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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



A man who amassed an arsenal of weapons including explosives, knives and rocket mortars has been jailed for 30 months.

Simon Flint was arrested after a row with youths near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in June in which he pointed a loaded crossbow at them.

He had earlier admitted affray and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 42-year-old, of Meadowfield Drive, Eaglescliffe, had a fixation with weapons.

After his arrest, police searched a camper van in which he was living and found a “significant collection” of weapons, which also included swords, pepper spray and chemicals that could be used to make improvised explosive devices.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, told the court police searched his electronic devices and found videos of him blowing up an apple, a cucumber and a laptop computer.

He told police he thought the effect was “hilarious”, but he understood it may be illegal.

The court heard he told officers he had a fascination with “making things go bang”.

‘Unorthodox interests’

Flint had got into a row with some youths and when a dog walker went to be a peace-maker, the defendant pointed his crossbow at them, Mr Perks said.

Mr Perks said Flint was found to possess a number of stab vests, adding: “I think these acquisitions stem from a skewed sense of his need to defend himself.”

Mark Styles, defending, said: “His unorthodox interests have led to the situation he is now in.

“We have to concede he is certainly eccentric but he is not mentally ill.”

Judge Howard Crowson jailed him for two-and-a-half years, giving Flint credit for his guilty pleas.

Outside court, Gary Fotherill of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Flint appears to have been motivated by a compulsion to master the technical process of constructing improvised explosive devices and to use these to blow up inanimate objects for his own entertainment.”

BBC News

A MAN has pleaded guilty to a number of charges in connection with the possession of weapons and explosive making equipment.

Simon Flint had a huge collection of weapons, including more than 100 knives, improvised explosive crossbow bolts and a catalogue of components to build his own bombs, including potential pipe bombs.

The 42-year-old was due to stand trial this morning after being charged with seven offences following a police operation in Bishop Auckland on Friday, June 28.

However, this morning he pleaded guilty to three charges – affray and two charges of possession of explosive substances. He had already pleaded guilty to a number of offences at Durham Crown Court.

olyon Perks, prosecuting, said the defendant accepted that he had acquired the parts needed to construct an improvised explosive device.

He added that the defendant used improvised devices to blow up fruit and a laptop computer.

Mr Flint, who has an address at Meadowfield Drive, Eaglescliffe, but is understood to have lived in a campervan for a number of years, was charged with making threats to kill, possession of an explosive substance, two charges of possession of offensive weapons, possession of a weapon for the discharge of pepper spray, two charges of possession of a bladed article in public and a public order offence.

Among the items listed in the charges were three crossbows, a friction locking baton, lock knives and swords including one measuring 2ft long.

The precision engineer is also accused of possession of an explosive black powder, a weapon designed to discharge a noxious gas or liquid – namely pepper spray, and of using abusive, threatening or insulting words or behaviour to cause alarm.

Judge Howard Crowson adjourned the case for sentence and remanded Flint into custody.

He said: “We have admitted your offences and the next stage is sentencing but we will want to that right and it can be a little complicated, this piece of the law, so the lawyers are going to make sure they help me as much as they can and get this right.”

A far-right terrorist who tried to kill Muslims in a rampage the day after the Christchurch attack has been jailed for more than 18 years.

Vincent Fuller shouted “all Muslims should die, white supremacists rule” after watching a Facebook livestream broadcast by the shooter.

The 50-year-old attacked cars with non-white drivers with a baseball bat in Stanwell, Surrey, then prowled the streets armed with a knife searching for more targets.

Kingston Crown Court heard that Fuller stabbed a teenager of Bulgarian heritage as he sat in a car with friends outside Tesco, telling him: “You’re going to die.”

The attack was declared a terrorist incident by police the following day but while Fuller admitted a string of offences including attempted murder, he denied committing an act of far-right terror.

Judge Peter Lodder QC found the stabbing had a “terrorist connection” on Tuesday and jailed Fuller for 18 years and nine months.

“This was an act of attempted murder and, as I have found, this was a terrorist act,” he told the court, after finding the stabbing was motivated by white supremacy and anti-Muslim hatred.

The attack unfolded on 16 March, the day after 51 Muslims were massacred at mosques in Christchurch.

“Vincent got a bit angry about the news from New Zealand because he said, ‘it is always them, the Muslims that get looked after and get cared about’,” his girlfriend told police.

Shortly before starting his rampage, Fuller wrote a Facebook post reading: “I am English, no matter what the government say. Kill all the non-English and get them all out of England.”A second post published half an hour later afterwards added: “I agree with what that man did in New Zealand as we will not be brainwashed to this their wrong [sic].”

Prosecutors said he first attacked a neighbour’s home with a baseball bat, calling the woman of Indian descent a “black c***”.

Neighbours heard Fuller shouting “kill Muslims” and “white supremacy”, with one woman reporting he said: “All Muslims should die, white supremacists rule. I’m going to murder a Muslim.”

After the woman refused to answer her door, Fuller walked down the road attacking cars and shouting racist insults and threats at drivers.

A Facebook post made by Vincent Fuller shortly before he started his attack in Stanwell, Surrey, on 16 March 2019

“I’m going to f***ing kill you, I’m going to f***ing cut your throat you black bastard,” he shouted at one driver, before attacking an Uber driven by a Muslim man.

Fuller broke the bat after attacking several vehicles, then went back home and armed himself with a knife.

He walked towards a Tesco supermarket, where a 19-year-old Bulgarian man was in his car talking to friends.

Witnesses said they saw Fuller approaching with a 12in knife with a black blade before he asked the teenagers: “Do you want to get hurt?”

The court heard that the victim replied “what?” before Fuller told him: “You’re going to die.”

The driver attempted to start his car to escape but Fuller lunged through the open window and stabbed him in the hand and neck.

He managed to drive to a nearby McDonald’s and received first aid, before undergoing three hours of surgery.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said the teenager was targeted because he has lightly-tanned skin and was sat next to a friend with a long beard.

“His conduct was motivated by racist and religious hatred, bolstered by the consumption of alcohol,” he told the court.

Vincent Fuller, 50, went on a rampage armed with a knife and baseball bat in the Surrey town of Stanwell on 16 March 2019

”His intention was to strike fear into the hearts of people he described as ‘non-English’, in particular Muslims.”

Fuller, of Viola Avenue in Stanwell, was arrested a short distance away after being Tasered by police and initially denied carrying out the attack.

He later admitted attempted murder, possession of a bladed article, affray and racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.

Prosecutors said he called police officers “dirty immigrant scum” while being arrested, adding: “Dirty race traitor, I hope your kids die. I hope your f***ing family die.”

Fuller added: “I hope Syrians come over and rape your children. I hope Isis comes over and rapes your children.”

The court heard that he bore animosity towards police over an investigation of allegations made by his ex-girlfriend.

The day before the attack, Fuller rejected a request to attend a voluntary interview over threatening Facebook messages, calling the officer a “little girl” and telling her to “f*** off”.

A friend who spent time with him on the morning of the attack said he was “preoccupied with the fact that the police wanted to speak to him”, and saw television news about the Christchurch attack shortly afterwards.

In a police interview, Fuller admitted watching the shooter’s video and writing the Facebook posts, but “said he was angry and did not mean it”.

A baseball bat used by Vincent Fuller, 50, to attack cars in the Surrey town of Stanwell on 16 March 2019

He tested positive for cannabis and alcohol, and told police he had downed a large bottle of cider and three cans of strong lager.

Fuller has 24 previous convictions for 59 offences, including a six-year prison sentence in 1998 for stealing handbags from elderly women.

Benjamin Waidhofer, defending, told the court on Friday that his client had no historic links to terrorism and his actions stemmed from family problems “rather than an attempt to further a cause”.

But prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said that if someone had praised the London Bridge terror attacks, said they were going to kill non-Muslims and then stabbed someone, then that would “obviously be terrorism”.

The Stanwell incident is one of several alleged terror attacks and plots inspired in part by the Christchurch shooting, which saw the perpetrator publish a lengthy manifesto detailing a theory that white people are being “replaced” by Muslims.

Brenton Tarrant has been described as a “saint” on extremist forums and cited as an inspiration by white supremacists who carried out shooting massacres in El Paso and Poway.

On Monday, the head of UK counter-terror policing revealed that security services had foiled 15 Islamist and seven far-right attacks since March 2017.

The Independent

Fuller carried out the attack the day after 51 Muslims were killed in Christchurch, New Zealand

A white supremacist who tried to kill a Bulgarian teenager in a Tesco car park has been jailed for more than 18 years.

Vincent Fuller, 50, stabbed Dimitar Mihaylov, 19, in Stanwell, Surrey, a day after a gunman attacked mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Kingston Crown Court heard Fuller, who admitted attempted murder, had set out to kill Muslims.

He had denied a terrorist motive but judge Peter Lodder QC said: “This was a terrorist act.”

BBC News

A far-right extremist watched a video of the Christchurch terror attack before slashing a 19-year-old Bulgarian with a knife, a court has heard.

Vincent Fuller, of Stanwell, Surrey, has previously admitted attempted murder at Kingston Crown Court.

The 50-year-old denies a terrorist motive and Judge Peter Lodder QC must rule on the issue before sentencing.

The court heard Fuller, who went on “a rampage” in Stanwell, intended to strike fear into the hearts of Muslims.

Fuller, of Viola Avenue, carried out his 16 March attack the day after the murder of 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand by a white supremacist, who livestreamed the shootings online.

A video excerpt of the massacre on Fuller’s phone was played to the court.

The court was told Fuller, before the attack, wrote on Facebook to get “non-English … out of England” and showing support for the events in New Zealand.

Video, taken from a doorbell and played to the court, showed Fuller carrying a baseball bat and seeking entry into a house, shouting racist abuse.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay described how a neighbour heard him say: “All Muslims should die. White supremacists rule. I’m going to murder a Muslim.”

Fuller walked along a road swinging a bat at cars before returning home to arm himself with a 12-inch kitchen knife, the court heard.

At a local Tesco car park, he attacked two occupants of one car – Dimitar Mihaylov and his black friend – after he walked past two white people in another vehicle, Mr Polnay said.

The court heard Mr Mihaylov was parked with his window down when a man approached, carrying a knife, and told him “you’re going to die”.

Mr Mihaylov’s hand was badly injured when he held it up to protect himself and the knife clipped his neck, the court heard.

Fuller then racially abused the armed officers who arrested him, calling them “race traitors”, Mr Polnay said.

Eventually during interviews, Fuller told detectives he had been drinking cider and super-strength beer and could not remember events.

A victim impact statement from self-employed Mr Mihaylov described how he will never regain full sensation in his hand, was unable to work for three months and can no longer work as a specialist roofer, leading to reduced income, and has increased anxiety.

Fuller admits his attack was racially and religiously motivated, but denies a terrorist motive.

He has also admitted possession of a bladed article, affray, and causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

The hearing was adjourned.

BBC News

Shane Wallace admits affray following the incident in Queensway just before new year

The man who ended up in a medically induced coma and suffered horrific injuries in a street fight has admitted charges of affray and possessing a knife.

Shane Wallace was refused bail and the chance to return home to his family before he is sentenced today.

Wallace, 34, of Greyfriars, Grimsby, was originally accused of attempting to wound a man with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possessing a knife on December 30, during an incident in Queensway.

But the more serious of the two charges he faced at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court has been dropped and it was not put to him when he appeared at the higher court via a video link from Doncaster Prison.

It was replaced with the lesser affray charge alongside the knife offence.

Prosecutor Jeremy Evans said of Wallace: “This man suffered horrific injuries.”

Judge Paul Watson QC said that Wallace suffered multiple fractures to his face and was in an induced coma in hospital.

He added that many would say that the worst aspect of his involvement was possessing the knife.

Defence barrister Andrew Bailey asked for Wallace to be allowed bail pending sentence.

Shane Wallace was treated at Hull Royal Infirmary following a serious assault on Queensway, Grimsby

Shane Wallace was treated at Hull Royal Infirmary following a serious assault on Queensway, Grimsby

“He would now like to go back to his family,” said Mr Bailey.

“He has entered honest pleas.”

But Judge Watson said that it would be worse for Wallace to be allowed bail and then have to go back to prison when he was sentenced.

Wallace will be sentenced without a pre-sentence report at Grimsby Crown Court today and was remanded back into custody following yesterday’s hearing.

Another man charged in connection with the incident will appear in court in May

Grimsby Telegraph

A MOTHER and her son were injured during a racially aggravated attack in Breightmet earlier this year, which resulted in one of the victims needing brain surgery.

Dale Hart outside Bolton Crown Court

The pair had been walking to a bus stop on their way to church, the 15-year-old son, Ray Nhial, had run ahead to make sure they caught the bus and ran past Dale Hart, who was walking in the opposite direction with his partner and child in a pram.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Hart thought Ray had hit or nudged the pram running past and said “watch where you’re going” or words to that effect.

A scuffle ensued the court was told by Colin Buckle, prosecuting, and Hart punched Ray. In the course of the scuffle Ray’s mother, Nyawig Mantywil Wor may have been struck as well.

Hart admitted in his plea that he had hurled racist abuse at the family.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the incident which happened in Padbury Way, Breightmet on Sunday, June 3 at about 2pm.

From the CCTV it was clear said The Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh that “there was no contact between Ray and the pram.”

Judge Walsh said: “You challenged him and after a verbal exchange, attacked him and punched him to the face.”

He added that: “It is apparent from the footage that you were the aggressor.”

The CCTV shows Mrs Wor stepping in to break the pair up, Judge Walsh said: “It is clear her actions were not aggressive but were designed and intended to bring an end to the scuffle… As the incident was being brought to an end you shouted racist abuse towards Ray Nhial and his family.”

Rosalind Scott Bell, defending, told the court: “He has to and did accept that in the heat of the moment he used language that was deeply offensive and he recognises such language is utterly inappropriate and he is contrite.

“The only matter Mr Hart was really concerned I conveyed was an apology to Mrs Wor and Ray themselves.”

Mrs Scott Bell told the court that Hart had been living in Glasgow with family for six months “for his own protection” and had been unable to return home in the last two weeks before sentencing because of concerning social media posts.

Mrs Scott Bell added: “He did accept he was the aggressor and they were his words.”

Following the incident the family got on the 561 First Bus and it drove away, however Mrs Wor became dizzy on the bus and got off to sit at another bus stop where she collapsed and was drifting in and out of consciousness.

Police officers and paramedics attended her and she was taken to Royal Bolton Hospital. There after a CT Scan it was discovered she hat a two brain bleeds and her brain had shifted inside her skull, requiring emergency surgery to relieve the pressure.

Mr Buckle told the court Mrs Wor was at a greater risk of brain bleeds because of a medical condition.

Yesterday the offender, Hart, aged 29, of Grantchester Way, Breightmet received a 12 month sentence, suspended for two years for affray and racially aggravated assault.

He must also complete 30 days of rehabilitation and carry out 180 hours unpaid work.

Bolton News

John Reilly called Esmael Elmarghani a “Muslim b*****d” when he wasn’t even a Muslim

John Reilly, 41, of no fixed address, admitted racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm

John Reilly, 41, of no fixed address, admitted racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm

A prisoner poured boiling water in a sleeping inmate’s eye at HMP Altcourse during a sickening racist attack.

Convicted robber John Reilly demanded a turn on a pool table when Esmael Elmarghani was playing a game.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Elmarghani, 38, originally from Libya, didn’t want any trouble and said ‘that’s fine”.

To ensure there were no hard feelings, he offered Reilly a fist bump, which the 41-year-old reciprocated.

But when he went back to his cell and fell asleep, Reilly collected boiling water from a tea urn in a beaker.

The cowardly thug then crept up to defenceless Elmarghani and emptied its contents onto his left eye.

He woke in immense pain and Reilly warned: “Don’t go out you Muslim b*****d – if you go out I will kill you.”

Derek Jones, prosecuting, said Elmarghani – who is not actually Muslim – was terrified but alerted prison guards.

He had been in the jail since early last year and had “kept himself to himself” before the June 17, 2017 incident.

CCTV footage captured Reilly hiding the beaker, going in Elmarghani’s cell, onto the landing, then back in the cell to attack.

Mr Jones said the victim was taken to Whiston hospital, where he received treatment including ointment for three days.

Reilly, of no fixed address, appearing via video link from HMP Birmingham, admitted racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm.

Judge Gary Woodhall questioned why he was not charged with causing grievous bodily harm, which Mr Jones said surprised him.

Elmarghani revealed he no longer had any scarring on his face, but is receiving treatment for his left eye from ophthalmologists.

The victim said he had suffered depression since the incident and was nervous of people coming close to him.

He said he was afraid of people holding bottles of water and found going out in public and getting a new job difficult.

Because of the damage to his skin, he said he avoided sunlight or direct heat and no longer felt able to work as a chef.

Mr Jones said: “He describes having partial vision and his ongoing course of treatment involves having injections to his left eyeball.

“He is still unsure if the damage to the eye will be permanent or not.”

Reilly, who refused to be interviewed when police attended prison, has 42 previous convictions for 142 offences, dating back to 1992.

They include wounding, assaults, drugs, possession of weapons, affrays and a robbery he was jailed for five years over in 1998.

He was locked up for five years, four months with an extended two years, eight months on licence in September 2015 for robbery.

And just nine days after this attack, he assaulted a prison guard by punching him in the face and was convicted of battery.

Charles Lander, defending, said his client – who was due for release next March – was “embarrassed and ashamed”.

He said: “The defendant says after a game of pool his head was stewing, he was going to get a coffee and for some reason he just went into that room and acted as he did.”

Mr Lander said Reilly had anger management issues and was possibly schizophrenic but at the time was not receiving his medication.

He said he was embarrassed to now have a conviction for racism and never had any problems before with Muslims or ethnic minorities.

Judge Woodhall said Reilly “muscled in” on the game of pool and Elmarghani didn’t argue back, but then suffered a “very painful” injury.

He said: “It fact Mr Elmarghani is not a Muslim but you clearly believed he was and that was the motivation, at least in part, for this unprovoked attack.”

The judge handed Reilly two years and eight months in prison – consecutive to his existing sentence – meaning he will not be released before July 2020.
Liverpool Echo

A CUNNING rogue staged a bogus 21st birthday bash in a staggering bid to cheat the law and escape justice.

Geoffrey Leigh Ewart went to extraordinary lengths to wriggle out of trouble for a Middlesbrough street brawl.

He faked his own 21st birthday party and falsified photographs to prove his arrest was a case of mistaken identity.

He tried to make the camera lie with pictures showing himself wearing a 21st birthday badge and blowing out candles on a 21st birthday cake.

The snaps were really taken 18 months or more after his real 21st birthday celebrations.

His audacious but doomed attempt to pull the wool over the courts’ eyes backfired spectacularly with a long prison sentence yesterday.

A well-timed pub refurb and detective work rumbled Ewart’s elaborate deception.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Ewart, now 24, was caught in a melee near Albert Bridge at about 2.15am on September 26, 2008.

Five police officers identified him from CCTV footage as the man headbutting and kicking another unidentified man for no apparent reason.

When interviewed Ewart said he wasn’t there and “it didn’t even look like me”.

He produced the photographs which he claimed would prove his innocence – some supposedly taken around his 21st birthday in May 2007, months before the street fight.

They showed him with a tattoo on his right arm – unlike the man in the CCTV film.

CPS prosecutor Alexander Menary said: “It is meant to say, ‘This couldn’t have been me because my tattoo would have been shown, because here I am on these photographs with it on May 2007’.”

The scam was undone with police inquiries at the Norman Conquest pub in Normanby, where the “birthday” pictures were taken.

The pub owner said the photos must have been taken after refurbishments, which took place after Ewart’s fight.

Other photographs were doctored with dates superimposed on to them.

Ewart, of Grisedale Crescent, Grangetown, admitted affray and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He also admitted an unprovoked actual bodily harm assault on a man at the Garage pub on January 16, 2009.

He repeatedly punched Ryan Leopard-Sheffield leaving him with cuts, bruises and a chipped tooth.

The judge, Recorder Jonathan Sandiford, saw it was Ewart’s subterfuge which earned him the jail term rather than the violence.

He said: “I’m afraid this was not the panicked reaction of somebody giving a false name to the police station.

“It was a pre-meditated, determined and well-planned attack on the court process. It involved the manufacture of evidence. It was persisted in.”

He said it was sinister that Ewart’s solicitors were given the names of people in the photographs to seek statements backing up his lies.

“It’s plain to me that to have any chance of success this scheme would have had to have involved persuading those individuals to give false evidence to say that that was your 21st birthday party.

“In fact, as we know now, it must have been staged at a later point.

“It has been said many times that the court process must be protected,” added the judge.

“And you transformed what was a case involving two bad enough incidents of violence into something more serious.”

Ewart, who had only one previous conviction, was jailed for two-and-a-half years, his first prison sentence, including 18 months for the deception.

Jonathan Walker, defending, said: “It appears to be a fairly determined attempt to warp the smooth running of the criminal justice system.

“The ill-judged stupidity started to unravel when he approached members of his family who quite properly refused to become involved in their son’s folly.

“It became abundantly clear that this was an ill-judged attempt to ramp up what he believed was a proper defence.”

He added Ewart apologised for his “drunken and thuggish activities”, was not inherently violent and had not been violent in the last 18 months.

Ewart was otherwise amiable, industrious, hard-working with strong family support and character references.

Mr Walker said on the day of the 2008 affray Ewart had been to the funeral of a friend whom he had found dead.
Gazette Live

From 2010.