Sean Gorman, 18, had pleaded guilty to racially aggravated stabbing of Syrian Shabaz Ali

A teenager has been sentenced to seven years and nine months in detention for the racially aggravated attempted murder of a Syrian refugee.

Sean Gorman, 18, previously pleaded guilty to attacking Shabaz Ali, 25, a refugee. He repeatedly stabbed Ali in the chest and stomach during an argument about noise levels in a privately owned homeless hostel in Edinburgh in May.

Passing sentence at the high court in Edinburgh, the judge, Lord Woolman, told Gorman the attack had caused his victim serious physical and psychological harm.

“He cannot work. He can only take short walks with the aid of a walking stick. He awaits further surgery.”

The incident took place at a ground-floor hostel used by Edinburgh council near the Tollcross area of the city. It is thought Ali intervened in a row involving his female cousin, who was also based at the hostel, and a group of people including Gorman, who was then 17.

Gorman also pleaded guilty to the racially aggravated alarm of a woman, thought to be Ali’s cousin. Ali’s father claimed he could hear his son’s attackers shout: “Why are you still here? Why are you not back in your own country?”

The family came from Kobanî in northern Syria, and had been living in Scotland for five years. At the time of the attack, Ali was working as a barber in the Portobello area of Edinburgh and staying in a hostel as he looked for a new home.

Campaigners with Positive Action in Housing (PAIH), a Glasgow-based charity that launched a fundraising campaign for the family, said at the time of the attack that it had heard numerous reports of refugee families in Midlothian near Edinburgh suffering racist abuse and stone-throwing incidents, as well as instances in other parts of Scotland.

Following the sentencing, DCI Paul Grainger of Police Scotland said: “Gorman used appalling racist language before perpetrating significant violence against the victim, who was left fighting for his life.

“I cannot condemn the circumstances of this case strongly enough. Edinburgh thrives on diversity and Gorman’s actions do not in any way reflect the values of our city.

“Significant support has been shown across the capital for the victim and his family, which is far more representative of the strength of inclusivity across our communities.”

Issuing a statement on behalf of Ali’s father, Sivan, the solicitor Aamer Anwar said: “Shabaz’s father welcomes the significant sentence imposed today by Lord Woolman and the message sent out to violent racists like Sean Gorman.”

Describing Shabaz as “a hardworking, peaceful young man who tried to rebuild his life after Syria”, the statement also repeated allegations that, days before the attack, the victim had told Edinburgh council that he felt unsafe in his temporary accommodation “but his pleas for help were ignored”. The council has insisted it takes the safety of hostel residents “very seriously”.

The Guardian

Peter Morgan had denied the charges

Peter Morgan had denied the charges

A man found in possession of explosive items and extreme right-wing paraphernalia at a flat in Edinburgh has been today (Thursday 16th August 2018) been jailed.

At Edinburgh High Court on Friday 13th July 2018, Peter Morgan was found guilty of two offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 and one offence under the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

Officers were conducting enquiries into the death of a teenage woman, who was found unconscious within a stairwell at a block of flats in Taylor Place in July 2017, when Morgan’s offences were discovered.

As part of officers’ enquiries into the full circumstances surrounding her death, entry was forced to the 35-year-old’s property.

During the search of the flat, officers became aware of extremist material and Police Scotland’s Organised Crime & Counter Terrorism Unit (OCCTU) were immediately called in to investigate, supported by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

A number of items, which could be used to construct an explosive device, were seized along with phones and computer equipment.

Following analysis of these, it was established that Morgan had been researching racist content and information on constructing explosives online.

Morgan was arrested and has been remanded in custody since this time. At Edinburgh High Court, he has now been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Detective Inspector Jackie Gilfillan from OCCTU said: “The sentence handed to Morgan reflects the serious nature of his crimes and the commitment of both Police Scotland and the Crown Office to removing extremist threats.

“While Morgan had not created any viable devices within his home, the intent to construct an object that could cause serious harm and fear within our communities was clear.

“The national Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) campaign recognises the important role the public have to play in preventing terrorism and, whenever such individuals come to our attention, a thorough investigation will be undertaken to bring them to justice.

“While on this occasion we were able to prevent any danger to the public, I’d encourage anyone with concerns about a person viewing extremist or terrorist material to report this to Police Scotland on 101 or to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.”

Police Scotland

Morgan was photographed at a white pride rally in Manchester in 2015

Morgan was photographed at a white pride rally in Manchester in 2015

A right-wing extremist caught with a bomb-making kit in his Edinburgh flat has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Explosive powder, fuses and a glass bottle studded with lead shot were found when police raided Peter Morgan’s home in Meadowbank last July.

During his trial a bomb disposal expert told the court the material could have been turned into an explosive device capable of causing horrific injuries.

A Nazi flag, far-right literature and terrorist training manuals were found.

Judge Lord Boyd told the 35-year-old the charges he had been convicted of threatened “the safety of the public, our values as a democracy and strike at the dignity and respect which all members of our community are entitled to expect whatever their race or religion”.

He will spend a further three years under supervision at the end of his 12-year sentence.

Lord Boyd told Morgan at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You have been convicted of two charges under the Terrorism Act and one charge under the Explosives Substances Act 1883.

“You assert your right to freedom of speech. However abhorrent some may find your views, you are entitled to hold them.

“What you are not entitled to do is to act on these views for the purpose of committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

“Of most concern is that you not only possessed the ingredients for the making of an improvised explosive device but you had begun to assemble it.”

The judge said it was clear the jury at Morgan’s earlier trial had rejected his claim during his evidence that he only planned to blow up a frozen turkey and film it for YouTube.

Lord Boyd pointed out that while Morgan had told a social worker who prepared a background report that he would never collect such material again, he did not disavow his political views.

Police also discovered that Morgan had downloaded an international application form to become “a loyal white knight of the Ku Klux Klan”.

He had amassed a collection of neo-Nazi, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic and racist material at his home.

Peter Morgan had denied the charges

Peter Morgan had denied the charges

Morgan’s trial heard that he was “quite proud” to be part of the Scottish Defence League and travelled with others from the far right group to attend a white pride rally in Manchester in 2015.

He was photographed at the march with his hood up carrying a Scottish saltire flag and holding a “white pride worldwide” poster.

Morgan had earlier denied committing offences under the Terrorism Act and Explosives Substances Act but was found guilty of three offences.

Between April 2012 and July last year at his flat in Taylor Place, in Edinburgh, he possessed items which gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that it was for a purpose “connected with the commission, preparation of instigation of an act of terrorism”.

The court heard emergency services originally attended at the block of flats where he lived on 2 July 2017 after a young woman collapsed and was found to have no pulse.

A resident said that she previously saw the woman at Morgan’s flat and police decided to force entry because of concern for others.

No one was in the flat at the time but officers noted drugs paraphernalia such as needles and scales and the premises were secured. Morgan was later seen nearby.

A large quantity of commercial fireworks were found, some of which had been taken apart.

A dagger bearing the symbol of an eagle mounted on a swastika was recovered under a sofa in the living room.

Defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder said Morgan had an “atrocious” upbringing, had spent time in care homes and foster placements and began abusing drugs at the age of 11.

He told the court: “He is not shy about the political and social views that he said he legitimately holds.”

Fuses were among the things found in Morgan's possessions

Fuses were among the things found in Morgan’s possessions

BBC News

 Daniel Lewis at an NF demo in Wigan. Picture from Hope Not Hate


Daniel Lewis at an NF demo in Wigan. Picture from Hope Not Hate

A Wigan man jailed for threatening shop staff with a weapon is also a notorious local far-right leader, it emerged today.

Anti-extremism organisations and politicians reacted with relief to the news Daniel Lewis, of Wigan Lane, is now behind bars.

Vile social media posts highlighted online show Lewis making comments about the Holocaust which are too offensive to print, appearing at racist hate events and posing with flags bearing swastikas.

The 31-year-old, who is the Wigan leader of extreme far-right group the National Front and has links to the infamous North West Infidels, has also previously been unmasked by anti-racism campaigning organisation Hope Not Hate as a Holocaust denier.

Lewis was finally put behind bars for four and a half years last Thursday following an incident in which he and another man wore balaclavas and brandished an axe and a claw hammer as they demanded terrified staff at the Tesco store on Gidlow Lane open the tills to give them money.

Hope Not Hate today said Lewis being put in prison would be a massive relief to those in Wigan and elsewhere he has previously targeted for hatred.

The organisation’s head of research Matthew Collins said: “He is absolutely feral. He was out of control and had been for quite a while.

“It wasn’t just going out and robbing shops, he was a persistent danger to women in Wigan. He stalked and attacked Labour Party members and the police were called on a number of occasions.

“He was involved with the National Front, he was the organiser for them in Wigan and one of a number of organisers across the North West.

“He was also aligned to the North West Infidels, who have particularly made a name for themselves intimidating women.

“We are very happy that he is off the streets. We hope he takes the time to reflect on his behaviour and I’m sure he will because he is in prison.”

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, who has herself been targeted for sickening abuse by Lewis, called for more funding to be given to crack down on the far-right’s activities.

Ms Nandy said: “The vital work that Hope Not Hate and the police do to keep the public safe from these violent individuals should be commended.

“With the police under serious strain from nearly a decade of cuts and several threats involving the far right in recent years, it is clear they need a properly resourced, national strategy to help them in this crucial work.”

As news broke of Lewis’ jail sentence further details about his trail of appalling comments and actions came to light once more.

That included calling for violent actions against gay people, carrying out acts of harassment against people in Wigan and involvement in campaigns making horrific threats towards asylum seekers and refugees.

Hope Not Hate also previously reported on disgusting Facebook comments and photographs on Lewis’ account showing him smirking at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp while the accompanying comments mocked Holocaust victims and denied the genocide.

Photographs were shared of Lewis playing a prominent role in a National Front demo in Wigan town centre in 2015 in which extremists, some of them giving Nazi salutes, clashed with a large counter-protest and police.

The NF attempted to hold a similar anti-immigration event in the borough in 2016 but it was called off at the last minute.

The law caught up with Lewis following the violent incident on May 10 this year, in which he and his co-offender emptied large amounts of cash, alcohol and cigarettes before driving off.

Responding to last week’s sentencing, Detective Sergeant Nigel Rigby of GMP’s Wigan borough said: “These men didn’t just demand money, they held an axe to an innocent woman’s throat as they made their threats.

“They caused immense fear and I am grateful we were able to get them in custody 24 hours after the terrifying ordeal.”

Wigan Today

The vice president of the Aryan Strikeforce has become the fourth member of the white nationalist organization to plead guilty to a role in a scheme to transport weapons and drugs across state lines.

Steven D. Davis, 46, of Bumpass, Va., Friday entered his plea in U.S. Middle District Court to a charge of possession of firearms by a convicted felon. He remains detained pending sentencing.

He admitted in early October 2016 he traveled from Virginia to Potter County with a shotgun and a 9mm pistol and gave them to another strikeforce member who had served 10 years for aggravated assault.

Strikeforce members met in Potter County in September and October of that year, Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel said.

The three who previously pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge are Joshua Michael Steever, of Manville, N.J., Connor Drew Dikes of Silver Spring, Md., and Henry Lambert David of the Allentown area. None of them has been sentenced.

They admitted taking part in planning meetings in the Harrisburg area with undercover FBI employees and in 2017 participating in the transportation of imitation crystal methamphetamine and machine gun parts from Pennsylvania to Maryland.

As he has done at previous court proceedings involving strikeforce members, Rocktashel cited the organization’s stated mission “to protect the honor of our women, children and the future of our race and nation” using violence as a necessary tool.

Of the six indicted, only Jacob Marks Robards of Bethlehem and Justin Daniel Lough of Waynesboro, Va., are awaiting trial.

Lough is fighting his indictment accusing the government of outrageous conduct by conceiving, planning and directing the scheme. Rocktashel alleges Lough was a willing participant.

Penn Live

Balaclava-clad robbers have been jailed after threatening a shop assistant with an axe.

Late on Thursday May 10, Daniel Lewis (19/04/1987) of Wigan Lane, Wigan and Stephen Warburton (22/04/1973) of Menses Avenue, Wigan walked into a Tesco Express on Gidlow Lane, one wearing a balaclava that was made out of a trouser leg, while the other’s balaclava was inside out.

Daniel Lewis

Daniel Lewis

Despite their amateur appearance, these men were brandishing an axe and a claw hammer, and held the axe to one of the staff member’s throats as they demanded money from the tills.

The violent duo then emptied the contents of the tills into a holdall that they had brought with them, throwing in alcohol and cigarettes.

They then fled from the scene in a silver Renault Clio.

Officers soon located this Clio and discovered the cash, cigarettes, claw hammer and axe that had been used in the robbery, alongside a receipt for the purchase of the weapons and the makeshift balaclavas.

With the evidence mounted against them, the duo were arrested later that day for robbery and refused to comment on whether they were responsible for the terrifying incident.

Warburton and Lewis pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and were both sentenced yesterday, Thursday 9 August 2018, at Bolton Crown Court.

Warburton was sentenced to 6 and a half years for passion of a bladed article, assault and robbery, while Lewis was sentenced to four and a half years for robbery.

Detective Sergeant Nigel Rigby of GMP’s Wigan borough, said: “These men didn’t just demand money, they held an axe to an innocent woman’s throat as they made their threats.

“They caused immense fear, taking earnings that did not belong to them, and I am grateful we were able to get them in custody 24 hours after the terrifying ordeal.

“Warburton and Lewis will now spend the next 11 years behind bars, facing the consequences of their violent actions.”

Wigan Today

It happened in May this year on Menses Avenue

It happened in May this year on Menses Avenue

31 year old Daniel Lewis of Wigan Lane, Wigan and 45 year old Stephen Warburton of Menses Avenue walked into a Tesco on Gidlow Lane, one wearing a balaclava that was made out of a trouser leg, while the other’s balaclava was inside out.

Despite their amateur appearance, these men were brandishing an axe and a claw hammer, and held the axe to one of the staff member’s throats as they demanded money from the tills.

The violent duo then emptied the contents of the tills into a holdall that they had brought with them, throwing in alcohol and cigarettes.

They then fled from the scene in a silver Renault Clio.

Officers soon located this Clio and discovered the cash, cigarettes, claw hammer and axe that had been used in the robbery, alongside a receipt for the purchase of the weapons and the makeshift balaclavas.

With the evidence mounted against them, the duo were arrested later that day for robbery and refused to comment on whether they were responsible for the terrifying incident.

Warburton and Lewis pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and were both sentenced yesterday, Thursday 9 August 2018, at Bolton Crown Court.

Warburton was sentenced to 6 and a half years for passion of a bladed article, assault and robbery, while Lewis was sentenced to four and a half years for robbery.

Detective Sergeant Nigel Rigby of GMP’s Wigan borough, said: “These men didn’t just demand money, they held an axe to an innocent woman’s throat as they made their threats.

“They caused immense fear, taking earnings that did not belong to them, and I am grateful we were able to get them in custody 24 hours after the terrifying ordeal.

“Warburton and Lewis will now spend the next 11 years behind bars, facing the consequences of their violent actions.”

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