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possessing an offensive weapon

marcus ward

A drug dealing English Defence League supporter slashed two men with a cut throat razor during a brutal gang attack at a pub.

Twenty-six year-old Marcus Ward went on the run for two-and-a-half years following the attack in March 2010, only handing himself in to police in September last year.

Judge Jonathan Foster QC branded Ward a ‘dangerous man’ at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court as he jailed him a total of 11 years. Ward and fellow supporters of the far-right organisation visited the Oddfellows in Middleton following a march in Bolton.

But the gang, who were wearing English Defence League clothing and carrying EDL flags, were asked to leave the Oldham Road pub by the concerned landlord due to their rowdy behaviour.

When the landlord went outside to explain why he had asked them to leave he was punched and kicked in the face.

Two bystanders went to help the landlord, when Ward, formerly of North Street, Boarshaw, assaulted them with a cut-throat razor.

One victim was left with a 15cm cut to the back of his head and a cut lip. The other suffered slashes running from his left shoulder to his back. One wound was so serious he needed surgery.

The court was told Ward was one of eight children raised by a father who was described by the judge as a violent ‘habitual criminal’, after his mother left home when he was four years old.

Ward was on bail for firearms offences at the time of the attack. He was caught with a pistol and a sawn-off shotgun with rounds of ammunition during a police search of his former home.

Police also found an air rifle, a crossbow, a machete, £5,413 worth of cannabis, £160 in cash, a dealers’ list and some snap bags.

Ward, who had previously pleaded guilty to two charges of wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon, and pleaded guilty to two counts of firearms possession, possession of ammunition and possession of cannabis with intent to supply, told the court that the firearms belonged to his late father, who had asked him to look after them for him.

He denied that he kept firearms for protection because he was dealing drugs.

Ward, who admitted that he did sell drugs to friends, but said it wasn’t on a large scale, said: “He was pretty strict my old man and whatever he said went. I didn’t feel that I could refuse his request.”

Ward was sentenced to a total of 11 years imprisonment, with six-and-a-half years concurrent for possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of a shotgun and possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and four-and-a-half years concurrent for two charges of section 18 wounding and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a cut-throat razor and violent disorder.

After sentencing Detective Inspector Andy Butterworth said: “This is a dangerous individual who was pursued relentlessly by the police.”

Manchester Evening News

Geoffrey Ryan

Geoffrey Ryan



A man launched a smoke grenade into a mosque and threatened to kill Muslims after he “snapped” following his brother’s death.

Geoffrey Ryan, 44, approached the Al-Falah Braintree Islamic Centre, in Silks Way, Braintree, armed with two knives on the evening of May 22.

He was jailed for nine months on Monday after admitting two charges of having a bladed object in a public place and one charge of affray.

Construction worker Ryan, of Brick Kiln Way, Braintree, threatened centre member Saruk Miah, causing him to fear for his safety.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Mr Miah had arrived at 7pm, half an hour before evening prayers, to prepare himself a snack.

He had been in the centre for about three or four minutes when he heard an explosion, caused by a yellow smoke grenade thrown into the building.

Ryan then shouted out “I am here to kill you”

The court heard Ryan’s brother had committed suicide a week prior to the incident.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC said: “It was an attack both racially and religously motivated and showing hatred on both counts and it is the kind of thing that won’t be tolerated in this country.”

Speaking after the case, Dc Andy Young, of Essex Police, said: “The incident that occurred at the Al-Falah prayer centre caused unnecessary fear, not only for the people who witnessed it, but also local residents at a time when emotions were already running high due to the death of Drummer Lee Rigby in London.

“Ryan’s imprisonment should serve as a warning to others who intend to cause fear and unrest in the community for their own agendas, whether personal or not.

“I would like to thank the members of the Al-Falah prayer centre for their support during the investigation and for their continued efforts in which they have hosted local events intended to increase understanding and tolerance within a multi-cultural community.”

Braintree and Witham Times

Links to EDL   Islamophobia-Watch

Paul Duffy (right)

Paul Duffy (right)

A MAN who looked after a gun and bullets in exchange for having a debt written-off has been jailed for five years.

Police found a Webley 8mm pistol and two rounds of ammunition when they raided Paul Duffy’s house, after a tip-off in December.

Officers also discovered a prohibited CS gas spray and a small amount of amphetamine during the search at Warkworth Close, Washington.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told Newcastle Crown Court the gun, which had been manufactured in Italy and adapted in the UK, was tested by experts who confirmed it had “lethal potential.”

The bullets were live and capable of firing.

Duffy told detectives he was looking after the firearm and ammunition in exchange for a drug debt being wiped out.

The 47-year-old said he had been due to give the CS gas spray to a young woman who was concerned for her safety due to the number of rapes in the Washington area, and wanted to carry it for protection.

Duffy admitted possessing a prohibited firearm, live rounds of ammunition, a prohibited weapon and a small amount of amphetamine.

Judge Brian Forster told him: “Anyone who has in their possession a prohibited firearm commits a very serious offence.

“Parliament has decided that judges must impose a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment in such cases and the reason is clear.

“There must be a deterrent sentence to ensure that people do not take such weapons into their possession.

“Weapons such as this are usually carried in offences of robbery.

“While they are carried there is a real risk of death or serious injury to those who may be the victims of such crime.”

Lee Fish, defending, said Duffy is in poor health and uses a walking stick due to back and leg problems.

Mr Fish said: “He was holding the gun for someone else. He has no previous convictions which involve weapons or firearms.”

Sunderland Echo

Hope not Hate

KIND-HEARTED pupils have forgiven a recovering alcoholic who threatened and racially abused them inside a secondary school.

Trudie Toker threatened to stab students at St Andrew’s CofE High School in Croydon and told teachers the pupils needed “their black heads bashed in”.

The 33-year-old was drunk when she entered the school grounds in Warrington Road and launched the vicious attack on May 21.

The pupils met with teachers after the verbal assault and were offered support and the chance to discuss their thoughts and feelings.

Instead of feeling angry and upset, the students said they felt sorry for Toker as it was clear she had a drinking problem.

Head teacher David Matthews said he was proud of the school’s students for showing such compassion.

He added: “As a Christian school, we encourage forgiveness as an active force for good.

“Prayer is a natural Christian response to situations that we do not fully understand.

“That some St Andrew’s students have wanted to pray about this woman shows their commitment to a better society where distress and pain are reduced.”

Toker appeared at Croydon Crown Court on March 18 after pleading guilty to using racially threatening words and possession of a bladed article.

The court heard she had also brought out a knife in front of a mother and baby on a bus on February 10 last year.

Defending Toker, Oliver Weetch said his client was trying to give up alcohol and had already managed to quit heroin.

Toker, who lives on the same road as the school, told the Advertiser she shouted the abuse in retaliation after the pupils insulted her.

She also claimed that her neighbour had suffered because of antisocial behaviour from pupils and she was sticking up for her.

While Toker admitted she had a fiery temper, she denied being a racist.

“I have mixed-race people in my family,” she said.

“I retaliated and I shouldn’t have done. I should have known better because I’m older.”

Toker was sentenced to nine months in jail suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete an alcohol treatment programme.

Judge Daniel Flahive told the defendant she needed psychological help and supervision within the community.

He added: “I was of the view that there was no option but to send you to prison, but I am going to give you a chance.”

This is Croydon


A MAN who wielded knives, broke down his neighbours’ front door and threatened to kill them, has been jailed.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Daniel Smith had 167 previous convictions before he was locked up for 10 further offences today.

The 39-year-old was not present for his sentencing because he was taken back to Armley prison from the court at lunchtime after destroying two toilets in the court cells.

Smith pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, common assault, possessing an offensive weapon and making threats to kill at a hearing in May.

Today, the court heard how on August 26 last year, Smith hurled racist abuse at a family living near him in Victoria Road, Thornhill Lees.

He attacked their front door with a knife and eventually broke it down.

When inside the house, he threatened to kill the occupants before he was forced back outside.

Sentencing, Judge Guy Kearl QC, said: “They were very real threats, the victims believed, being confronted in their house by a man who they believed was going to kill them.”

Smith was sentenced to nine years in prison and given a restraining order banning him from having any contact with family or entering Victoria Road.

Dewsbury Reporter

Shane Martin.

Shane Martin.



A TEENAGER armed with a martial arts weapon threatened visitors and staff at South Tyneside’s hospital maternity unit.

Shane Martin and two friends were told to leave the grounds of the borough’s District Hospital after being refused entry in the early hours of November 6 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the group continued to try to get in, while women giving birth and being looked after inside could hear their drunken threats and abuse.

When a security guard tried to usher them away, Martin, 18 – who was armed with a set of nunchucks – directed a torrent of abuse and threats at him.

Judge John Milford yesterday jailed Martin, of Summerhill, Jarrow, for eight months after he pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour.

The judge said anyone who behaves in such a way inside hospital grounds can expect to go to jail.

Debbie Breen, prosecuting, told the court Martin had turned up at the hospital in Harton Lane, South Shields, with his pals in tow, to confront a patient’s stepfather over an earlier row.

Miss Breen told the court: “The security guard said he could immediately see they had been drinking.

“They were shouting outside the doors and trying to gain access to the maternity department.”

She added: “They all became abusive towards the security guard.

“The defendant was very agitated. He is described as being in the security guard’s face.

“He was shouting and swearing, and threats were directed towards the stepfather of a patient.”

The court heard a second security guard came to try to calm the trouble, and the police were called.

While staff waited for officers to arrive, Martin was shouting “I will kill you all” and continued to hurl foul abuse.

Miss Breen said: “The verbal abuse could be heard by patients within the unit.”

By the time police arrived, Martin had thrown the nunchucks – which he did not produce during the incident – into a bush, but they were recovered by officers.

Judge Milford jailed Martin after hearing he was on bail for offences of criminal damage at the time of the incident.

He said: “Over a period of about half an hour you shouted, swore and used threatening language.

“You will go straight to custody, as will anyone who acts in this manner and carries a weapon at a hospital.”

Vic Laffey, defending, said Martin accepts he was “very foolish” that night.

Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette

FOUR men arrested on suspicion of causing disorder on the day the English Defence League protested in Leicester have appeared in court.

Officers arrested 17 people after trouble broke out on October 9 when 1,000 EDL members staged a demonstration in the city centre.

Yesterday, at Leicester Magistrates’ Court, Mark Bircham (23), of Boulter Crescent, Wigston, denied using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour and assaulting a police officer. He will face trial before magistrates on January 11.

Scott Kervin (30), of Castle Place, Abergele, Wales, denied having an offensive weapon, a pair of gloves containing ball bearings. He also denied using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour and will face trial before the city’s magistrates on January 18

Mark Turnbull (38), of Rawling Road, Gateshead, denied using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour and resisting a police sergeant. His trial will take place before magistrates on January 18.

Lee Whitby (27), of Harley Place, Stoke-on-Trent, denied using racially aggravated abusive words and will stand trial on November 26.

All four were released on bail on the condition they do not attend any meetings of the English Defence League, The Scottish Defence League or the Welsh Defence League or attend any anti-Islamic meetings of more than three people.

After the hearings, a Leicestershire police spokesman said: “Investigations into other offences that took place that day are still ongoing as a team of officers look into crimes reported during and after the protests.

“Detectives are speaking to witnesses and examining CCTV evidence in a bid to identify more offenders.”

This is Leicester