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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

Mark Grogan had been drinking and admitted giving son a “good hiding”

A father has been given a suspended jail sentence after he assaulted his son with a baseball bat and threatened him with a machete.

Leeds Crown Court heard Mark Grogan had been out earlier drinking with his son Alex without any problem on January 15.

His son and a friend had returned with Grogan to his flat in Dewsbury where the drinking continued until the early hours. After the friend left both men fell asleep.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said the problems began when Grogan woke up and realised two treasured air rifles had gone and blamed his son or the son’s friend.

That led to an argument which culminated in Grogan pinning his son against a wall. He managed to get free and said he was leaving.

He had brought his dog with him and put it on the lead but as they were going Grogan partly shut the door trapping the dog’s paw. His son told him to leave the dog alone but Grogan then picked up the baseball bat and began to hit his son with it in the hall.

“At one point he hit him on the left leg causing him to fall over in pain,” said Mr Ahmed. He was also shouting: “I’m going to sort you out good and proper.”

His victim was struck again until he was crying and crawling on the floor towards the door only to be dragged back by Grogan.

He only managed to get away when his father went into the living room and as he got out saw Grogan was behind him waving a machete shouting: “When I get my hands on you I’m going to kill you.”

Alex Grogan, 20 at the time, managed to ring a relative for help and the police. When his father was arrested and interviewed he accepted giving his son “a good hiding, I just flipped.” He said if he had been sober it would never have happened.

Anastasis Tassou, representing Grogan, said his client had been drinking and he was upset about the air rifles but accepted he should have handled things differently. It was an isolated incident but the result had been a split in the family.

Grogan, 45 of Alexandra Crescent, Dewsbury, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and threatening with an offensive weapon. He was given a total of 21 months in prison suspended for two years with 175 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £300 compensation to his son.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said it was only his good fortune his son had not suffered even more serious injuries. But if Grogan was jailed immediately and lost his flat and job as a result it could only cause more problems.
Huddersfield Examiner

From 2016

Lois Evans and Emma Storey, were yesterday jailed for imprisoning a man and subjecting him to what a judge described as a "terrifying" ordeal, during which he was battered with a hammer

Lois Evans and Emma Storey, were yesterday jailed for imprisoning a man and subjecting him to what a judge described as a “terrifying” ordeal, during which he was battered with a hammerL



TWO women who tied up and tortured a man are behind bars for what a court heard was “horrific humiliation”.

Emma Storey filmed friend Lois Evans repeatedly batter their victim with a hammer as he begged his grinning attacker to stop.

Evans threatened to use a power drill on his kneecaps and feet, and screamed at the Islam-convert: “We don’t like Muslims over here, you know. I f***ing hate them.”

Footage of the distressing attack was shown at Teesside Crown Court where Evans, 30, was jailed for three years and four months and Storey, 35, got two years and eight months.

Evans – said by a judge to be “glorifying” in the torture of the 23-year-old – later told police she felt possessed.

At one point, she threatened to kill the man, and Storey “baulked”, saying: “I agreed to this, but not to bury a body.”

During his ordeal, the victim also had some of his hair cut out, and Polyfilla put in his mouth by Evans, who told him: “Eat this. You chat a load of s***.”

Earlier, Storey shoved a rag in his mouth to gag him, as her friend produced a range of tools to threaten him with – a saw, wrench, screwdriver and the drill as well as a golf club.

In an impact statement, the victim said: “I lay awake at night thinking about why I didn’t fight back, and how humiliated I felt and still feel.

“I would have loved to have been in the army, but this makes me feel I would be no good if I can let two girls beat me up like this.

“I am constantly paranoid about what’s going on around me and who is around me.”

The women, from Guisborough, east Cleveland, had to be separated by security guards in the dock after a fight in the cells before the case. There had also been trouble between the pair while they were on remand at Low Newton in Durham.

Storey wept in the dock as her phone footage of the attack was shown in court, while Evans watched without showing any emotion.

Storey’s lawyer, Gary Wood, told the court that the mother-of-three has had a ten-year amphetamine addiction and had been drinking with her friend on the night.

“She encouraged with words spoken and filmed this horrible incident using her mobile phone, which she accepts makes her equally guilty,” he said.

“On behalf of the defendant, I am instructed to apologise to all parties in this case, in particular the complainant for everything that transpired.”

Stephen Constantine, for mother-of-two Evans, said: “She seems to have flown completely out of her mind. She told the police that she appeared as though she was possessed.

“This is a young lady who doesn’t ordinarily behave like this. She simply snapped and did a lot of things she bitterly regrets.”

Th court heard that Evans was annoyed at continued unwanted attention from the man, visited him in the early hours of April 5 and ordered him into a car to go to Storey’s home.

The victim was said to have been frightened, but wrongly believed that Storey would stop anything happening to him, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.

Towards the end of his ordeal on the video, he can be seen on the floor where it looks as though he is being kicked by Evans.

He managed to escape, but was still bound and had Polyfilla in his hair. He suffered extensive brushing to his arms and legs and a black eye, said Miss Atkinson

Evans, of Woodhouse Road, admitted false imprisonment, religiously-aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm and making threats to kill.

Storey, also of Woodhouse Road, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Judge Deborah Sherwin told the pair: “Each of you have the capacity to be violent bullies when the need, in your eyes, arises.

“It is nothing short of miraculous that his injuries were not worse.”

Neither woman had any previous convictions, the court heard.

The judge told Evans: “It is alarming that you can behave in such a way and you have it in you to act like this.”

She told Storey: “Yours was a secondary role, but in filming it, you were encouraging and egging on Miss Evans in what she was doing.”

When Miss Atkinson was about to play the footage, she warned the court several times: “It’s distressing to watch.”

After hearing screams from the victim, a couple – believed to be the victim’s parents – left the courtroom, but later returned.

Sobbing Storey shouted from the dock: “Marie, I’m sorry.”

Judge Sherwin said: “I have seen the clips and it is quite clear he is begging you to stop, he was cowering away and was clearly terrified.”

Northern Echo

MEMBERS of a biker gang kicked a man in the face after attacking him in a town centre pub and brandished a knife at customers who tried to come to his aid.

Michael Mckeon and Andrew Stevenson dragged their victim from Porters Ale House before beating him up in an early hours ‘drink and drug fuelled’ attack, Liverpool Crown Court heard on Friday, July 6.

The pair, members of biker gang the Sons of Hell, were drinking in the Buttermarket Street pub at around 2.30am on Saturday, January 27, when Chris Forshaw became involved in a dispute at the bar.

Mr Forshaw claimed that he had dropped some money and was bending down to pick it up, but a female customer accused him of attempting to steal her cash.

He was then dragged outside to the smoking area at the rear of the pub by Mckeon and Stevenson, who were wearing Sons of Hell branded jackets – with CCTV of the ensuing ‘totally unprovoked and unnecessary’ attack played in court.

Mckeon, of West Avenue in Stockton Heath, pushed Mr Forshaw to the floor and kicked him in the face before punching him.

Stevenson, of Lovely Lane in Whitecross, pointed a knife at customers who attempted to come to Mr Forshaw’s aid and elbowed him in the face and chest.

The 34-year-old was also seen taking hold of another unidentified victim by the throat.

Mr Forshaw suffered bruising and bleeding to his eyes after the assault.

On Friday, recorder Stephen Riordan sentenced Stevenson to two years and nine months behind bars but spared Mckeon from serving time in jail after the pair admitted actual bodily harm.

Stevenson also admitted possession of a bladed article and breaching a suspended sentence handed to him for affray in 2016.

The court heard that the Northwest Spartans Ltd business owned by Stevenson, who has 14 previous convictions for 36 offences, which employs six people would fold if he was jailed.

He claimed he had branded a bevel edged work tool in the pub rather than a knife.

Barrister Desmond Lennon, representing Mckeon, told the court that his client had served in the Royal Engineers between 2008 and 2012.

The 28-year-old, who has one previous conviction for being drunk and disorderly, was employed as a welder before being made redundant eight months ago.

He has since trained to work in the security industry.

Mckeon was given a 15-month jail sentence suspended for two years, handed a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 30 days and ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work.

Sentencing, recorder Riordan said: “This was a disgraceful incident of violence and a sustained assault.

“For little or no reason, the victim was removed from the bar and attacked by both of you.

“You continued to attack him when he was on the floor, and he received nasty injuries.

“There is one very significant difference between the two of you, a difference which must be reflected in the sentences I pass today.

“Mr Stevenson, you have a quite appalling criminal record while you Mr Mckeon are effectively of previous good character.

“There has to be some disparity in the sentences in this case.”

Warrington Guardian

SHORE leave turned into trouble for five drunken sailors who pitched into early-hours fights in Weymouth town centre, a court was told.

A judge at Dorchester Crown Court told the ratings from HMS Cumberland that they should have been jailed for their attacks on people in Weymouth during their night out last August.

But he opted for fines instead after hearing from senior officers that the men had acted out of character and the RN had put them on restricted leave since the incident.

The five – Ricky Stenning, 22, of Brighton Road, Croydon; Mark Bowker, 22, of Brook Croft Road, Manchester; Matthew Newbold, 19, of Broomfield Lane, Sheffield; Thomas Bailey, 19, of Kelly Close, Plymouth; and Andrew Blagg, 20, of Edridge Close, Bushey – returned to court for sentencing after all pleading guilty to affray.

Stenning also admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and Bowker admitted one count of common assault.

Each man was fined £1,400 for affray and ordered to pay £200 costs. Stenning and Bowker were also fined £600 for their counts of assault and to pay compensation to the man they attacked in St Alban Street.

Dorset Echo

From 2009


A ‘controlling’ Doncaster man beat his girlfriend in the street, before attacking two members of the public who came to her aid, a court heard.

During a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday, Daniel Lang, aged 24, was jailed for three years for one count of controlling and coercive behaviour, one count of grievous bodily harm and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court was told how Lang’s campaign of controlling behaviour towards his girlfriend began after the couple lost a baby girl in January last year.

It began by him reading things on her phone and checking her Facebook messages and ended with regular drink-fueled attacks in which he would ‘punch, kick and rag her about’, said Christopher Dunn, prosecuting.

He added: “He didn’t exactly stop her from going out, but the consequences if she did go out were such that it was simply wasn’t worth it. She stopped going out with friends, she stopped even going to the shop.”

The months of abusive behaviour came to a head on the evening of August 4 last year, when Lang began beating his girlfriend in the street after the pair were ejected from the Black Bull pub in Doncaster town centre and began arguing.

Following this, Lang, of King’s Crescent, Edlington punched a woman who followed the couple down the street after she became concerned about the young woman’s welfare.

Mr Dunn said: “As she got around the corner punched her in the face, his fist connected with her temple and knocked her unconscious.”

The woman was left with a four-inch cut to her head, which needed to be glued.

Then, in a separate incident, two men who saw Lang punching and kicking his girlfriend after he had thrown her to the floor, called the police for help.

One of the men was concerned that the police would not arrive in time and so attempted to intervene himself, the court heard.

“He challenged the defendant who immediately punched him to the face, causing him to fall to his knees,” said Mr Dunn.

The man sustained a fractured cheek bone in the attack.

He was arrested by police shortly after.

Lang pleaded guilty to the three offences prior to Monday’s sentencing.

Gul Nawaz Hussain QC, defending, said: “The defendant is ashamed of his behaviour, but found it difficult with the loss of his daughter.”

He added: “He vented his anger and frustration when he should have been looking to her for solace and comfort, and should have been offering the same thing to her.”

In addition to his custodial sentence, Recorder Davies also made Lang the subject of a five-year restraining order which prevents him from contacting his former girlfriend during that time.

Doncaster Free Press

Joshua Ingram sparked outrage when he walked free from Grimsby Crown Court in October after shoving a toddler’s head into a wall, threatening to throw him out of a window and telling him he was going to kill his mum.

Joshua Ingram leaves Grimsby Crown Court laughing with supporters after he admitted threatening a terrified toddler and his mum that he would kill them (Image: Grimsby Telegraph)

Joshua Ingram leaves Grimsby Crown Court laughing with supporters after he admitted threatening a terrified toddler and his mum that he would kill them (Image: Grimsby Telegraph)

The violent teenager who threatened to throw a toddler out of a window has been locked up today after a court ruled he should never have walked free in the first place.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP referred Joshua Ingram’s original sentence to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient.

Ingram, 18, of Gilbey Road, caused outrage when he walked free from Grimsby Crown Court smirking in October.

He had launched an attack on his ex-girlfriend and her two-year-old son after the toddler agitated him. Ingram who was staying at his ex-girlfriend’s house lost his temper with the child and started swearing. The child’s mother carried the boy into another room; however, when she passed Ingram on the landing he shoved the child’s head into the wall so hard it caused a bang.

Ingram then started to damage property in the living room before following her upstairs and taking her phone so she could not call the police.

He then lunged towards the child in an attempt to try to grab him. He threatened to throw the child down the stairs and against a wall.

The boy was screaming and his mother was lying on top of him on his bed trying to shield him from attack.

Ingram also had a vegetable knife and threatened repeatedly to kill the mother and child. He threw the knife to the floor with such force that it broke. He then grabbed the child again and placed a pillow over the mother’s head and told the child that he was going to kill her.

Recorder Peter Makepeace QC originally sentenced Ingram to two years detention in a young offenders institution suspended for two years. But today, The Court of Appeal agreed that this was too lenient and increased his sentence to three years in a young offenders’ institute.

It later emerged that he had posted a sick Facebook post as he sat in court waiting to be sentenced.

The abusive post, which appeared to be directed at his victim was published at 12.48pm from the court building, and said: “Hahaha what a trampy liarr, still laughinggg like alwaysss (sic).”

Swaggering Ingram, described by his own solicitor as a “stupid young man”, walked free from court at 1.10pm after being given his suspended prison sentence and a life ban from contacting his victims.

A woman who appeared to be a relative later replied to his status, posting: “Bit daft writing this don’t you think?”

Speaking after today’s hearing, the Solicitor General said: “This young man’s violent temper left a defenceless child and mother fearing for their lives.

“The original sentence failed to take proper account of the seriousness of the offence.

“I’m pleased the court has seen fit to impose an immediate custodial sentence and I hope it brings some comfort to the victim.”

Grimsby Telegraph