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A man who broke into a Blackpool synagogue with a lump of concrete told police he wanted to ‘blow up’ the holy building.

Andrew Prendergast, 47, smashed a window and a lock to get into the Jewish place of worship on Raikes Parade, Blackpool Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday.

He left bloodstains throughout the building and damaged the alarm system.

When asked by police why he targeted the synagogue, he said: “I wanted to blow them up… synagogue… blow it up. I am proud to be English and don’t want the Jews here.”

Magistrates heard how police were alerted to the burglary at the Blackpool Reform Synagogue by a woman who had seen Prendergast using a piece of concrete to open the front door.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said that officers followed a trail of bloodstains, caused by an injury on Prendergast’s hand, around the prayer area, toilets and offices.

She said: “Eventually they found him hiding behind the altar. He was verbally resistant when officers tried to arrest him. He swore and kicked out and threatened to kick the officer.”

“When he was taken to the police station officers had to put a spit hood on him.”

Prendergast, unemployed, of Raikes Parade, indicated a guilty plea to charges of burglary in a building other than a dwelling with intent to steal, and racially or religiously aggravated damage.

Robert Castle, defending, said: “He apologises and does not seek to avoid responsibility for what he did.

“Nothing I can say will make what happened any better, however, there was no violence towards anyone.There was no planning . It was impulsive and chaotic.”

Presiding magistrate Simon Bridge told Prendergast, who lives just a few yards from the synagogue: “To target a synagogue – a place of worship – shows the scourge of anti-Semitism was obviously there. You have two previous convictions for racially aggravated offences.”

He sent Prendergast to be sentenced by a judge at Preston Crown Court on December 18.

He was remanded in custody in the meantime.

The door of the synagogue had to be boarded up following the anti-Semitic attack.

One woman who lives on Raikes Parade, who did not want to be named, said: “The synagogue is well-used and the driveway is always packed with cars. I saw them at the weekend and I didn’t notice anything wrong with the door then.

“On Monday, the police were here after I dropped the kids off at school. There was an unmarked car and I suspected it was CID because they weren’t in uniform, and three or four police cars. They were there until the afternoon.

“We have lived here for years and we’ve never seen any issues with the synagogue, but there are some houses on this street and around here that aren’t very nice.

“There are some flats that police are often in and out of.”

PC Ian Ashton, community cohesion and hate crime officer, said; “In Lancashire we have quite a small Jewish community based mostly in Lytham, St Annes and Blackpool. I have links with these communities and we don’t generally see a lot of hate crime towards them, but it does go on. We are seeing an increase in hate crime, but that may be because they have people like ourselves that they have the confidence and trust in to report it to. “We treat hate crime very seriously and we look to investigate all hate crimes reported to us, and look for positive outcomes within the victims wishes.”

Lytham St Annes Express

Amy Dalla Mura banned from campaigning in Broxtowe after targeting Soubry over Brexit

Amy Dalla Mura leaving court after being found guilty of harassment and barred from mentioning Anna Soubry in her election campaigning. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

A Brexit supporter who is standing against the remainer Anna Soubry in the general election has been found guilty of harassing her and banned from campaigning in her constituency.

Amy Dalla Mura, 56, targeted Soubry between January and March this year, turning up at events and calling her a traitor on live television, Westminster magistrates court heard.

Soubry and Dalla Mura are standing in Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire, Soubry for the Independent Group for Change and Dalla Mura for the English Democrats.

The court heard that on 23 January Dalla Mura, from Hove, attended an event in parliament where Soubry was speaking and repeatedly interrupted her while live-streaming the event on her phone. The meeting was eventually abandoned when she refused to stop.

Passing verdict, the chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said Dalla Mura “knew that she had done something wrong and thought that she had got away with it”.

Describing Dalla Mura’s behaviour as “oppressive and unacceptable”, she said her conduct was “driven by anger at Ms Soubry’s political views on Brexit” and she had “caused harassment in the sense of alarm and distress”.

Soubry, a former Conservative minister, became a target for abuse after vocally opposing Brexit. She quit the Conservative party in February over the issue.

Dalla Mura, who refused to give her name and address when asked in court, was ordered to stay away from the Broxtowe constituency as a condition of her bail and told she must conduct her election campaign from elsewhere and over the internet.

The magistrate said she was free to criticise other parties’ policies but must not mention Soubry by name in her electioneering.

There was laughter in the full public gallery when the magistrate asked for a psychiatric report on Dalla Mura be prepared before her sentencing on 16 December, four days after the election.

In addition to the January incident, the court heard that on 14 March Dalla Mura approached Soubry in parliament’s central lobby while she was appearing on the BBC’s Newsnight, calling her a “traitor” while again filming her.

The presenter, Nicholas Watt, said Dalla Mura “looked troubled, very anxious and angry. Anna Soubry looked very alarmed by this very hostile presence.”

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

The Guardian

The youngest person to be convicted of planning a terrorist attack in the UK identified potential targets in his hometown, began drafting a “guerrilla warfare” manual and tried to obtain a chemical used in terrorist bombings. But the case also focused on the radicalisation process itself, hearing the 16-year-old’s preparations for an attack involved a deliberate effort to dehumanise himself and become like the “living dead”.

The teenager chronicled his regression in a journal, writing “at one point or another I can look back and see if I was any different.” Aged 14, he noted: “I wasn’t always a fascist, my red pilling process was slower than most”, adding that less than two years earlier he advocated “punk rock ideals and Marxism”.

The trial heard much about his ideology – an amalgam of neo-Nazism, Satanism and misanthropy, allied to the belief that a collapse of civilisation should be “accelerated” through acts of violence and criminality.

He was first interviewed by police in autumn 2017, when his school reported a Twitter account he used to express support for the outlawed British neo-Nazi group National Action and posed for a photo with ex-English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson.

The boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, promised to close the profile and he spent time with the government de-radicalisation scheme, Prevent. But rather than moderating his behaviour, he set out to immerse himself in extreme right-wing literature and online networks.

“A fascist has an obligation to absorb a lot of words,” he recorded.

His immersion came at a time of exceptional depravity. National Action had been banned in 2016, but had generated several small British spin-offs, some of which sought to imitate the militant American group, Atomwaffen Division.

The origins of this network were in an online neo-Nazi forum, but by the time it closed in 2017 fascists from around the world were already migrating to new platforms. These digital spaces promote an increasingly berserk world view that proclaims hatred of all, worships a pantheon of “saints” comprising various terrorists and murderers, and demands a commitment to the destruction of society through so-called “accelerationism”.

Online channels can gain thousands of followers, all using a shared vocabulary and set of references, although there are disputes over people’s ideological commitment or supernatural beliefs, in which Adolf Hitler is often regarded as a divinity.

Central influences include the American neo-Nazi James Mason, who has been convicted of indecent images offences involving a child, and individuals associated with the occult organisation Order of Nine Angles – described by the prosecution as the “most prominent and recognisable link between Satanism and the extreme right”.

The result is a culture in which deviancy and criminality are encouraged – sexual violence and paedophilia are constant themes – with anything justified as long as it is thought to destabilise society and defy what is characterised as slavish morality.

The Durham teenager absorbed these ideas, reading any recommended books and discussing them in his journal, gradually following the logic of his ideology towards a planned attack. In October 2018, he wrote that earlier phases of his political activities, such as debating with others, had “accomplished nothing” and merely got him into trouble at school.

“And now here I am an accelerationist,” he added.

The boy actively sought to alter himself in line with the texts he read and included the instruction “shed empathy” on a list of things to do. He adopted an online pseudonym, speaking constantly with other neo-Nazis, telling a forum that his Satanic belief system involved programming oneself to lose any feelings of guilt – becoming the living dead in the process.

“I believe there is primal enjoyment to be had in sadism,” he wrote in his journal, stating: “How wonderful it is to be an amoral individual”.

He set his sights on his hometown of Durham, searching for synagogues and compiling a list of local places “worth attacking”. He collected explosives manuals and also tried to secure a dangerous chemical from a fellow extremist in the United States.

When the boy was arrested outside his home in March, detectives found a coded note in his pocket, saying: “Killing is probably easier than your paranoid mind thinks. You’re just not used to it. Most were caught because they got sloppy.”

At trial, the boy denied being a neo-Nazi, saying his writings were an extremist “alter ego” generated by feelings of social isolation and created in order to shock others and find a sense of belonging online. He told jurors his political beliefs were “centre right” and that he had a poster on his bedroom wall signed by Nigel Farage.

Prosecutors said the boy was lying to the jury about the fake “persona” and that his actions were not confined to diaries or the internet. They originally alleged that he sexually touched a child as part of his preparations for an attack, saying it was a deliberate “desensitisation technique”, although claims about his sexual conduct were ruled inadmissible during pre-trial hearings and will now be heard in a youth court.

Teenagers Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski and Michal Szewczuk pleaded guilty to terror offences

According to police, eight terrorist plots inspired by right-wing ideologies have been stopped since March 2017. They say there is a “spectrum” of such ideologies that have the potential to generate violence, with the variant adopted by the Durham defendant regarded as perhaps the most extreme of all.

He is now the fourth teenager to be convicted of terrorism offences in the UK over the past year, in which the same set of influences – accelerationism and Satanism – have been central.

One of the many troubling aspects of this case is that a child traversed the full spectrum of right-wing extremism before he had even left school.

BBC News

Nasty Michael O’Neill, aged 61, had ‘Hitler number’ tattoo but claimed it was his PIN

Michael O'Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child (Image: Plymouth Live/Mirror)

Michael O’Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child (Image: Plymouth Live/Mirror)

A Nazi made a bizarre racist jibe about Taylor Swift and a black child during a hate campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

White supremacist Michael O’Neill, aged 61, posted a picture of the pop star with her arm around the youngster and claimed she could catch Down’s Syndrome.

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.

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

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

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.

He also denied two similar counts of incitement to religious hatred.

O’Neill was convicted by unanimous verdicts after a four-day trial on all the racial counts but cleared on the two religious counts.

Judge James Townsend released him on bail to be sentenced on December 13 with the aid of a probation report.

But he warned: “All options are open. Given his record of racially-aggravated matters, the starting point is an immediate prison sentence.”

The court heard that O’Neill was continually blocked by the social media giants for posting offensive material.

But he created five Facebook and three Twitter accounts under slightly different names so he could go on spouting filth.

He posted a picture of Taylor Swift with her arm around a black child. It included a close-up image of her hand on shoulder.

O’Neill commented: “Don’t touch the little blacky, you might get Down’s Syndrome.”

O’Neill admitted posting a picture of an axe-wielding Viking, but struggled to explain why he had attached the slogan: “It is time to rise up and cleanse our lands”.

O’Neill, who grew up in Birmingham, also posted a message about Pakistani Muslims.

He added: “The entire tribe needs eradicating, wiped off the face of the Earth like wiping s**t off your shoe.”

O’Neill took to the stand to deny that he had a tattoo of the Nazi slogan 1488 – insisting it was his PIN.

He said that he had the ink done years ago because he kept forgetting the number.

O’Neill said he did not know of its significance in far-right ideology until he joined Facebook four years ago.

The ‘Fourteen words’ represent a white supremacist slogan while 88 refers to the position of the letters HH in the alphabet – standing for Heil Hitler.

He said: “I thought it was the date of a battle, like 1066.”

Unbelievably O’Neill sought to explain away twin SS lightning bolts tattooed on his chest, saying they were Norse symbols. He added he was awaiting for a third bolt to be added.

O’Neill had a particular dislike for the London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim.

He added that he had been involved in a spat on Twitter, saying the Labour politician had called him “every name under the sun.”

But O’Neill posted a story about Mr Khan linking him with rising crime rates.

He added the slogan: “Fetch the petrol.”

O’Neill admitted: “I should not have written it.”

He claimed a mixture of poor memory, ignorance, being drunk and having a dark sense of humour were behind many of his posts.

The defendant admitted he became angry as a former fisherman confined to his home by injury.

O’Neill compared his humour with the edgy satire of Jo Brand – who once called on people to attack Boris Johnson with acid rather than milkshakes.

Seeking to explain why he had posted a message which seems to celebrate a news story of a Scottish man attacking an immigrant, he started to sing the patriotic song “Flower of Scotland”.

He denied inciting anyone to take up violence against racist or religious groups.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Burns put it to him that the books in the house showed that he was well-read rather than naive.

O’Neill replied: “Being well-read does not make you a Nazi, in the same way as voting for Brexit does not make you a Nazi.”

He added that he was not a member of any particular group, but had described himself as a “National Socialist”, which is where the German abbreviation of Nazi originates.

Plymouth Herald

Sam Whiteley said he was only buying an E-cigarette refill when he got involved in the Yorkshire Patriots demonstration

Sam Whiteley at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court

A protester was arrested after performing a Nazi salute during a far-right demonstration in Dewsbury.

Police were forced to use pepper spray on Sam Whiteley when he raised his right arm straight in the air then tried to run off.

The 24-year-old was one of seven people arrested by officers during the Yorkshire Patriots demonstration.

He pleaded guilty to using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Hundreds of West Yorkshire Police officers were deployed to watch over two demonstrations in the town centre on October 12.

These were staged by the Yorkshire Patriots and a counter demonstration involving members of the Stand Up To Racism groups and the Kirklees Anti-Fascist Assembly.

At around 1pm 50 Patriots set off chanting Tommy Robinson’s name and “we want out country back!”

Police were with the demonstrators on Market Place when their attention was drawn to Whiteley.

Prosecutor Alex Bozman said: “They saw Mr Whiteley, who was part of the protest, trying to leave the area which was being cordoned.

“It was explained to him that he was not allowed to leave at that time to prevent a breach of the peace because the officers didn’t want the two groups to become confrontational.

“He pushed his way into the cordon and began a Nazi salute, raising his right hand up pointing to the sky, and putting his left hand horizontally.

“He said ‘f***k off’ and ran off and was detained after a short foot chase.

“The officers used PAVA spray and arrested him.”

Despite hostilities between the two groups police managed to ensure that they did not clash with each other on the day.

In a statement West Yorkshire Police later said that the protests passed off ‘without major incident’ with only seven arrests made – most on suspicion of minor public order offences.

Whiteley claimed to Kirklees magistrates that he was only in town to do some shopping.

He said: “I’m not affiliated with any of these groups.

“I went there for some E-liquid for my E-cigarette and said: ‘What’s going on?’ and looked at the Yorkshire Patriots.

“I was trying to get out when the police van came in front and (police) said : ‘You’re not going anywhere ‘.

“There were many people walking past and I was saying: ‘Hold up, how come these are allowed to come past and I’m staying here?'”

Whiteley said that an officer grabbed hold of him as he tried to walk past and he responded by pushing him away.

He told magistrates: “That’s when I did that stupid stuff which I admit was stupid.”

Magistrates fined Whiteley, of Jackroyd Lane in Mirfield, £113.

He will have to pay £85 court costs and £32 victim surcharge.

Chairman of the bench Wayne Perriman said to him: “It’s expensive being silly – just think next time.”

The Examiner

A racist who attacked a woman and made threats to kill another and to stab a third has also admitted he threatened to damage a mosque.

Declan Moorhouse, 21, is due to be sentenced for offences including common assault, harassing a woman and a man, and sending a message threatening to kill another woman.

He is also awaiting sentence for threatening to start fires on two other occasions, once to a house and on a later date to vehicles.

All of those offences happened between September and November last year.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday Moorhouse changed his plea on another matter of threatening to damage Telford Central Mosque to guilty.

He made that threat to a probation officer in a meeting on April 8.

Judge Anthony Lowe said that Moorhouse’s crimes were linked to “different behavioural traits” including racist ideas and issues around the breakdown of a relationship.

Judge Lowe adjourned the case to November 29, so that a psychiatric report on Moorhouse can be updated before he is sentenced.

Moorhouse’s representative Rob Edwards conceded that the threshold for a jail sentence had been crossed, but said that if Moorhouse went to prison he would be unlikely to address properly his mental health and behavioural issues and the chances of “breaking the cycle of offending” would be lower.

Moorhouse will be sentenced for 10 offences in all, including the threat to the mosque in April, and the five crimes from October last year including harassment, making threats and damaging a wall.

Another three relate to his threat to and assault of a woman on September 14 last year, and the final offence of threatening to burn vehicles relates to November 1.

Moorhouse, of Lovell Close, Shifnal, remains in custody.

Shropshire Star