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A convicted football hooligan from Portsmouth launched an unprovoked attack on Guardian columnist and left-wing activist Owen Jones because of his sexuality and political views, a judge has ruled.

James Healy, 40, of Laburnum Grove in Portsmouth

James Healy, 40, of Laburnum Grove in Portsmouth

James Healy, 40, of Laburnum Grove, North End, admitted assaulting Mr Jones outside a pub in August last year, but claimed he ‘had the hump’ because the victim had bumped into him and spilled his drink.

But the Chelsea FC fan – who has a string of convictions for football-related violence – denied being motivated by Mr Jones’s sexuality or political campaigning, claiming he didn’t even know who he was.

Assaults deemed to be hate crimes can attract significantly longer sentences from the courts.

Following his arrest, a search of Healy’s home found a number of items connected to far-right ideology including a collection of pin badges linked to white supremacist groups.

Following a two-day hearing to determine Healy’s motive, Recorder Judge Anne Studd QC ruled on Friday that the unprovoked attack could only be motivated by Mr Jones’s media profile as a left-wing polemicist.

She said Healy had ‘plenty of opportunity to remonstrate’ with Mr Jones in the pub if he had unwittingly spilled his drink, and made no attempt to do so.

Instead he followed him outside and kicked him to the floor from behind.

She said: ‘Mr Jones can be seen (on CCTV) to leave the premises followed by Mr Healy and his co-defendants who can be seen looking across – he doesn’t approach him to remonstrate with him about the spilled beer.

This was a deliberate and targeted attack on Mr Jones personally.’

She continued: ‘I don’t find that this was motivated by a drink spillage – this was a brutal, surprise assault with no warning what so ever. It was clearly targeted.

‘I am satisfied so that I am sure that (Healy) holds particular beliefs that are normally associated with the far right wing.’

She added: ‘I therefore propose to sentence Mr Healy on the basis that this was a wholly unprovoked attack on Mr Jones by reason of his widely published left-wing beliefs by a man who has demonstrable right-wing sympathies.’

Mr Jones suffered cuts and swelling to his back and head, and bruises all down his body in the incident outside the Lexington pub on the Pentonville Road in Islington, north London, on August 17.

Among the incriminating items found at Healy’s home was a photograph of him as a teenager allegedly performing a Nazi salute. Healy also had a football hooligan flag adorned with SS symbols.

One of the items bore the name of the Combat 18 neo-Nazi group, whose stated aims include ‘execute all queers’, the court heard.

A birthday card featuring a St George’s flag, skull and crossbones and the words: ‘You have been nominated and dealt with by the Chelsea Headhunters’, in reference to the notorious hooligan firm, was also recovered.

Healy said the items dated back to his time in the violent Chelsea Youth Firm.

He claimed he had kept them because he is a hoarder, and that he did not know the memorabilia’s connection to the far-right and white supremacist movements.

Asked if he held homophobic or racist views, he replied: ‘No, it’s 2020.’

Healy said that, in the photograph in which he is allegedly performing a Nazi salute, his arm is held out to the right to show off his Chelsea Youth Firm tattoo.

‘I’ve looked up the Nazi salute online, I’ve never seen a picture where their arm is out to the side – it’s always out in front,’ he said.

In her ruling, Judge Studd accepted that it could not be proven Healy was performing a Nazi salute in the picture.

In his evidence, Mr Jones said: ‘I’m an unapologetic socialist, I’m an anti-racist, I’m an anti-fascist and I’ve consistently used my profile to advocate left-wing causes.’

Mr Jones has almost one million Twitter followers, 125,000 followers on Instagram and 350,000 followers on Facebook.

‘Almost every single day I am the subject of an unrelenting campaign (of abuse) by far-right sympathisers,’ he said.

He added: ‘In January last year, I was informed by an anti-fascist organisation I had become one of the main hate figures of online far-right extreme Facebook groups.’

The level of threat prompted the Guardian to hire security team for him.

Mr Jones denied spilling Healy’s drink, insisting: ‘That absolutely did not happen.

‘If I thought I had accidentally spilled someone’s drink, I would apologise profusely, I would say ‘I’m so sorry’ and I would insist – whether they liked it or not – on buying them another drink.’

The defendant pleaded guilty to affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at a previous hearing.

Healy’s co-defendants Charlie Ambrose, 30, from Brighton, and Liam Tracey, 34, from Camden, who have previously pleaded guilty to affray over the incident, are due to be sentence on February 11.

Ambrose and Tracey previously both denied a charge of ABH and the charge was left to lie on file, with prosecutors accepting their actions were not motivated by homophobia.

A date for Healy’s sentencing has yet to be set.

Portsmouth News

‘I am moments away from constructing bombs and weapons, how exciting,’ boy wrote in diary

A teenage neo-Nazi who planned terror attacks on synagogues and other targets in Durham has been jailed.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison after writing a manifesto aiming to inspire other terrorists.

He detailed plans to firebomb synagogues and other buildings as part of what he believed was an upcoming “race war”.

Before being arrested, he wrote that his upcoming 12 weeks of study leave would be “showtime”.

“I think I am moments away from constructing bombs and weapons, how exciting,” a diary entry added.

The boy was convicted of six terror offences, including preparing acts of terrorism, disseminating terrorist publications and possessing material for terrorist purposes.

When he was arrested in March, police found a piece of paper in his pocket containing a message on code that said: “Killing is probably easier than your paranoid mind thinks. You’re just not used to it … good hunting Friday.”

During his arrest, the boy was carrying a second piece of paper containing a drawing of a fellow school pupil being beheaded.

Prosecutors said he had called for the student’s death, and had described how he wanted to violently attack a second pupil – who he thought was gay – as “judgement exacted on the lowest of the low, as deserved”.

Michelle Nelson QC told Manchester Crown Court: “Assaults upon fellow students, who had no place in the new world order, was in line with that; it was something he saw as part of generating race war and chaos.”

After reading Norway shooter Anders Breivik’s manifesto, which called for lone wolf terror attacks to fight the “genocide” of white people, the teenager started drafting his own.

The document was entitled: “Storm 88: A manual for practical sensible guerrilla warfare against the kike [offensive term for Jewish] system in Durham city area, sieg hiel.”

It listed proposed attack targets in Durham, including schools, public transport and council buildings.

Manifestos have also been written by far-right terrorists who carried out attacks including Halle, El Paso and Christchurch.

Writing on the Fascist Forge forum, the teenager claimed a race war was “inevitable”, and called himself an “accelerationist”.

Prosecutors said they had not identified a “particular act or acts” of terrorism that the boy was going to commit, but that he had been preparing for some kind of atrocity since October 2017.

He denied all offences, claiming he had adopted the terrorist persona for “shock value” and did not want to carry out attacks, but was convicted unanimously of all charges in November.

The teenager wrote that an extremist contact had warned him of an imminent police raid a month before his arrest, prompting him to start deleting files from his devices.

At his first appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last April, prosecutor Kristel Pous said: “Between February 10 to 14, he was tipped off by the Fascist Forge network that the police raid was imminent, and he proceeded to delete all his files.”

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said she was “very concerned” and asked police to investigate the claim.

A spokeswoman for Counter Terrorism Policing North East said no further evidence was found, adding: “Although there is evidence he did delete a number of files around 14 February, there’s no actual evidence to support the fact he was tipped off or implicating a third party. All the files deleted at that time were recovered.”

The teenager demonstrated a fascination with mass killers including Breivik, the Oklahoma bomber, Columbine shooters and Unabomber.

The court heard that the boy had been an “adherent of a right-wing ideology” since the age of 13, and that his views became more extreme as he immersed himself in fascist websites and forums.

By 2017, he was describing himself as a neo-Nazi and operated a since-deleted Twitter account.

His racist and homophobic tweets drew the attention of police but when he was interviewed in September that year, he claimed they were posted “for a laugh”.

The boy claimed he was not an extremist, but started another Twitter account and continued communicating with contacts, while accessing a “large quantity of extreme right-wing literature”.

The court heard he had steeped himself in antisemitic conspiracy theories and ranted about Jewish school governors, MPs and the press.

In August 2018, he described himself as a “radical national socialist” and follower of Adolf Hitler, saying he had read Mein Kampf and had a photo of the Nazi leader on his phone.

Prosecutors said the boy obtained and shared terror manuals on making explosives and firearms on the Ironmarch and Fascist Forge online forums, but also drew on jihadi propaganda.

He had searched for Isis execution videos and used al-Qaeda literature, and a jihadi guide on making deadly poisons, including ricin.

By November 2018, he had progressed to extreme occult neo-Nazism, which has gained traction in branches of the UK’s banned National Action terrorist group, and voiced support for satanism.

The teenager declared his support for the “siege” ideology, which was started by an American neo-Nazi and advocates the use of terror attacks to trigger a race war and chaos.

“Democracy is very much a dead system; political violence therefore, can only help us,” he wrote. “The white race is being silently genocided, the west is dying.”

Counterterror police have named right-wing extremism as the fastest-growing terror threat to the UK, although Islamists still make up the largest proportion of investigations.

The largest group of people referred to the Prevent counter-extremism programme are individuals with a “mixed, unstable or unclear ideology”, including obsessions with violence and massacres.

Of the 24 terror plots foiled by security services since March 2017, 16 were Islamist and eight were far right.

The Independent

There were shouts of “democracy is dead” and “shame on you” from Amy Dalla Mura and a packed public gallery when Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot gave her sentencing remarks on Monday.

A Brexiteer who repeatedly harassed Anna Soubry before standing against her in the general election has been jailed for 28 days.

Amy Dalla Mura, 56, targeted Ms Soubry between January and March this year, turning up at events and calling her a “traitor” on live television, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

Former MP Ms Soubry, a Remainer who lost her Broxtowe seat while standing for the Independent Group for Change, said she was left “frightened” following the incidents.

Dalla Mura, of Eton Villas, Hove, claimed that her behaviour was politically motivated and did not accept it was frightening, despite standing in the general election in the same constituency as Ms Soubry.

There were shouts of “democracy is dead” and “shame on you” from Dalla Mura and a packed public gallery when Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot gave her sentencing remarks on Monday.

“Ever since the murder of Jo Cox, MPs no longer feel able to put up with sustained intimidation,” she said.

“You showed an obsession and fixation with Ms Soubry which has led you to bullying and intimidating, and harassing, this now-ex MP for Broxtowe.”

Judge Arbuthnot said the actions “stop ordinary, decent people” becoming MPs.

“This damages our democracy. Because who wants to put up with this sort of harassment?” she added.

Frightening

Ahead of the sentencing, Judge Arbuthnot questioned why Dalla Mura had chosen to stand in Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire, just days after Ms Soubry told the trial she feared for her safety following the defendant’s actions.

“It was hard to see how (Dalla Mura) couldn’t have understood it was frightening,” Judge Arbuthnot said.

“Your client then stood against her in Broxtowe. That was the most serious point, that someone had been fixated not with Brexit but with Ms Soubry.

“Most people go and wave flags and shout. They don’t intimidate people right in their faces.”

She added: “Anyone with any sense would say it’s not a good time. I don’t mind standing in Hove but certainly not in Broxtowe.”

English Democrats

Ms Soubry, who became a target for Brexiteers after quitting the Tory party earlier this year, lost her seat to Conservative candidate Darren Henry after coming third in the general election, receiving some 4,668 votes.

Dalla Mura stood for the English Democrats and received 432 votes.

On January 23, Dalla Mura disrupted an event where Ms Soubry was speaking, repeatedly interrupting her and live streaming the event on Facebook.

Dalla Mura had to be escorted from the premises – the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in central London – before the event could continue.

A second incident involved the 56-year-old branding Ms Soubry a “traitor” as she gave a live television interview to BBC’s Newsnight in Parliament’s Central Lobby, while once again using her mobile phone to video her.

The defendant was asked to stop filming in the premises, as it is not permitted, and left after police officers attended.

A week later, on March 22, Dalla Mura tried to intercept the MP outside the Cabinet Office in Westminster saying she wanted to “have a word”, but did not manage to find her.

London Economic



A man who amassed an arsenal of weapons including explosives, knives and rocket mortars has been jailed for 30 months.

Simon Flint was arrested after a row with youths near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in June in which he pointed a loaded crossbow at them.

He had earlier admitted affray and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 42-year-old, of Meadowfield Drive, Eaglescliffe, had a fixation with weapons.

After his arrest, police searched a camper van in which he was living and found a “significant collection” of weapons, which also included swords, pepper spray and chemicals that could be used to make improvised explosive devices.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, told the court police searched his electronic devices and found videos of him blowing up an apple, a cucumber and a laptop computer.

He told police he thought the effect was “hilarious”, but he understood it may be illegal.

The court heard he told officers he had a fascination with “making things go bang”.

‘Unorthodox interests’

Flint had got into a row with some youths and when a dog walker went to be a peace-maker, the defendant pointed his crossbow at them, Mr Perks said.

Mr Perks said Flint was found to possess a number of stab vests, adding: “I think these acquisitions stem from a skewed sense of his need to defend himself.”

Mark Styles, defending, said: “His unorthodox interests have led to the situation he is now in.

“We have to concede he is certainly eccentric but he is not mentally ill.”

Judge Howard Crowson jailed him for two-and-a-half years, giving Flint credit for his guilty pleas.

Outside court, Gary Fotherill of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Flint appears to have been motivated by a compulsion to master the technical process of constructing improvised explosive devices and to use these to blow up inanimate objects for his own entertainment.”

BBC News

‘I do apologise, I’m actually a married man with kids, but City fans just rub me up the wrong way’

A ‘married man with kids’ who went on a racist, foul-mouthed rant on the tram on derby day faces Christmas behind bars.

Video footage of Ryan John Healey shouting that Manchester City is a ‘tiny club with a tiny stadium, run by p**i’s with p***i money’ was shared widely on social media at the weekend.

The clip was taken by a passenger on a tram travelling on the Bury Metrolink line at 5.45pm on Saturday (December 7), shortly after the game kicked off at the Etihad Stadium.

In the video, Healey, 29, can be heard shouting ’20 times… 20′ – a reference to how many times Manchester United have won the top-flight title.

He is later heard saying: “I do apologise, I’m actually a married man with kids, but City fans just rub me up the wrong way.

“With their s**t stadium and s**t fans.”

In the footage, passengers can be heard repeatedly asking Healey to be quiet.

One is heard telling him ‘you’re a racist’ and ‘you’re disgusting’.

Healey then appears to say: “Nah, it’s run by p**i money.

“You like blowing up the arena do you? That’s what funds you.”

He later adds: “We’ve got more class in the Stretford End than the entire s*******e you can’t fill.

“You’re a f*****g embarrassment to Manchester. You haven’t even got any points to back it up.

“If this was a Salford tram with United fans, you’d have got f****** leathered by now.

“All the tourists on here can take your shopping bags, take your f******g empty seats and f*** off.”

The game, which kicked off at 5.30pm, ended in a 2-1 win for United.

Healey, of Porchester Drive, Radcliffe, Bury, appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (December 12).

He pleaded guilty to a racially-aggravated public order offence and was sentenced to five weeks in prison and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £122.

An application was also made for a Criminal Behaviour Order and Football Banning Order. The court will deal with those matters on January 24.

Chief Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith, of GMP’s Transport Unit, said: “We do not tolerate any form of racism or hate crime and will deal with incidents like this accordingly.”

Healey’s arrest was one of a handful by the force’s new, dedicated transport team.

Chf Insp Bailey-Smith added: “One of the aims of the Transport Unit is to improve public confidence and reduce criminality and anti-social behaviour across the transport systems of Greater Manchester.

“These results prove that even within the first month of being established, the unit are already making a huge impact in improving safety and increasing confidence to those who use public transport.

“The unit works in partnership with local authorities and TfGM to ensure an effective and proactive police presence that can provide a response function to deal with ongoing crimes and incidents affecting public transport.

“My officers are there to keep the public safe, so if you are concerned about anyone acting suspiciously or you require help, don’t be afraid of approaching them.”

Manchester Evening News

White supremacist Michael O’Neill, aged 61, made jibes at everyone from Taylor Swift to Sadiq Khan

Michael O'Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child

Michael O’Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child

A Nazi has been jailed for a campaign of race hate on social media which included jibes at everyone from London mayor Sadiq Khan to pop superstar Taylor Swift.

White supremacist Michael O’Neill, aged 61, was arrested after an investigation by counter-terrorism police watching far-right groups.

He spent three years using Facebook and Twitter to spread racial abuse.

O’Neill was continually blocked by the social media giants for posting offensive material, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

But he created accounts under slightly different names so he could go on spouting filth.

He posted a picture of Tyler Swift with her arm around a black child and claimed she could catch Down’s Syndrome.

Jailing him for two years for his racist messages, Judge James Townsend said that he needed to pass a sentence to deter others.

He told the defendant the posts went on for a prolonged period of nearly three years and were available for all to see.

Police said after the case that the sentence should deter others from posting extreme views.

O’Neill, of Redhill Close, Ernesettle, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of distributing written material on social media likely to stir up racial hatred.

But he was found guilty after a four-day trial last month.

The jury saw more than 100 bizarre and offensive Facebook posts and tweets from between 2015 and 2018.

Simon Burns, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said among the more worrying posts was a suggestion that black Labour front bencher Diane Abbott “needed dispatching”.

O’Neill, with links to the National Front and Combat 18, also said Mr Khan should ‘f*** off and die’.

The barrister also reminded the judge that O’Neill said Pakistani Muslims should be “wiped out”.

O’Neill told a court that a tattoo of the number 1488 – linked to Hitler – was nothing to do with Nazis and was just a reminder of his PIN.

O’Neill said that he had the ink done years ago because he kept forgetting the number.

He also briefly sang the anthem “Flower of Scotland” from the witness stand during his trial.

Rupert Taylor, for O’Neill, said his client had “learnt his lesson”.

He added that the defendant no longer posted messages on social media or associated with far-right racists.

Mr Taylor said O’Neill drank heavily, was socially isolated and in poor health.

He added: “He has had the good sense to mend his ways. He is anxious to accept assistance and that is something that could be done in the community.

“It is really a plea for mercy for him to live quietly with restrictions.”

Mr Taylor said that his comments did not provoke actual violence or drive anyone to radical views.

Det Sgt Steve Foale from Counter Terrorism Police South West said after the case that the unit started examining O’Neill’s online activity early in 2018.

He added that when police searched his home in July that year, they found books, flags and music linked to the far-right.

DS Foale said: “His mindset combined with his aspiration for others to commit violence towards vulnerable members of our communities cannot be underestimated and could not go unprosecuted.

“O’Neill had at least eight Twitter and Facebook accounts attributed to him from which he continually posted a large amount of offensive extreme far-right material.

Chief Inspector Rob Mooney added: “The sentencing today of Michael O’Neill will send a positive message to the people of Plymouth that Devon and Cornwall Police and our partners will not accept any extremist ideology.

“Residents in our community must be protected from anyone that displays these abhorrent and bigoted behaviours.

“This court result shows that we take reports of this nature very seriously and urge our communities to carry on reporting such activity to police.

“If you have any information about suspicious activity or behaviour please contact Counter Terrorism Police in confidence. You can report a potential terrorist threat via our secure online form at gov.uk/ACT or call us on 0800 789 321.”

Plymouth Herald

A MAN has pleaded guilty to a number of charges in connection with the possession of weapons and explosive making equipment.

Simon Flint had a huge collection of weapons, including more than 100 knives, improvised explosive crossbow bolts and a catalogue of components to build his own bombs, including potential pipe bombs.

The 42-year-old was due to stand trial this morning after being charged with seven offences following a police operation in Bishop Auckland on Friday, June 28.

However, this morning he pleaded guilty to three charges – affray and two charges of possession of explosive substances. He had already pleaded guilty to a number of offences at Durham Crown Court.

olyon Perks, prosecuting, said the defendant accepted that he had acquired the parts needed to construct an improvised explosive device.

He added that the defendant used improvised devices to blow up fruit and a laptop computer.

Mr Flint, who has an address at Meadowfield Drive, Eaglescliffe, but is understood to have lived in a campervan for a number of years, was charged with making threats to kill, possession of an explosive substance, two charges of possession of offensive weapons, possession of a weapon for the discharge of pepper spray, two charges of possession of a bladed article in public and a public order offence.

Among the items listed in the charges were three crossbows, a friction locking baton, lock knives and swords including one measuring 2ft long.

The precision engineer is also accused of possession of an explosive black powder, a weapon designed to discharge a noxious gas or liquid – namely pepper spray, and of using abusive, threatening or insulting words or behaviour to cause alarm.

Judge Howard Crowson adjourned the case for sentence and remanded Flint into custody.

He said: “We have admitted your offences and the next stage is sentencing but we will want to that right and it can be a little complicated, this piece of the law, so the lawyers are going to make sure they help me as much as they can and get this right.”