violent disorder

A 25 YEAR-old Lower Gornal man who launched a “flying kick” at a police officer during an English Defence League march has been jailed for one year.

Judge Michael Challinor told Thomas Blackwell, of Bird Street: “You attended this demonstration with the intention of causing disorder and violence.”

“This is clear from the fact you were wearing protective clothing in the form of a stab vest. In the course of this disorder you tackled a police officer by using a flying kick to his protective shield.”

The judge said he had taken into consideration Blackwell would lose his employment if he was sent to prison but he added: “This type of violent behaviour so often prevents law abiding citizens from protesting peacefully.”

Blackwell admitted affray and the judge said it was clear from DVD evidence he had been at the “forefront” of the EDL march on July 17 last year.

Stephen Thomas prosecuting said Blackwell had been near the front of a group of EDL protesters who had thrown bottles and other missiles at police officers.

He told Wolverhampton Crown Court that protesters also tried to provoke the officers by chanting the names of people who had killed policemen including Raoul Moat who had hit the headlines just weeks earlier.

Blackwell who represented himself in court said he felt the description “flying kick” totally exaggerated his actions while adding: “I am ashamed of what I did. I have shamed myself and my family.”

Two other men – Scott Bailey, 23, of Central Drive, Gornal and 20 year-old Anthony Grant of George Road, Netherton – will be sentenced on May 31 after also admitting a charge of affray in connection with the EDL march.

Dudley News

Soldier Cavan Langfield, arriving at court for the case, in which nine members of the EDL gang were given community sentences.

Soldier Cavan Langfield, arriving at court for the case, in which nine members of the EDL gang were given community sentences.

A gang of English Defence League supporters caused terror when they attacked a pub as an anti-racism rock concert was being staged.

Nine members of the gang were handed community sentences yesterday (Sept 3) after a court heard how windows and doors were smashed as bricks and bottles were hurled at Joseph’s Well in Leeds city centre.

Leeds Crown Court heard the gang members turned up at the venue and tried to get into to the Rock Against Racism event.

Violence erupted when one member of the gang, Mark Johnson, 31, tried to push past door staff but was resisted and suffered an injury.

A man who was at the event with his son was hit in the mouth with a missile thrown by a gang member and had a tooth knocked out.

Andrew Stranex, prosecuting, said members of the group were chanting ‘EDL’ in reference to the far right group. Others were heard to say: “We are not racist, we just hate Muslims.”

Members of the gang, aged between 14 and 31, were arrested after CCTV images were circulated to the media after the incident, which happened 2.30pm on June 18 last year.

Mr Stranex said the concert was supposed to be a peaceful event but when it was advertised on Facebook organisers had received warnings from EDL members that there may be trouble. One message read: “We will smash the place up.”

One member of the gang, soldier Cavan Langfield, learnt yesterday that he had been discharged from the Yorkshire Regiment ahead of sentencing.

The sentenced were:

Mark Johnson, 31, of Top of the Hill, Thurstonland, Huddersfield, 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 150 hours unpaid work and £400 compensation

Matthew Bermingham, 18, of Eton Avenue, Huddersfield, one year community order, 150 hours unpaid work and £100 compensation.

Aaron Childs, 20, of Chestnut Street, Huddersfield, one year community order, 150 hours unpaid work and £200 compensation.

Jonathan Foy, 19, of Fillingfir Road, West Park. Leeds, one year community order, 150 hours unpaid work and £100 compensation.

Joseph Harman, 20, of Cherrywood Gardens, Whinmoor, Leeds, one year community order, 200 hours unpaid work, £500 compensation.

Cavan Langfield, 18, of Stratford Close, Huddersfield, one year community order, 200 hours unpaid work and £250 compensation.

Tom Maudsley, 18, of Bridon Way, Cleckheaton, one year community order, 200 hours unpaid work and £100 compensation.

Two youths, aged 15 and 17, who cannot be named, were made the subject of 12 month referral orders.

Yorkshire Evening Post

FAR-RIGHT thugs who stormed a Newcastle club in a display of violence were today behind bars.

Members of the English Defence League (EDL) turned up at the Tyneside Irish Centre looking to infiltrate a meeting of political rivals.

It turned out their targets – the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) – were not even in the building after the EDL group were spotted in a nearby pub and officials called the meeting off fearing trouble.

But that did not stop a pack of up to 20 thugs, many wearing EDL hooded tops, from forcing entry, attacking door staff and setting off a fire extinguisher inside the Irish Centre in scenes captured on CCTV.

Now six of the gang have been locked up while three others received suspended jail terms.

Judge Roger Thorn, at Newcastle Crown Court, said: “This was a group attack on the democratic rights of others to have free association and exercise their freedom of speech.

“This behaviour cannot be tolerated, no matter how much you might dislike the views of the socialist party.

“These sentences must ensure a tit-for-tat revenge can be no option. Violence and threats of violence will not be tolerated by the EDL, SWP or indeed any other factions or groups of any kind.”

The SWP had been holding weekly meetings at the Tyneside Irish Centre, on Gallowgate, in the months before the incident.

On September 22 last year, yobs, described in court as being ‘aligned to the EDL’, met at nearby Rosie’s Bar.

That led to officials cancelling the proposed SWP meeting, fearing there would be trouble, and staff at the private members Irish Club were told not to let anyone in.

When one of the men in the EDL group, Peter Duffy, turned up, he was eventually let in so he could be shown none of his rivals were there.

Once inside he was pushed in the back by a member of staff and he retaliated by hitting the man.

Duffy was then bundled outside, where he was joined by a large group of other EDL sympathisers, who suddenly stormed the club, attacking two door staff. Jonathan Devlin, prosecuting, said: “One witness said around 20 people were outside Rosie’s Bar and they were staring across towards the Irish Centre.

“He said they ran towards the centre and when they came out he said there was a real sense of tension on the street and one man was rubbing his knuckles as if he had just punched someone.”

Mr Devlin said: “On September 22 last year several persons thought to be aligned with the EDL met at Rosie’s bar situated on the opposite side of the road.

“They forced themselves into the club foyer, a melee ensued and door staff were attacked.”

Peter Duffy, 44, of Elgin Avenue, Seaham, Colin Bell, 36, of St Oswalds Road, Hebburn, Anthony Burn, 48, of Lecondale Court, Leam Lane, Gateshead, Michael Garriock, 23, of Gibson Street, Wallsend, Barry Keddy, 34, of Deneholm, Wallsend, Alan Spence, 46, of Gerald Street, Benwell, Steven Spence, 27, of Wickham View, Denton Burn, Newcastle, and Paul Starr, 45, of Telford Street, East Howdon, North Tyneside, all admitted affray.

Nicholas Mills, 25, of Drumaldrace, Blackfell, Washington, and Colin Burton, 28, of Woodhave Court, South Shields, admitted public order offences.

Duffy was jailed for 10 months, Keddy got eight months, Garriock eight months, Steven Spence eight months, Alan Spence seven months and Burton seven months. Burn and Bell were sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with four week curfews. Starr was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a similar curfew. Mills’ case was adjourned until later this month.

Robert Adams, defending, said the EDL had targeted the meeting after it was advertised on the internet under the heading “smash the EDL”.

Judge Thorn said he was not sentencing the men for their membership of any political party but for the premeditated violence.

Chronicle Live

Donna-Marie Beattie, of Carlisle: Jailed for 15 months after admitting two charges of racially aggravated threatening behaviour

Donna-Marie Beattie, of Carlisle: Jailed for 15 months after admitting two charges of racially aggravated threatening behaviour

Eleven members of a drunken racist mob who terrorised two cafe workers in Carlisle are today behind bars.

The senior judge at Carlisle Crown Court, Paul Batty QC, imposed sentences totalling nearly 15 years for their threatening racist behaviour which he described as “feral” and “disgraceful”.

One of the longest jail terms – 18 months – was imposed on 33-year-old former soldier Andrew Ryan, who played a leading role in the abuse.

The group targeted the Manhattan Cafe, on Botchergate, at the end a drinking session last May when they celebrated Ryan’s release from jail for another racist offence.

He had served a 70-day term for burning a copy of the Koran holy book, stolen from Carlisle Library, in the city centre.

Before he passed sentence, Judge Batty commented on CCTV images which showed the gang abusing two Turkish workers at the Manhattan Cafe and he issued a stern warning to others contemplating racist violence.

He told the defendants: “You were acting as a vain racist mob, shrieking and shouting racist abuse for no reason whatsoever. You were fuelled by drink and it is perfectly clear from your demeanour as shown by the CCTV that you were completely and utterly out of control and you humiliated those Turkish men who were performing a public duty in that takeaway outlet, screaming at them, terrorising them.

“Racism must not be allowed to flourish in this city. I have said in the past that severe sentences will follow for anyone convicted of such behaviour.

“It will simply not in the city of Carlisle be tolerated and deterrent sentences will follow for such behaviour.”

Earlier, the courtroom had fallen silent as the prosecution played the video recording of the incident, shortly before 8pm on May 20 last year.

The gang are seen massing outside the takeaway, several of them gesticulating wildly as they yelled obscene and racist abuse at the workers.

Judge Batty described the images as “profoundly depressing”, but he pointed out that  other members of the public had come forward to help the two victims, prompting the judge to add: “Those individuals all in the dock stand out as a beacon of racism.

“But as for the rest of Carlisle one can not say that at all.”

Tim Evans, prosecuting, said there was clearly a racist element at the heart of what had happened, saying the group were motivated by a belief that the two Turkish men at the cafe were from Pakistan.

The defendants claimed they targeted the cafe because they had heard a takeaway in the Botchergate area – identified in court as the Spice of India – was at the centre of an investigation of the sexual grooming of girls. The suggestion that Manhattan Cafe staff were in any way linked to that investigation was entirely mistaken, Mr Evans told the court.

The barrister said: “The profound ignorance of racism is, of course, not to look beyond the colour of an individual’s skin. Here, that ignorance is plain for all to see, not least because the complainants are not even Pakistani or even from the Indian subcontinent.”

The court heard how the person who started the abuse was Louise Leslie, a 41-year-old mum-of-two.

She arrived at the takeaway and started the shouting and gesturing at the two workers who were inside.

She abused the two men for some minutes before finally being ushered away, with the parting comment: “You’ll never beat Carlisle chicks.”

The second person to stride into the cafe is Andrew Ryan, joined quickly by Donna-Marie Beattie, 23, and then by Ian Bradshaw, 26, Michael Wilson, 29, Craig Metcalfe, 31 and then Ryan’s younger brother Matthew, 27.

Mr Evans said of Andrew Ryan: “Ryan stood at the cafe door, angry, eyes bulging, shouting and pointing, apparently egging the others on.

“He is the most active, shouting and gesturing before the group enter the cafe.”

In the minutes that follow, they are joined by William Ewings, 43 and Wilson, who throws a chair. At one point, Bradshaw is seen flicking a lighted cigarette into the shop and throwing a fizzy drinks can.

One of the Turkish cafe workers told police the racist abuse had been going on for weeks, involving Louise Leslie and Kerry Wilson. The May 20 incident was the culmination of four weeks of abuse.

On June 8, Michael Wilson returned to the shop and again shouted abuse, threatening violence and telling the Turkish men to “get back” to their country. Both workers were left shaken and distressed by the two incidents.

All the defendants admitted two charges of racially aggravated threatening behaviour. Michael Wilson also admitted a single count of witness intimidation following his June 8 visit to the shop.

David Thompson, for Andrew Ryan, of Marina Crescent, Currock, said he wanted to apologise for his behaviour.

On the night he had drunk five or six lagers and the alcohol impaired his judgement, said the barrister. Mr Thompson said the Koran incident was a protest aimed at Muslim extremists.

Michael Wilson, 29, of Cant Crescent, Upperby, was jailed for 30 months.

His barrister said his life since the age of 13 had been affected by an addiction to alcohol. Having lost his home and contact with his child, he was now at rock bottom.

Ian Bradshaw, of Harrison Street, Currock, was jailed for 21 months. His barrister said he now accepted that his behaviour had been disgraceful and he apologised.

William Ewings, of Gilford Crescent, Harraby,was jailed for 13 months. He was said to be remorseful and “disgusted” at his behaviour.

Louise Annette Leslie, of Buchanan Road, Currock, was jailed for 15 months. Her barrister said she had an excellent work record.

Also jailed for 15 months was Donna-Marie Beattie, 22, of Sybil Street, Carlisle, whose barrister said she was ashamed of her actions.

Leslie’s twin sister Kerry Victoria Wilson, 41, of Ridley Road, Currock, who did not use racist language but joined in by banging on the takeaway window, was jailed for a year.

The court heard that Matthew Ryan, who lives with his brother Andrew in Currock, suffered mental health problems and was easily led. He was jailed for 10 months.

Craig William Metcalfe, 31, of Gilsland Road, Durranhill,was jailed for 15 months. He deeply regretted his actions, his barrister told the judge.

Tracie Wilkinson, 35, of Levens Drive, Morton, said to be an alcoholic, was jailed for 15 months, while Rebecca Louise Wardle, 24, of Eden Park Crescent, Botcherby, was jailed for 13 months. Her barrister said she had been very drunk.

Cumberland News

Four thugs who smashed up a Redbridge mosque before hurling a brick at the imam have been jailed for a total of 12-and-a-half years today.

The gang shattered the windows of Redbridge Islamic Centre, Eastern Avenue, before trying to storm their way inside while taunting worshippers with sickening chants.

Rocky Beale, 19, of Purleigh Avenue, Woodford Green and Eliot Jones, 19, of Keswick Gardens, Redbridge, pelted the centre with bricks, along with 18-year-old Matthew Stephenson, of Burrow Road, Hainault.

Harry Deluca, 16, whose name can now be revealed after an order was lifted by the judge, also pelted the centre and repeatedly screamed “EDL” throughout the assault on March 24.

All four denied violent disorder but were convicted by a jury last month after just 90 minutes of deliberation.

 Judge Timothy King sentenced Beale, Jones and Stephenson to three-and-a-half years each in a young offenders’ institution during yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Deluca, of Manford Way, Hainault was given a two-year detention and training order.

The judge told them: “It is difficult, it seems to me, to imagine a case of violent disorder more serious than this one.”

Cllr Shoaib Patel, cabinet member for community safety on Redbridge Council, told the Recorder: “I am delighted with the result and it is great news for all the people that suffered because of the attack.

“It shows that Redbridge will not tolerate racial abuse after the community has worked hard to promote strong cohesion.”

London 24

A man accused of launching a “flying kick” at a police officer while at the forefront of trouble at an EDL march in the Black Country was today behind bars.

A man accused of launching a “flying kick” at a police officer while at the forefront of trouble at an EDL march in the Black Country was today behind bars.

Thomas Blackwell admitted a charge of affray during the EDL protest in Dudley on July 17 last year and was sentenced to one year in prison.

A DVD shown at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday showed Blackwell, aged 25, of Bird Street, Lower Gornal, wearing a white stab vest in the front few rows of protesters at the march as they confronted police.

Judge Michael Challinor told him the DVD showed he had “clearly” been at the forefront of the violence which erupted in Stafford Street on the day.

“You attended this demonstration with the intention of causing disorder and violence,” he said.

“This is clear from the fact you were wearing protective clothing in the form of a stab vest.

“In the course of this disorder you tackled a police officer by using a flying kick to his protective shield.”

Judge Challinor said he had considered the fact that Blackwell would lose his job and as a result, his home if sent to prison but added: “This type of violent behaviour so often prevents law-abiding citizens from protesting peacefully.”

Mr Stephen Thomas, prosecuting, told the court Blackwell had been near the front of the group of EDL protesters who had thrown bottles and bits of metal at police, before launching the “flying kick” at a police officer’s riot shield and swearing at him.

Mr Thomas said the group had also been chanting at the police and naming people who had killed officers, including Raoul Moat just weeks before.

Blackwell, who was unrepresented after having an application for legal aid denied, told the court he was “ashamed” of himself.

“I’ve shamed my family and my girlfriend,” he said. He added that he considered the term ‘flying kick’ an “exaggeration”.

Two others who have also pleaded guilty to affray during the EDL march will be sentenced on May 31.

Scott Bailey, 23, of Central Drive, Gornal, is accused of throwing a fence at police while Anthony Grant, 20, of Georges Road, Netherton, is accused of throwing “stones and large objects.”

Express & Star