Luke Stilwell, 40, threw a pyrotechnic device from a window at police

Before Luke Stilwell was arrested, he threw fireworks from his window and threatened police

A man has been jailed for four years and given an extended licence of four years for assaulting emergency workers, affray, possession of an imitation firearm and production of cannabis.

Luke Stilwell, 40, was arrested at his Turnock Gardens home in West Wick after he barricaded himself inside the property and threw a pyrotechnic device from the window at police officers.

The 17-hour siege happened between 11 am on Tuesday, January 25 and 4 am on Wednesday, January 26 and, caused a small number of neighbouring properties in Weston-super-Mare to be evacuated while a cordon was put in place as a precaution.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson said: “Specialist officers including negotiators and armed officers, then worked with other emergency services to bring the incident to a safe conclusion with Stilwellleaving his property at 4am.”

Adding that Mr Stilwell admitted to affray, possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, nine counts of assaulting an emergency worker and the production of cannabis.

The statement continues: “When sentencing on Thursday 9 June His Honour Judge James Patrick said Stilwell’s actions were more than public servants should have to put up with.

“During the incident, Stilwell shone a laser device at the officers’ eyes and one officer’s hearing was affected after the pyrotechnic device went off next to them. Thankfully we’re not aware of any officer suffering lasting injury.”

Bristol Post

In one video he made refference to George Floyd and shared others of black people being racially abused

Anthony Barraclough was jailed for six years / Met Police

A man has been jailed for six years for terrorism and public order offences following a Met Police investigation.

Anthony Barraclough, 40, of east London was found to have shared “appalling” far-right racist material online, detective chief superintendent Dominic Murphy said.

Between November 2020 and February 2021, he was found to have shared hate speech promoting white supremacy and advocating terrorist violence.

In one video he made refference to George Floyd and shared others of black people being racially abused.

Barraclough was arrested on 25 February 2021 and was sentenced to six years in prison at Kingston Crown Court on June 10.

Mr Murphy added: “Barraclough posted appalling racist material online, with the intention of encouraging others to adopt his extremist views and hatred of black people.

“This kind of online activity is poisonous and dangerous – it is not harmless idle talk, and it often has serious real-world consequences.

“Officers acted quickly to identify the offending content, and investigate and arrest the person posting it.”

Appearing at Kingston Crown Court on May 6, 2022, Barraclough admitted to the following offences:

– Three counts of dissemination of a terrorist publication (contrary to section 2(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006).

– Six counts of distributing written material to incite racial hatred (contrary to section 19(1) of the Public Order Act 1986).

– One count of distributing a recording to incite racial hatred (contrary to section 21(1) of the Public Order Act 1986).

LES

National Action was founded in 2013 by Ben Raymond and Alex Davies (pictured)

“Probably the biggest Nazi of the lot.”

That is how jurors heard Alex Davies, a “terrorist hiding in plain sight”, described during his latest trial.

Davies, 27, from Swansea, co-founded the neo-Nazi group National Action in 2013. He had seen it “grow from its small base in south Wales” to a national organisation, a judge said.

He was convicted of membership of a proscribed organisation between December 2016 and September 2017 after a trial at Winchester Crown Court in May.

Davies was then jailed for eight and-a-half years during sentencing at the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey in London on 7 June.

National Action was one of the most extreme British far-right terror groups since World War Two.

Its members openly celebrated the death of Jo Cox MP and called for a “race war”.

One expert said the group was “so extreme you can’t go any further”.

Davies, who was once pictured giving a Nazi salute in a German concentration camp, remains an ardent national socialist with extreme far-right views.

His organisation preyed on young people, grooming them to follow his racist beliefs.

He lived in Uplands, Swansea, and his parents disagreed with his racist views.

Describing himself as “polite” and “high-achieving”, with others referring to him as bright and articulate, Davies said he “survived school and college but got into trouble at university”.

He joined the far-right British National Party as a teenager and was identified as a potential extremist through the Prevent counter-terrorism programme when he was just 15 or 16 years old.

A few years later, he left university when his far-right beliefs were exposed.

He then focused much of his time in growing National Action from his base in Swansea, heading up the south-west “branch”.

Alex Davies was pictured doing a Nazi salute at Buchenwald concentration camp

His attempts to spread his beliefs far and wide led to ambitions to stand for election in Swansea in 2017 after National Action was deemed a terrorist organisation by the UK government.

He attended National Front meetings in Bridgend in 2017, and wanted to stand as a county councillor.

Det Supt Anthony Tagg, a senior counter-terrorism officer, said he remained a danger.

He said: “He admits that he still holds that ideology, but states there’s nothing wrong with him holding that ideology, that he’s free to have those thoughts and ideas.

“We would say those are very dangerous thoughts and ideas. Somebody who sought, through violence, to forward that neo-Nazi ideology, we would say, remains a very dangerous individual”.

He added: “Working with partners and others we will seek to continue to mitigate any risk Alex Davies poses to communities across the UK.”

However, Davies was far from the only member of National Action with links to Wales.

Alex Davies and Ben Raymond founded the group

Ben Raymond, who co-founded the group with Davies, lived in Mumbles, Swansea, and was responsible for much of its racist, offensive propaganda.

He coined the term “white jihad” and was jailed last year for being a member of National Action.

Mikko Vehvilainen was a serving British Army soldier based at Sennybridge barracks in Powys when he was a member of National Action.

A self-confessed racist, he built up a private arsenal and wanted to turn the village of Llansilin in Powys, where he had a house, into a white nationalist stronghold. He was jailed in 2018.

Ben Raymond retweeted a post celebrating Jo Cox’s murder, the court heard

Alex Deakin, a former student in Aberystwyth, ran the West Midlands branch of National Action and spoke about modelling the group along the lines of the “IRA and Viet Cong”.

He was found with two explosives manuals, including a guide to making explosives, and was convicted of membership of National Action.

In 2015, Zack Davies, a 25-year-old National Action member from Mold, Flintshire, used a hammer and machete to attack a Sikh dentist in a Tesco store because of his skin colour.

Zack Davies shouted “white power” during the assault and was later convicted of attempted murder.

He had earlier posed for a selfie in front of a National Action flag while holding a blade.

Several members of NA had read and accessed copies of the manifesto of mass-murderer Anders Breivik – who killed 77 people, mostly children, in bomb and gun attacks in Norway in 2011.

Members held vocal rallies up and down the country, dressed in black, reminiscent of Oswald Moseley’s fascists of the 1930s, delivering Nazi-style salutes and carrying flags, some stating “Hitler was right”.

Alex Davies has become the 19th person to be convicted for membership of the banned fascist group.

National Action promoting one of its “conferences”

Alex Davies was described as “the founder, the galvaniser, the recruiter”, and would welcome fellow neo-Nazis to Swansea, take them for days out in Mumbles and for ice cream.

He jokingly told jurors: “The life of a terrorist.”

Prosecutors and counter terror police believe Alex Davies is unique in British history for founding two far-right terrorist organisations.

First National Action, and then the “continuity group” as it was described in court, NS131. They are organisations that now sit alongside the likes of so-called Islamic State, the IRA and Al-Qaeda.

It was put to Alex Davies in court: “You are a neo-Nazi, yes?”

He replied: “Sure.”

BBC News

A 27-year-old man described in court as a Nazi has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years for being a member of a banned fascist group.

Alex Davies, of Swansea, was a member of National Action (NA) after it was outlawed in December 2016.

A jury found him guilty after it heard NA had not disbanded after its ban, but morphed into regional factions.

He was sentenced on Tuesday at the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey in London.

Judge Mark Dennis QC also ordered him to spend a further year on extended licence.

During his trial at Winchester Crown Court, he was described as “probably the biggest Nazi of the lot”.

Some members of the group had celebrated the murder of MP Jo Cox and advocated a so-called “race war”.

Addressing the defendant in the dock, Judge Dennis said: “You are an intelligent and educated young man but you have held, over a period of many years, warped and shocking prejudices.”

‘Continuity faction’

Davies co-founded NA in Swansea in 2013, before leaving to study at Warwick University, in Coventry, a university he was subsequently forced out of due to his extremist views.

Prosecutor Barnaby Jameson told the court Davies had set up a group called National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action or NS131, which was also banned by the UK government.

Mr Jameson described it as a “continuity faction” of NA that covered the southern part of Great Britain.

Saying it was “expanding and recruiting”, he called Davies a “terrorist hiding in plain sight”.

Mr Jameson said NA and NS131 used the same colours, encrypted internet provider and ideology – a throwback to Nazi Germany – as well as the same leader, and regional structure.

He added: “Who was at the centre of all this? The founder, the galvaniser, the recruiter, one Alex Davies of Swansea. He was probably the biggest Nazi of the lot.”

‘Ideology of hatred’

In his defence, Davies claimed that NS131 was not set up as a continuation of NA and had different aims and processes, and he was only “exercising his democratic rights”.

Davies was the 19th person to be convicted of membership of NA, the first right-wing organisation to be banned since World War Two.

National Action was founded in 2013 by Ben Raymond and Alex Davies (pictured)

Fellow founder Ben Raymond, 33, of Swindon, had previously been found guilty at a separate trial of membership of a banned terrorist group.

In December last year, Raymond was jailed for eight years with a further two years on extended licence.

Together, Davies and Raymond had worked since the group’s creation in spreading an “ideology of hatred”, described as “incredibly dangerous” by counter-terrorism police.

The government acted after members of the organisation celebrated the actions of murderer and neo-Nazi Thomas Mair, who killed MP Jo Cox in June 2016.

Among those convicted of membership since December 2016 have been British soldier and Afghanistan veteran, Finnish-born Mikko Vehvilainen, and former Met probationary police officer Ben Hannam.

One of the group’s associates was convicted of making a working pipe bomb, while another, Jack Renshaw, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, later admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper with a machete.

Social media savvy

He was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years.

Renshaw’s plot was only foiled after a National Action member blew the whistle on his former friends, reporting the plan to counter-extremist group Hope Not Hate, which passed the information to police.

NA was social media savvy, boasting self-taught propagandists among its ranks, though its membership never exceeded 100.

They created slick computer-generated imagery – including logos, and slogans for stickers, leaflets and posters – and targeted young people in particular for recruitment.

Some of their literature called for “white jihad”, but they had also created a policy document to “make way for national socialism to enter British politics”.

Other material had designs glorifying the anti-semitic messaging of Hitler’s Germany or praising the work of SS death squads.

BBC News

A man who attended a “knife survival” event in Essex has been jailed for three years for being a member of banned terror group National Action (NA). David Musins, 36, admitted his involvement with the extreme right-wing organisation after it was banned by the Government in December 2016.

On Friday (May 27), he was sentenced at the Old Bailey to three years in prison with a further year on extended licence. Judge Anthony Leonard QC had rejected his plea for a suspended sentence, saying: “You had a good education, you are a graduate and have held a responsible job as an operations manager.

“You accept you became involved with some very dangerous people over the internet while you were a member of National Action. That you left the group voluntarily is particularly significant, but it cannot expunge your earlier behaviour, which is abhorrent.”

Earlier, prosecutor Tom Williams told how Musins, from Muswell Hill, North London, had joined Iron March, a neo-Nazi web forum, in January 2016. In an introductory message he wrote that he was in his 20s, that he was based in London, and studied history before becoming interested in National Socialism, MyLondon reports.

The court heard that once a member of National Action, Musins had attended an “outdoor camping and knife survival event” in Epping Forest, Essex, along with many other events related to weapons and graffiti with high-ranking members who have since been convicted.

Mr Williams outlined the defendant’s substantial involvement with NA and a number of high-profile individuals who have since been convicted. In March 2016 he was listed as an attendee at an NA meeting at a pub in Paddington by Ben Hannam, who went on to lie on his application to join the Metropolitan Police.

On the meeting, Musins reflected that it was “great to sit down with people and get straight into it and talk properly about the real issues and hear some decent opinions for once”. The court heard he went on to attend a camp in Derbyshire and a march in Darlington, Co Durham.

In December 2016 NA was banned by then home secretary Amber Rudd, who described it as “a racist, antisemitic and homophobic organisation which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology”. Post-proscription, Musins and others remained active as the group re-emerged under the alias NS131.

Mr Williams said Musins attended a number of graffiti and training events with the same group of people. On January 15 2017, Musins attended a meeting with NA founder Alex Davies and others in a Yates pub in Swindon, Wiltshire.

The defendant had accepted that NS131 was discussed at this meeting, months before it emerged publicly online. The next month, he attended an indoor martial arts event, also in Swindon.

Three months later, he went to an “outdoor camping and knife survival event” in Epping Forest, Essex, the court heard. A graffiti event at a derelict building in Swindon followed in July, at which the group made a promotional film for NS131 which was posted on YouTube. At another graffiti event in August, Musins was pictured with others giving a Nazi salute above an NS131 banner.

On November 6 2019, the Iron March database was made public. That, and inquiries connected with Hannam’s trial last year, led Musins to be identified by police, the court was told. On November 10 last year, Musins was arrested and police seized black clothing, a black skull face covering, boxing gloves and spray paint from his home.

In mitigation, Lisa Bald argued for a suspended sentence, saying it was an exceptional case because Musins had changed his outlook. She said: “If someone has actually changed their view and changed the way they view the world, that surely is the hope we all have for people who find themselves entangled with extremism.”

Nick Price, head of the CPS counter terrorism division, said: “David Musins continued to associate with members of a banned right-wing group which perpetrated hateful and racist views. It is right that faced with the evidence against him he admitted this offence and has been sentenced.

“There is no place in society for these beliefs. Our team at the CPS has prosecuted a number of National Action cases since it became a proscribed organisation, and we will continue to prosecute all cases involving banned organisations where possible.”

Commander Richard Smith, of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This was a detailed investigation which led to an admission of guilt and the team should be highly commended.

“Outwardly, Musins was unremarkable but secretly he willingly joined and took part in activities run by an extreme right-wing group of individuals, united by confused and hate-filled ideologies.”

Essex Live

A teenager with an “extreme right-wing mindset who endorsed warped ideology” has been detained for possessing and accessing terrorist publications.

Mason Yates, 19, of Widnes, Cheshire, admitted downloading two documents shared among a chat group on the encrypted Telegram app.

Manchester Crown Court heard they included instructions on how to prepare fireballs and explosive devices.

He was detained for 30 months for the offences between 2020 and January 2021.

The court heard Yates was a college student when he downloaded the documents.

‘Disturbing views’

Sentencing, Judge Alan Conrad QC told him: “For some years you have held an extreme right-wing mindset expressing hatred towards a number of minorities, religious, ethnic and other groups.

“Posts by you have endorsed those who have committed atrocities in the name of such warped ideology.”

He said he was in a “like minded” group who exchanged “disturbing views” using the encrypted platform which was “very dangerous”.

“It serves to encourage others and only needs one person to take it up for catastrophe to ensue.”

Judge Conrad concluded Yates retains his extremist mindset noting Yates attended a rally featuring far-right activist Tommy Robinson in Telford in January wearing a skull mask, two months after he was charged.

Yates also restored one of the documents to his phone hours after police returned his device and wiped all data from it, the court heard.

Yates had been referred to the government’s counter-terrorism programme Prevent when aged 13 and 16 but did not engage with the initiative, the court heard.

A support worker had reported him after he was heard to have said in class at college “I have not got just an issue with Muslims, it’s the whole of Islam”, “I have not been radicalised, I would be the one radicalising other people” and “I am as far-right as you can be”, the court heard.

Nicola Gatto, defending, said her client was not suggesting he had completely abandoned his views but “he is no longer as immersed in that world” and now works as a scaffolder and has a relationship.

Yates was bullied at school and lost his mother when he was aged 14 and is isolated within his family, the court was told.

Miss Gatto added: “He has spent long periods of time alone exposed to very worrying views on the internet. Part of this offending took place during the pandemic when he was even more isolated.”

Yates, of Elstree Court, who pleaded guilty, received 30 months detention in a young offenders institute and one-month concurrent term for possession of an extreme pornographic image on his phone.

BBC News

A Cheshire teenager who downloaded terrorist documents and posted vile racism online described himself as a ‘literal Nazi’. Right-wing extremist Mason Yates, 19, was referred to the counter-terrorism strategy Prevent when he was just 13 – and now he has been locked up for 30 months.

Police found copies of ‘100 Deadly Skills’, which provides instructions on knife attacks and making explosive devices, and the ‘White Resistance Manual’, giving directions on how to carry out ‘mass murder’ in advance of a ‘race war’, on his phone, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Yates, of Elstreet Court, Widnes, developed an ‘unsavoury obsession’ with right wing politics, Manchester Crown Court heard. His lawyer said Yates, who also displayed an interest in the murderer behind mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, spent hours on his computer and became ‘even more isolated’ during the pandemic.

Yates’ vile posts on the Telegram app were revealed after an undercover police officer posed as an extremist. Yates, then 17, was part of a Telegram channel featuring a network of like-minded young people with hateful views.

On Snapchat he said he was trying to convert someone to ‘hate ni*****, gays and Muslims’. In a voice note on Telegram he said the ‘real problem’ was with Jews, and said the British Army is ‘full of ni*****, gays and females who fight for the Jew’.

Yates, who was also found with disgusting extreme pornography – which he also claimed to find abhorrent – downloaded the two terrorist documents from the Telegram channel, prosecutor Philip McGhee said. Police went to arrest him at his home in January 2021, at 7am while he was asleep in a bedroom, where he had a ‘white pride’ flag.

Officers seized his mobile phone and returned it to him a few days later, after it had been wiped and had been restored to factory settings. When officers arrested him again in May, they discovered that Yates had downloaded ‘100 Deadly Skills’ and the ‘White Resistance Manual’ again.

“I don’t think they realise, raiding our houses f****** radicalises us more,” Yates told a friend. He told police had gone down a ‘rabbit hole’ online.

Yates said: “No matter like how far my ideology went, in no point did I ever intend to want to like or plan, never a thing or anything to hurt anyone.” Just a few days ago, Yates made a payment of £39.98 to a website called Knife Warehouse. Prosecutors said there was no evidence available to reveal what he had bought.

Yates, a trainee scaffolder, was first referred to Prevent when he was 13, when a ‘school visit’ was conducted with his parents. Concerns had been raised that Yates had been in discussion with chat rooms with young people of a similar age, discussing how they could defeat ISIS by raising awareness of ISIS activity to protect citizens.

Then when he was aged 16, he was referred to Prevent by his college, who noted he attended class wearing a UKIP bracelet and discussed his political views in a ‘strong manner’. In class discussions, Yates was reported to have said ‘I haven’t got just an issue with Muslims, it’s the whole of Islam’, and ‘I haven’t been radicalised, I would be the one radicalising other people’.

He also said: “I’m as far right as you can be.” The referral was closed after Yates’ father declined help from the authorities.

Defending, Nicola Gatto said Yates was capable of ‘change’ and ‘de-radicalisation’. She said he had no friends at school and became ‘isolated’, spending hours on his computer.

His online network made him feel like he was ‘part of a family’. She claimed that he’d been groomed online and said it could be ‘dangerous’ for him to be jailed where he may come across other more sophisticated criminals.

Sentencing, Judge Alan Conrad QC said: “For some years you have held an extreme right wing mindset, expressing hatred towards a number of minorities, religious, ethnic and other groups. Posts by you have endorsed those who have committed atrocities in the name of such warped ideology.

“Your views are abhorrent to all right-thinking people. You have hate for all sorts of people who have not harmed you and who pose no threat to you.

“What has been seen of you tends to show isolation and an inability or unwillingness to engage with others and form relationships, and, as I have found in dealing with a number of these cases, are a common feature involving young men who – in their own homes – communicate with others of like mind to express their poisonous ideology and enter into very dangerous waters on the internet and via social media, obtaining extreme pornography and texts of which are of use to those interested in terrorism.”

Yates pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a document likely to be useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism; and possessing extreme pornography.

Following the case, Detective Chief Inspector Clare Devlin, from CTPNW, said: “This was a thorough and comprehensive investigation which has resulted in Yates facing imprisonment for 30 months.

“Today’s sentencing reaffirms our commitment to making sure those who pose a risk to our society will be pursued and prosecuted. Extremists using this kind of ideology can create fear and distrust among our communities and CTPNW is committed to finding those responsible and bringing them to justice.

“Reports of this nature are always taken seriously and we would encourage anyone with any concerns around people expressing extremist views to call the UK Anti-Terrorism Hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321, or alternatively, use the secure online form at Gov.uk/ACT.”

Cheshire Live

A man from Muswell Hill has been jailed for being an “active” member of the banned far-right group National Action.

David Musins, of Creighton Avenue, admitted to belonging to a proscribed organisation at the Old Bailey on March 14.

The 36-year-old was handed a three-year jail term at the same court on Friday (May 27).

Judge Anthony Leonard QC said the circumstances made it hard to come to any other view than to conclude that Musins was “fully immersed in the ideology of the group”.

Rejecting his plea for a suspended sentence, the judge said: “Your involvement in the organisation was substantial.”

His involvement – over a period from around March 2016 to September 2017 – included attending the London branch of National Action, as well as events held in Derbyshire, Darlington and Swindon.

He was also involved in a promotional video for the group, which changed its name to NS131 after becoming a proscribed organisation in December 2016.

That level of involvement saw the judge arrive at an original starting point of six years in custody.

The final term reached came as a result of reductions to reflect guilty plea, and to account for the mitigating circumstances offered.

In terms of mitigation, the judge acknowledged that Musins left the group of his own accord, and that he sought help from a therapist following his arrest.

He had no previous convictions.

While “significant”, the judge maintained those factors did not “expunge” behaviour and beliefs he described as “abhorrent”.

“You accept that you became involved with some very dangerous people over the internet while you were a member of National Action,” he remarked.

The judge further acknowledged that the 36-year-old did not know National Action was a proscribed group, but said this did not alter his sentencing.

In a letter written to the court, Musins admitted to becoming a “racist in a separatist sense” during this period.

The judge said those beliefs demonstrated a “commitment to hostility”, which supported his view that a custodial sentence must be imposed.

Musins was arrested by counter-terrorism officers on November 10, 2021 and charged with the offence on February 4 this year.

He will serve a further year on extended licence following the conclusion of his custodial sentence.

HamHigh

Teenager from Darlington thought to be youngest person in UK charged with terrorism offences

A teenager who downloaded guides to making bombs, and is thought to be the youngest person in the UK charged with terrorism offences, has avoided jail after being sentenced to a referral order.

The UK’s chief magistrate, Judge Paul Goldspring, sitting at Newton Aycliffe youth court in County Durham, said that if the 14-year-old boy had been an adult, he would be facing a jail sentence of up to five years.

The boy, from Darlington, downloaded substantial amounts of material on how to make weapons and bombs and how to start a militia. He expressed admiration for the Columbine High school massacre and came to the attention of counter terror police when, on social media, he talked about blowing up an orphanage.

He had an interest in the far right and posted messages and material that was racist, homophobic, antisemitic and Islamophobic. He was 11 when he downloaded an image of Adolf Hitler from 1933.

The boy told the judge that it was all a fantasy and bravado, and that he would never have carried out the kind of attacks he talked about online.

The court heard that the boy was on the autism spectrum. He first appeared at Westminster magistrates court in January when he admitted three counts of possessing material useful to a terrorist.

The judge said the views expressed by the boy were “disgusting”.

“Just about every minority receives your vitriol, and the terminology you used was concerning and abhorrent in equal measure.”

But the judge added that imposing a custodial sentence would undo all the rehabilitation the boy had achieved over the past year.

Defence solicitor, Stephen Andrews, said the boy had experienced traumatic family events which had taken their toll. “You have before the courts a very complex young man, showing signs of both extreme naivety and vulnerability, at the same time as elements of sophistication.”

Andrews said the boy was bullied and extremely isolated, and the internet appeared to be a way of changing that, a way of making himself “look cool”.

He continued: “All of a sudden, he has an identity. All of a sudden he belongs to something. All of a sudden he is part of a group.”

The judge questioned to the boy directly, telling him that he was taking a risk by not imposing a custodial sentence.

He asked about his interests – football and hanging out with mates – and whether he held the views he espoused online. “No,” the boy replied “It doesn’t matter what religion or race you are.”

Det Supt Matthew Davison, the regional Prevent co-ordinator at Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said the case illustrated how young people can be radicalised in a strikingly short space of time. “Crossing the line from things that can be quite innocent into what can become criminal can be very quick and very short.”

Davison said the pandemic and lockdowns had led to young people spending more time online, alone in their bedrooms, and that was a concern.

“It can be quite a short journey and that’s why it’s so important for families, friends, parents or guardians to be aware of the signs to look out for. They should trust their instincts and act early.

“Our mantra is, the earlier we can act, the more we can prevent people progressing down the road to criminality.”

The Guardian

An “arrogant” Hells Angels leader is behind bars after getting involved in large-scale violence during a counter demonstration at a Black Lives Matter march.

Widespread trouble flared when members of North East Frontline Patriots, Protect the Monument from Black Lives Matter and other groups, including Hells Angels and veterans, attended the organised demonstration in Newcastle in June 2020.

The counter protestors said they were there to “protect” the city’s Grey’s Monument from the Black Lives Matter demonstrators and around 1,000 people in total gathered round the statue that day, including police officers.

The monument is an 1838 Grade I-listed memorial to Charles Grey whose government enacted the Slavery Abolition Act.

However, the act is controversial as it compensated slave owners for the loss of their “property”.

Newcastle Crown Court heard both groups stated they planned a “peaceful” protest.

But prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court from about 2pm that day, parts of the crowd became hostile and violent and police officers, dogs and horses were injured as well as members of the public.

Objects including glass bottles, metal cans and smoke grenades were thrown.

Mr Perks said police officers were hit by missiles and suffered injuries ranging from redness to bruising, a dislocated finger and one had his foot trampled by a horse trying to avoid an object, which led to eight weeks off work.

One police horse had blood coming from the mouth, another needed treatment to a cut leg and one service dog suffered a wound to the face from a bottle that was thrown.

A 17-year-old who attended to peacefully demonstrate with the Black Lives Matter group was hit by a bottle as she tried to get away from the violence and suffered a wound to the head.

The court heard Colin Green is the leader of the Tyne and Wear Chapter of the Hells Angels and he was caught on CCTV among the counter protesters.

He threw no missiles or punches but was shown on the footage to be running at police, refusing to leave and ended up being bitten by a police dog then taken to hospital.

The 58-year-old of Church Street, Sunderland, who lives in accommodation provided by the Chapter and works at their bar, admitted violent disorder and has now been jailed for 29 months.

Judge Edward Bindloss said: “He is an influential figure of the Hells Angels in this area.

“My assessment of him on the footage is of him walking around in a cool, calm and arrogant manner, walking up to police, going behind police, striding around in a way that made me assess him as someone who thought he was untouchable.”

Judge Bindloss said Green played a “significant part” in what happened that day and added: “It could have been open to him to say to those in his chapter ‘we are off’, ‘we are leaving the scene’, ‘let’s go’.

“He chose not to do so.”

Nick Lane, defending, handed in references to Green’s ordinarily positive character.

Mr Lane said Green is “deeply ashamed and embarrassed by his conduct on the day” and has been involved in charity work including providing Covid hampers during lockdowns and planning events such as the Armed Services Day event in South Shields.

Christopher Butters, 42, of Moorland Avenue, Bedlington, Northumberland, was jailed for 31 months at the same hearing.

He also admitted violent disorder and had been shown on CCTV throwing missiles at police after he was hit by a mounted officer’s baton.
Sunderland Echo