys Denise Lunsford and John Hill did not deny Fields drove the car that killed Heyer and injured dozens. But they said it was not out of malice, rather out of fear for his own safety and confusion. They said he regretted his actions immediately, and pointed the jury to his repeated professions of sorrow shortly after his arrest and his uncontrollable sobbing when he learned of the injuries and death he had caused.

“He wasn’t angry, he was scared,” Lunsford told the jury in her closing argument.

Early in the trial the defense said there would be testimony from witnesses concerning Fields’s mental health, but those witnesses were never brought forward.

Prosecutors, though, said Fields was enraged when he drove more than 500 miles from his apartment in Ohio to take part in the rally — and later chose to act on that anger by ramming his two-door muscle car into the crowd. They described Fields “idling, watching” in his Challenger on Fourth Street and surveying a diverse and joyous crowd of marchers a block and a half away that was celebrating the cancellation of the planned rally.

They showed video and presented witnesses testifying that there was no one around Fields’s car when he slowly backed it up the street and then raced it forward down the hill into the unsuspecting crowd. In her final address to the jury Thursday, Senior-Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Nina-Alice Antony showed a close-up of Fields in his car to rebut the idea that he was frightened when he acted.

“This is not the face of someone who is scared,” Antony said. “This is the face of anger, of hatred. It’s the face of malice.”

Jurors were shown a now-deleted Instagram post that Fields shared three months before the crash. “You Have the Right to Protest, But I’m Late for Work,” read the post, accompanied by an image of a car running into a group of people.

As he looked down the crowded street Fields saw a chance, Antony told the jury, to “make his Instagram post a reality.”

Jurors also saw a text exchange shortly before the rally in which Fields told his mother he was planning to attend, and she told him to be careful. “We’re not the one who need to be careful,” Fields replied in a misspelled text message on Aug. 11, 2017. He included an attachment: a meme showing Adolf Hitler.

Lunsford dismissed the significance of the Hitler photo and Fields’s Instagram post and asked the jury to ignore how they felt about Field’s political views when deciding whether to convict him.

“You can’t do that based on the fact that he holds extreme right-wing views,” she said.

April Muñiz, 50, was on Fourth Street when Fields drove into the crowd. She escaped physical injury but is still traumatized by witnessing the violent act and seeing so many people she was celebrating with one moment suffer horrific injuries the next. Muñiz attended every day of the proceedings and said the trial helped her “pull the shattered pieces of that day together.”

The guilty verdict for Fields is not the end of his legal troubles. He still faces a federal trial on hate crimes that carries the possibility of the death penalty.

And the guilty verdict does not bring an end to this city’s misery. The legacy of that hate-filled weekend hangs over the city, a cloud that refuses to blow away. The physical and psychic injuries are slow to fade. The trial surfaced painful memories and emotions for many in this small city who were in the streets that day or have friends and acquaintances who were injured.

The city became the focal point for white supremacists when city council members voted to remove statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson from downtown parks. The statues were erected in the 1920s during the Jim Crow era. After the August violence, the council voted to sell both statues, but they remain in place for now under a court injunction. Confederate heritage supporters sued the city, saying that a Virginia law prohibits removal of the statues.

“A lot of people have worked hard for Aug. 12 not to feel like every day of our lives,” said Seth Wispelwey, a local minister who helped form Congregate Charlottesville, a faith-based group formed in advance of a Ku Klux Klan rally and the Unite the Right rally here last summer. “This trial acutely and minutely relived that weekend, so that has been very difficult for many folks.”

Though Fields’s trial has been the most extensively covered, there are more trials and lawsuits to come, including one against Jason Kessler, a city resident and one of the rally’s organizers. And the fate of the two Confederate statues — the original spark for the violence of 2017 — is scheduled to be decided in a court here in January

Paul Duggan contributed to this report.

Washington Post

James Malcolm also painted a Star of David hanging from a gallows on an MSP’s office and knocked over war graves during his campaign of hate.

A vandal scrawled anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi symbols on an MSPs office window.

James Malcom, 18, used red paint to write the symbols, including a Star of David being hung on gallows, at Rona MacKay’s Kirkintolloch office.

He then caused £14,000 of damage to 27 headstones at a cemetery with a Nazi swastika symbol scribbled on broken glass found at one of them.

During his two-month crime spree, Malcolm yelled “Heil Hitler” at a terrified 16-year-old in a park.

He vandalised Lenzie Moss Nature Reserve and Waverly and Luggie Park in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, and used his blood to write offensive slogans on the wall of a police cell.

James Malcolm scrawled anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi symbols on an MSPs office window

James Malcolm scrawled anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi symbols on an MSPs office window

Malcolm pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to four charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, a charge of maliciously damaging headstones and writing offensive slogans on a cell between June 1 and August 9, this year.

The court heard a member of the public spotted graffiti on a glass notice board at Lenzie Moss Nature Reserve on July 17.

He saw “Glory to marches and enemies to the point of no return” in blue paint, along with Nazi slogans and symbols as well as “James M”, scratched on to a sign among the post.

Procurator fiscal depute Mark Allan said the man was “offended and horrified” and took a picture then reported it to the police.

On July 23, Malcolm graffitied in red paint on a bridge above the main path leading to Luggie Park.

Days later a dog-walker saw “Adolf Hitler”, “All N*****s must hang” and “white power” among other phrases.

Mr Allan said: “She was offended and appalled by what she saw, in particular a picture of the Star too David on a hangman’s noose, which reminded her of a personal tragic event.”

She contacted the police who took a note of the full text on the bridge.

The cost of the damage was £500 for the removal of the graffiti.

On July 24, Malcolm was with a group of younger teenagers who ran off when he began to vandalise the window at Miss MacKay’s office with a red paint marker.

Mr Allan said the writing again included anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi symbols.

The following day an employee “felt uncomfortable about the content” of the vandalism and contacted the police.

Investigations lead to Malcolm and officers went to his house to speak to him.

The court heard when they went into his home they saw the walls were covered with anti-Semitic and Nazi slogans including “death to all jews” and “death to all non whites”.

He was taken to London Road police office to be interviewed.

Mr Allan added: “He initially made no comment, however when being asked about the phrases on the bridge he admitted he was responsible and when shown photographs he began to explain the correct phrases, symbols and icons and provided meaning and context.

“He also stated that he was looking to shock people with his messages so that they would wake up and see the truth.

“He didn’t see anything wrong with what he had done however stated that he was getting punished because it was the establishment’s rules.”

Malcolm said he didn’t intend to hurt anybody and only want get his messages out.

When he was held in custody to attend at court, he smeared swastikas and other symbols on the walls of his cell with his own blood.

Having been bailed at court, Malcolm shouted Nazi phrases at a 16-year-old at Waverly Park and threatened him with a Buckfast bottle.

He left the park after he was told by two passers-by that they had contacted the police.

Mr Allan said that on August 9, police were given information that Malcolm had damaged and pushed over grave stones at Old Aisle Cemetery in Kirkintilloch.

The court heard there are 38 graves of Commonwealth service personnel from the first and second World Wars in the graveyard and this is signposted.

When police arrived they saw several headstones had been pushed over and that the damage appeared fresh with the soil newly turned over.

Mr Allan continued: “A total of 27 headstones within different sections of the cemetery had been damaged.

“Some had been pushed over and some had been broken in two. Two of the headstones appeared to have had glass bottles smashed off them.

“At one of the headstones they found a small piece of broken glass with writing which included a Nazi swastika and Germanic runes.

The court was told the damage is £14,000 although that may go up as some headstones will need more work than others.

When he was later arrested Malcolm told police “I know I shouldn’t have done it, I don’t know why.”

Sheriff Alan MacKenzie deferred sentence until a later date and Malcolm was remanded.

Daily Record

Kevin Crehan arrived just as a corrupt prison officer was busted

Kevin Crehan died at HMP Bristol in Horfield

Kevin Crehan died at HMP Bristol in Horfield

HMP Bristol was awash with illegal drugs and phones when an inmate who died of an overdose was first transferred there – because a corrupt prison officer had been smuggling them in, an inquest has heard.

The scale of the drugs problem at the Horfield prison was laid bare at the inquest into the death of Kevin Crehan – by the very person in charge of security at the jail.

Crehan, 35, died in late December 2016, just weeks after being transferred to the Horfield jail.

The first day of a two-week inquest into his death heard he died of a drugs overdose thanks to a cocktail of five prescription drugs, particularly methadone and diazepam.

An inquest jury heard he had been ‘doing well’ in his efforts to get off drugs during the first months of his sentence, served at Guy’s Marsh Prison in Dorset.

The inquest was told he was transferred to Bristol Prison on the last day of November 2016.

Giving evidence to his inquest was Joanne Hadden, the head of security at HMP Bristol, and she was cross-examined by Mikhael Puar, representing the Crehan family.

He asked her exactly how illegal or illicit drugs found their way into the prison.

She described numerous various ways in which drugs enter the cells, and said that at the end of November 2016, just days before Crehan arrived, a prison officer had been discovered smuggling around £20,000 worth of drugs and phones into the prison to sell to inmates.

That prison officer was subsequently sent to prison themselves, for two and a half years.

It meant that, at around the time Crehan arrived, prisoners had little trouble getting their hands on illegal drugs.

Ms Hadden said that this corrupt route had meant an end to the long-standing practice of friends and family throwing illegal drugs over the walls of the prison, a strategy that had returned in the months after that corrupt officer’s supply route was busted.

But she said that there had been other suspicious officers or staff at the prison. She spoke of other people whose work brings them into the prison, about whom there had been intelligence or suspicion.

“There have been members of staff who don’t work within the prison staff themselves who, while they haven’t been arrested, have left or stopped working there and there’s intelligence that there’s a route that has ended,” she explained.

Mr Puar asked if there was a particular problem at Bristol Prison of staff ‘turning a blind eye’ to prisoners accessing or taking drugs.

“You would like to think not but I’m not naive,” said Ms Hadden. “It’s not large scale though.”

It wasn’t just corrupt staff or civilians who brought drugs in.

“Prisoners can be paid thousands of pounds to return very quickly when they are released on licence, so that they can keep the drugs coming in on the inside,” she said.

“They will be released on licence but then make sure they do something which will mean they are arrested and returned to prison, but will have drugs hidden on them.

“Other routes into the prison are from people throwing them over the wall. In those packages will will be phones and drugs,” she added.

Ms Hadden said that visitors to the prison will bring drugs and phones in, and they have increasingly found that drugs like spice will be secreted within paper sent as letters.

“We found this was happening so acted to stop it. Now instead they will send drugs in legal letters to prisoners, which we are not allowed to open, so we have to check with the individual solicitors’ office to check they actually did send this letter or not

“We’ll close down a route and a new route will open up. It’s a continuing problem we have to face.”

The problem of the tide of drugs entering HMP Horfield has been well-documented before, but has been put into the spotlight with the inquest into the death of Kevin Crehan, which began on Monday.

Toxicology tests revealed Crehan had five prescription drugs in his system: Methadone, diazepam, mirtazapin, gavepentin and pregabalin.

Only one of those – methadone – he was actually prescribed, and even then, both the toxicologist and the Home Office pathologist told the inquest it was likely, on the balance of probabilities, the amount of methadone in his system indicated he’d taken extra on top of the 60mg a day he had been prescribed.

The inquest continues.
Bristol Post

 Gerard Batten, in the white shirt and blue tie, sitting to the left  of Tommy Robinson, with Daniel Thomas to his right, at the Ukip demo planning meeting Credit: Gerard Batten/Twitter

Gerard Batten, in the white shirt and blue tie, sitting to the left of Tommy Robinson, with Daniel Thomas to his right, at the Ukip demo planning meeting Credit: Gerard Batten/Twitter



A far right activist who claims to be one of the organisers of a Ukip rally and who attended a top level meeting with the party’s leader Gerard Batten has a conviction for attempted kidnap, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Daniel Thomas, 29, has been instrumental in promoting “The Brexit Betrayal” march, a London demonstration in which the newly appointed Ukip advisor ‘Tommy Robinson’ is expected to speak on December 9.

In a picture tweeted by Gerard Batten on Friday, Thomas is photographed sat next to Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League, alongside the party leader.

Mr Batten tweeted: “Spent the afternoon planning Brexit Betrayal – Brexit Must Mean Exit March & Rally,” adding that the event was a “leaver family day out”.

It can be revealed Thomas, a father of four, was jailed two years ago for the attempted armed kidnapping of a man in Hampshire.

Daniel Thomas, also known as Danny Tommo, with Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, at a demonstration Credit: Daniel Thomas/Facebook

Daniel Thomas, also known as Danny Tommo, with Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, at a demonstration Credit: Daniel Thomas/Facebook

Last night, Ukip insisted Thomas was there purely as a Robinson’s bodyguard, despite the photograph showing him sat at the conference table with note paper and having a proven record in organising political rallies.

The revelations could prove to be politically damaging because Ukip’s National Executive Committee is under pressure from former leader Nigel Farage to hold a vote of no confidence in Mr Batten’s leadership when it meets in London.

Last week, Mr Farage wrote a letter to the 15-strong NEC urging it to pass a vote of no confidence in Mr Batten’s leadership over the way he had courted Robinson and pursued an anti-Muslim agenda.

Mr Farage told the Sunday Telegraph: “I am absolutely disgusted with the whole thing. I have been warning repeatedly for the past few months that this was a disastrous course of action. And we are now pretty much at the end game.”

Mr Batten insisted he “was not aware” of Thomas’s conviction and asked to be sent details.

A police mugshot of Daniel Thomas after his arrest for attempted kidnapping

A police mugshot of Daniel Thomas after his arrest for attempted kidnapping

In July 2016, a judge condemned Thomas and two other men for an “extraordinarily frightening incident” matched only by its “stupidity” in which they armed themselves with knives and targeted Graham Page at his home on Hayling Island.

Mr Page told Portsmouth Crown Court that Thomas, along with Darren Anscombe, 38, and Leo Smith, 34, burst into the house shouting “you’re coming with us”.

He claimed they wrongly accused him of stealing £10,000 of drugs from them and tried to drag him away.

Mr Page resisted and the men fled, shouting “we’ll be back”. Upon arrest Thomas, from Hampshire, admitted the offence. He was jailed for two years. The two others received 30 month sentences.

Danny Tommo takes a selfie at one of the far right demonstrations he organised

Danny Tommo takes a selfie at one of the far right demonstrations he organised

After his release from prison last year, Thomas adopted the pseudonym Danny Tommo and organised marches throughout the country calling for Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, to be freed from a sentence for contempt of court.

Thomas became an expert at dealing with local authorities and police to set up protests, where he also gave speeches. He is now among the inner circle of Robinson’s associates and this year organised two rallies outside the Old Bailey when Robinson was appearing there.

Last week, he posted a video to his thousands of followers on Facebook promoting the Ukip march as “the beginning of the political revolution”, adding “we are going to be working together”.

He regularly visits London’s Speakers’ Corner where he films himself arguing with Muslims, and was once handcuffed and detained by police before being released.

Daniel Thomas is led away by police from Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London

Daniel Thomas is led away by police from Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London

On Saturday night, Thomas said the attempted kidnapping was committed because he “got involved with some stupid people” after experiencing financial difficulty.

“Everyone deserves a second chance,” he said. “I came out of prison and I have turned my life around.

“I now go to church every Sunday and pray for forgiveness. Hopefully I will better myself over the years and this incident will be forgotten.”

He was privately educated and has worked as a bricklayer, sales and marketing manager and run a web design company. However, he has now stopped working to “dedicate everything to the cause.”

 Daniel Thomas speaks at the demonstration he organised outside the Old Bailey while Tommy Robinson appears at a hearing Credit: Rmv/Zuma Press / eyevine

Daniel Thomas speaks at the demonstration he organised outside the Old Bailey while Tommy Robinson appears at a hearing Credit: Rmv/Zuma Press / eyevine

Thomas, a former tank driver with the King’s Royal Hussars, from which he was medically discharged before seeing active service, added: “What we are trying to do with Ukip is the future.”

A Ukip spokesman said Thomas was at Friday’s meeting “in the capacity of Mr Robinson’s personal security”.

He added: “Mr Thomas is not part of Ukip’s planning team. He has served his sentence and has returned to the world of work just as Lords Archer and Ahmed have returned to the House of Lords after serving serious criminal convictions.”

Daily Telegraph

Matthew Pond carried out the racist abuse at the pub his own mother runs in Ilkeston

Mathew pond pictured leaving court in Derby (Image: Derby Telegraph)

Mathew pond pictured leaving court in Derby (Image: Derby Telegraph)

A drunk man racially-abused a police officer who had been called to a bonfire party at the defendant’s own mother’s Derbyshire pub.

A court heard how Matthew Pond asked the Asian officer “Have you been to prayers, today?” before repeatedly chanting “EDL, EDL” at him in reference to the far-right political group the English Defence League.

Emma Heath-Tilford, prosecuting, said the offence took place at The Bridge Inn, in Bridge Street, Cotmanhay, on November 5.

She said officers were asked to attend to Pond who was “being held down on the floor” by other pub goers due to his “aggressive behaviour”.

‘Clearly intoxicated’

Miss Heath-Tilford said: “He was outside by the bonfire, clearly intoxicated, shouting and swearing.

“Officers tried to talk to him to find out what was happening and he continued to shout and swear so they tried to put handcuffs on him.

“He was resisting them as they arrested him for being drunk and disorderly he turned to PC Atwal and asked him ‘What time did you go to prayers today?’

“Then, while they were waiting for transportation (to take the defendant into custody) he was repeatedly shouting ‘EDL, EDL’ which the officer took as a reference to the English Defence League.”

‘Indian ethnicity’

Miss Heath-Tilford told Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court that PC Atwal is of Indian ethnicity and took what Pond was saying to him as “racial abuse”.

In a victim impact statement, which was read to the court, the officer said: “The language that was used towards me was horrific.

“I should not have to deal with this kind of abuse while on duty as a police officer when all I am trying to do is my job,”

Pond, 32, of Cotmanhay Road, Ilkeston, was arrested, taken into custody and the following day, when he was shown the police’s body camera footage of the incident, said he felt “embarrassed” about his behaviour outside the pub.

‘Extremely embarrassed’

He pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly and to using racially-aggravated abusive, insulting or threatening words or behaviour.

Colleen Webb, for Pond, said her client had written a letter to the court expressing his apologies to PC Atwal about what he said to him.

She said: “He is extremely remorseful and embarrassed.

“That evening he had been at a bonfire event at his mum’s pub and had too much to drink.

“Clearly something triggered his behaviour but he has little recollection of the rest of the evening.

“Since the incident he has had to build bridges with his mother because she owns the Bridge Inn and he has also received some unfortunate remarks (about the incident) on Facebook.”

Magistrates handed Pond a 12-month community order, with 100 hours’ unpaid work.

They also ordered him to pay £100 compensation to PC Atwal, £85 prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Derby Telegraph

Kane Christopher Powell punched and racially abused Mohammed Shah in an attack described by a judge as ‘despicable’

A drunken 20-year-old man racially abused and attacked a taxi driver who had been enjoying a snowball fight.

The attack happened back in March and Kane Christopher Powell at first pretended he was joining in the wintry fun.

But a court heard Powell, of Higher Fore Street, Reduth, became violent and – backed by another man – attacked the taxi driver and called him a ‘paki’.

The two attackers then chased him down the street and tried to force their way into a house where the taxi driver had sought shelter. They smashed the front door while those inside tried to hold it closed.

Powell appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having previously pleaded guilty to common assault and racially aggravated threatening behaviour against Mohammed Shah and criminal damage to a door.

Prosecutor Philip Lee said: “It was late at night on March 1. It had been snowing. Mr Shah is a taxi driver and during a break in the evening, he and other drivers were throwing snow at each other.

“This defendant approached, initially seeming to join in and feigning joviality. ‘I am only joking,’ he said but soon became aggressive. He punched Mr Shah three times in the chest and then another person became involved, a Mr Webb, the absent co-defendant in this case who is wanted on a warrant.”

He said Mr Shah pushed Powell away and started to walk away. He added: “This defendant ran up behind him and punched him once to the face, causing him to fall to the ground with a cut to his lip.”

Mr Shah retreated to seek help from an Indian restaurant in Higher Fore Street but was followed by Powell and Webb.

Mr Lee said Powell was heard shouting ‘pakis’ and said: “Mr Powell accused Mr Shah of doing something sexual with his sister. There is no substance to that allegation, the crown says.”

He said Mr Shah was taken inside the house of the restaurant manager, Sultan Ahmed, but Powell and Webb began shouting and kicking forcibly at the door.

“At one point they forced the door open while the others behind where pinning the door closed. A further assault by the other man took place before both walked away,” he said.

He said Powell was later arrested and said to police: “Yeah, I banged him out, so what?”

The court heard from the Probation Service that Powell was drunk at the time and admitted he was suffering from an alcohol problem. He said that since March he had taken steps to address this problem.

Powell had moved to Cornwall from London at the age of 15, when his mother, who has alcohol issues, refused to pay for his return train ticket. The court heard he had been to school and college and now worked a carer for an autistic friend who he had met while they were both homeless on the streets.

Hollie Gilbery, representing Powell, said he had only a patchy memory of the evening, adding: “He cannot recall using the language described and he was quite shocked at using that language, but does not seek to deny the evidence of the police officers.”

She added that Powell himself had been the victim of a serious assault involving the use of baseball bats the previous summer.

Addressing Powell, Judge Simon Carr said: “As I hope you’ve learned and are prepared to accept, your behaviour that night was despicable. You had been drinking heavily with a group of young men who had also been drinking.”

He said they targeted Mr Shah, adding: “For reasons, in truth only you will be able to understand, you became verbally abusive and violent, assaulting him and punching him a number of times.”

He said Mr Shah and the other men sheltering in the house must have been terrified to have them battering down the door.

Judge Carr said it was unacceptable that the prosecution had taken so long for the case to come to court. He warned that if he had been sentencing Powell sooner, he would have sent him to prison. However, he acknowledged that Powell had taken positive steps since March to turn his life around.

Powell was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also made the subject of a curfew at home between 7pm and 7am for six months and must do 15 days’ work with the Probation Service on a range of programmes looking at a range of issues such as behaviour, impact on victims and substance misuse.

Powell was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to Mr Shah.

Cornwall Live