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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