Tag Archives: Blackburn

A BRAVE mother-of-five has spoken of her terror at having to run away from her abusive and controlling partner in nothing but a hoodie after a brutal and prolonged attack.

Gemma Hudson, 29, told how she was vomiting blood as her ex-boyfriend, convicted right-wing thug Bernard Holmes, landed punch after punch in his Blackburn home on the same day he asked her to marry him.

She said he also choked her, headbutted her, ripped out chunks of her hair, threw her to the floor, kicked her, banged her head against a wall and a radiator, and bit her on the face and mouth in the four-hour attack on April 14.

Ms Hudson was put into an induced coma for three days with a bleed on the brain. She also had soft tissue damage to the jaw, which meant she was forced to endure a liquid diet and had bruises all over her face and body, as well as bite marks.

While Ms Hudson was in hospital Holmes, who was jailed for 18 months in 2012 for leading a violent English Defence League flashmob protest in Blackburn, was texting her telling her to ‘stop milking it’.

Holmes, who led EDL protests outside Blackburn’s Haslingden Road KFC dressed as a chicken in 2010, fled after beating up Ms Hudson – the mother of one of his two children – in Pilmuir Road but gave himself in after 10 days.

Reliving the terrifying attack Ms Hudson, who works as a kitchen assistant at a care home during the week and a licensed door supervisor at weekends, said: “I went to his house at about 3pm. For an hour it was fine. From about 4pm to 8pm it was constant beating.

“I had asked to got to my friend’s hen party on the Thursday. It was for the older friends and relatives and those with children who couldn’t go to the one abroad. It was a surprise thing so, because I had to keep it to myself, I had only told him a few days earlier. He was scrolling through my phone and had text my best friend and told her I wasn’t going without my knowledge.

“The next minute he was raining punches on me to the point I was sick all over his living room floor. He took pictures of me being sick and shared them on Whatsapp.

“He would ask me questions while strangling me. He would count down ‘five, four, three, two, one’ then he would either punch me, headbutt me or bite the side of me face and then floor me. He would then pick me back up by my hair or my throat.

“After a while I asked to wash my mouth out. I could feel myself choking on my own blood. I put the tap on to pretend I was washing my mouth out and managed to run out the door. All I had on was one of his hoodies. I had nothing on my feet.

“I legged it to the next street to get help. He was seen on CCTV chasing me round the street and round a car. When everyone came out because they could hear me screaming he ran off and was on the run from the police for 10 days.”

Ms Hudson, who met Holmes while stewarding at Accrington Stanley two years ago, said she was aware of his past when she met him but not the full extent of it.

She said she wished she had looked into Clare’s Law, the domestic violence disclosure scheme, when she met him and encouraged other women to do the same.

During their relationship which she described as being “on and off like a light”, Ms Hudson said Holmes assaulted her on more than one occasion – although she never reported that to the police – would regularly accuse her of cheating on him, throw her belongings out of the car, kick her out of the car and make her walk home and verbally abuse her.

Ms Hudson, of Oswaldtwistle, said she has now lost confidence and fears reprisals. She said she has been unable to go out because she has been left with bald patches where Holmes had ripped her hair out and has been left with jaw pain.

She added: “I do regret meeting him. I should have listened to everybody else who said he was a girl beater and violent. The only good thing that has come out of this is my son,”

Holmes, who was jailed for 28 months in 2010 for leaving victim Sean Baxendale with catastrophic injuries in a two-punch attack outside Bar Ibiza in Blackburn, pleaded guilty to ABH and harassment.

He was jailed for three years at Preston Crown Court and Recorder Murray also imposed a retraining order banning Holmes from contacting Ms Hudson for life.

Det Con David Richardson said: “This was a nasty and sustained attack and Holmes deliberately caused more harm than was necessary, leading to significant injuries. The police will continue to deal robustly with perpetrators of domestic violence and put them before the courts”

For help and advice on domestic abuse visit

Lancashire Telegraph

TWO men jailed for sexual activity with 14-year-old girls had been thrown out of the British National Party when their offences came to light, it has been revealed.

Ian Richard Hindle, 32, of Church Walk, Blackburn, and Andrew Paul Wells, 49, were jailed on Thursday for a total of five years and three months.

Preston Crown Court heard the pair had plied the girls with alcohol at Wells’ flat on Infirmary Street in Blackburn.

Both men had been BNP members up until they were arrested for the offence, said local party organiser Robin Evans.

He said: “They didn’t have any sexual offences when they became members. As soon as it was brought to our attention – as soon as they were arrested – they were both expelled.

“If it was up to the BNP they would have got a lot longer.”

Mr Evans said the pair were not involved in the running of the local party.

He added: “They just turned up to meetings. We are glad to be rid of them”.

Hindle, who pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a child, was jailed for three years.

The court heard that when Hindle had first met the girl she had lied about her age, but that he had discovered the truth before having sex with her.

Wells, of Infirmary Street, Blackburn, who was jailed for two years and three months, had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child and one of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Last week the names and addresses of more than 250 East Lancashire BNP members were included in the document that was posted on the internet this week.

Nationally, there were 12,000 people on the list, including police officers, teachers and soldiers.

Mr Evans said some people he knew on the list had received threatening phonecalls.
Lancashire Telegraph

From 2008

Opposing factions hurled missiles and caused up to £25,000 of damage to St George’s Hall left daubed with Nazi swastikas

Right-wing activists involved in violent clashes between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists outside Lime Street Station have been jailed.

A woman was left scarred for life, a man suffered a broken nose and a police officer was knocked unconscious in ugly scenes last year.

Liverpool Crown Court heard opposing factions hurled missiles and caused up to £25,000 of damage to the historic St George’s Hall.

Nazi swastikas were daubed on walls, cobble stones were torn up from the building’s plateau and a Victorian statue was damaged.

Shane Calvert, Wayne Bell and Brian Stamp today appeared in court, alongside allies Nikki Prescott and Alan Raine. Calvert admitted conspiracy to commit violent disorder, while Bell was convicted after a trial. Prescott, Raine and Stamp admitted affray.

Bell liaised with Merseyside Police to organise “The White Man March” for now-banned fascist terrorist group National Action on August 15, 2015.The event, in Liverpool, ended in “humiliating failure” for the far right, after they were met by a much larger group of counter-protesters.

Simon Driver, prosecuting, said the fascists “were forced to take refuge in a left-luggage facility” before police escorted them to trains. Stung by the embarrassment, another far right group, the North West Infidels, headed to Liverpool on February 27, 2016.

Police were not informed and organiser Calvert deliberately changed the location of the “anti-immigration demonstration” from Manchester to Liverpool.

Brian Stamp, 34, from South Shields, jailed for 16 months after admitting affray

Brian Stamp, 34, from South Shields, jailed for 16 months after admitting affray

Fascists were again met by police and counter-protesters but had enlisted a group of Polish men called the “Polish Hooligans”. One cluster of far right-supporters congregated at the Crown Pub, including Stamp, Prescott and Raine, at around 11.30am.

A second group, including Calvert and Bell, gathered on the steps of St George’s Hall, as trouble flared at around 1.30pm.

Mr Driver said: “They displayed North West Infidels banners and neo-Nazi flags. They made gestures, which included the Nazi style ‘sieg heil’ salutes.”

CCTV showed the stand-off, with rival factions separated by riot police, who held the first group at the pub and escorted them away. Smoke canisters and fireworks were thrown and, at 2.30pm, the group near the hall were joined by the Poles.

Wayne Bell, 37, from Castleford, jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder

Wayne Bell, 37, from Castleford, jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder

They wore black hoodies emblazoned with “Polska Hooligans” and badges showing a person being kicked, captioned “good night left side”.

Police came under attack from both sides with industrial fireworks, flares, bottles, cobble stones and eggs. Mr Driver said: “A police inspector was knocked unconscious by a missile and a police constable suffered a broken wrist.”

A young female bystander suffered a facial gash requiring plastic surgery and a man suffered a cut and broken nose. People attending an antiques fair within the hall had to be locked in for their own safety.

A 75-year-old black woman who emerged was racially abused and struck in the forehead by a stone. Police eventually encircled the fascists and marched them to the station.

Shane Calvert, 36, from Blackburn, jailed for two years after admitting conspiracy to commit violent disorder

Shane Calvert, 36, from Blackburn, jailed for two years after admitting conspiracy to commit violent disorder

Mr Driver said Calvert wished to “avenge” the previous defeat, as shown in text messages to a man called Garron Helm. He and Bell, who bragged of punching left-wing activists “like that game whack attack”, recruited the Poles.

They exchanged messages talking of “payback time for Liverpool” and Bell spoke of “the local n***** population”.

Stamp boasted of buying “bad boy” gloves with reinforced knuckle-pads, which he was filmed wearing. Raine was recorded threatening “I’ll bite your f***ing face off” and Prescott yelling “come on then, let’s f***ing have it”.

Judge Menary imposed criminal behaviour orders, banning the five men from entering Liverpool for five years, for their “planned hooliganism”.

Billy Duggan, from Duggan & Parr Stone Repair Ltd, surveying the graffiti on St George's Hall

Billy Duggan, from Duggan & Parr Stone Repair Ltd, surveying the graffiti on St George’s Hall

He said: “There will, I have no doubt, be those on both sides of this political divide who are motivated by a desire to promote genuinely-held ideological beliefs – however repugnant or deeply offensive those views might appear to others.

“But I am equally sure that many of the people involved in the disorder on these occasions have made the journey or have involved themselves for no reason other than to behave like hooligans.”

Judge Menary jailed Calvert, 36, from Blackburn, for two years and Stamp, 34, from South Shields, who “came to Liverpool prepared for a fight” for 16 months.

He jailed Bell, 37, from Castleford, for two and a half years, telling him: “Your attitude towards other groups was deeply offensive, racist and you celebrated violent confrontation.”

Unemployed Raine, 41, from Sunderland, and doorman Prescott, 43, from Blackburn, each received 16 months in jail, suspended for two years.

Raine received a 25-day rehabilitation activity, 200 hours of unpaid work and a four-month home curfew, from 8pm to 6am. Prescott must complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity, 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 compensation.

Liverpool Echo

A gang who were involved in a major burglary conspiracy targeting businesses and mosques across Lancashire, have been jailed for a combined total of 22 years and six months.

Individual sentences ranged from 8 month suspended to 5 year’s imprisonment

Liam Cumberland, 27, of Lytham Rd, Blackburn; Sean Cumberland, 32, of Accrington Rd, Blackburn; Carl Cumberland, 31, of Thwaites Rd, Oswaldtwistle; Daniel Darani, 31, of Douglas Place, Blackburn; Darren Jeal, 42, of Eldon Rd, Blackburn; James O’Neil, 30, of South St, Darwen and Stuart Ainsworth, 40, of Shaw St, Blackburn all appeared at Preston Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

Liam Cumberland was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment; Sean Cumberland was jailed for 5 years for the burglary conspiracy and drugs offences, Darren Jeal was sentenced to 4 years for the burglary conspiracy and drug offences; Darani was given 3 years 4 months for his part in the burglaries; Carl Cumberland was sentenced to 2 years 10 months for the burglaries. O’Neil was given an 8 month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. Ainsworth’s sentence was adjourned due to ill health.

A further two men were also sentenced for their part in the series of offences; 43-year-old Shaun Lever, of Windsor Rd, Knuzden, was given a 2 year supervision order after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods and 51-year-old Ronald Straeker, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 2yrs 3 months after pleading guilty to one burglary, one thefts and an offence of handling stolen goods.

All nine were arrested after an investigation by Eastern Divisions Target Team following a large number of burglaries at mosques, businesses and restaurants in the Blackburn, Accrington, Great Harwood, Burnley, Colne and Preston areas. The gang, who targeted the premises between February 2011 and September 2012 stole cash and goods valued at approximately £88k.

“Secret Room”

During the investigation, which was codenamed Operation Prism, officers uncovered a make-shift “secret room” containing property which had been stolen from B&M Bargains. The room, which had been constructed by creating a partition within the back bedroom, was found after police raided Carl Cumberland’s house on Thwaites Road.

Detective Sergeant Tim McDermott said: “They deliberately targeted local businesses and mosques with each gang member having a different level of involvement in these pre meditated and calculated attacks.

“The effects of their crimes go far beyond the value of the property they stole. Some of the small businesses they stole from suffered and continue to suffer severe financial difficulties. One company was forced to make 21 employees redundant as a direct result of their losses.

“Not only did they steal charity money from the mosques but they took community documents which had been left for safe keeping. We should not underestimate the impact these thefts had on our local communities who were left feeling violated.

“They did their utmost to frustrate the police investigation at every turn and today’s sentences should demonstrate our determination to support local business and communities whilst targeting criminals and bringing them to justice.”

Blackburn Life

Story from July 2013.

A 29-YEAR-OLD man who was trying to get taxi drivers to discuss his extremist views ended up being arrested when he failed to comply with a police request to move on.

Samuel Madden, of Lower Hollin Bank Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in Railway Road, Blackburn. He was fined £100 with £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge.

The court heard Madden had a can of beer in his hand when he was trying to engage the taxi drivers in a debate. He took exception when police took the can off him and became abusive.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said his client realised he had been stupid.

“He didn’t take kindly to having his can taken off him,” said Mr Taylor. “He is a different person when he is in drink.”

Lancashire Telegraph

North west Infidels member Shane Calvert jailed after violent scenes


One of the suspected ringleaders of the violent North West Infidels rally at St George’s Hall has been jailed over another ugly far-right demo in Dover weeks earlier.

Shane Calvert, a prominent member of the Infidels, was jailed for two and a half years for violent disorder after the bloody scenes on the South Coast.

Calvert, 34, of Shadsworth Close in Blackburn, Lancashire, rallied supporters to take part in the march through Dover.

Five people were injured when rival groups clashed during the Dover rally, organised by right wing protesters, on January 30.

Smoke bombs were let off and bricks hurled as hundreds of far-right demonstrators were met by anti-fascist groups.

The trouble came just four weeks before hate-filled trouble in Liverpool city centre saw smoke bombs, bricks and bottles hurled into crowds.

Ugly scenes erupted as the North West Infidels clashed with anti-fascist protesters on the steps of St George’s Hall in February.

A police officer was treated in hospital for concussion, far-right symbols were daubed on the Grade I-listed building and student Abbie James, 21, had part of her skull scraped away after being hit by a missile .

Speaking after Calvert’s trial A Kent Police spokesman said: “Calvert was filmed throwing debris, pushing against the police cordon and standing on a police vehicle during the disturbance.

“He was arrested at his home address on Monday, March 7 but denied a charge of violent disorder. A trial was held at Canterbury Crown Court and a jury returned a guilty verdict on Thursday, September 22″.

Detective Inspector Bill Thornton said: ‘While everyone involved in the violence was responsible for their own actions, Shane Calvert played a big part in bringing groups of troublemakers together in one place.

‘He has considerable influence over those who share his political views and has a lot to answer for following the wholly unacceptable behaviour witnessed in Dover last January.”

Calvert was previously jailed for being one of six right-wing activists who stormed an anti-fascist meeting in Liverpool’s Bold Street and launched into a tirade of violence.

He received a 14-month jail term after pleading guilty to violent disorder for the attack which spilled into Cafe Tabac.

The 34-year-old, known within extremist circles as ‘Diddyman’, wrote on the far-right group’s Facebook page about the Liverpool clashes on February 27: “We held St George’s Hall for over four hours.

“Or anyway we stood on the steps. We held the steps!

“Not anyone can hold steps, but we did. Our Polish Nazi brothers held some steps too.

“The police looked after us while we did it, so we threw rocks at them. Get f****** used to it.”

Calvert, who has prominent links to Merseyside and sympathisers within the city, added: “To all that stood by us – We Salute You, Nazi style.

“For all that oppose us – you just try holding some steps.”

Liverpool Echo


A man from Lancashire who played a key role in organising the Dover protests has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for violent disorder.

Shane Calvert, 34, of Shadsworth Close in Blackburn, rallied supporters to take part in a march through the town on Saturday, January 30.

A counter-protest was held at the same time and both sides quickly engaged in violence towards one another.

Calvert was filmed throwing debris, pushing against the police cordon and standing on a police vehicle during the disturbance.

He was arrested at his home address on Monday, March 7 but denied a charge of violent disorder.

A jury at Canterbury Crown Court returned a guilty verdict on Thursday, September 22.

Detective inspector Bill Thornton said: “While everyone involved in the violence was responsible for their own actions, Shane Calvert played a big part in bringing groups of troublemakers together in one place.

“He has considerable influence over those who share his political views and has a lot to answer for following the wholly unacceptable behaviour witnessed in Dover last January.

“I am very pleased the courts have recognised this and imposed a lengthy prison sentence on Calvert, ensuring he will no longer be able to stir up trouble and bring further harm to other communities throughout the UK.

“The investigation into offences committed on the day continues and I am confident there will be many more positive outcomes for the people of Dover.”
Kent News

Nancy Shaw

Nancy Shaw

FOUR people have been jailed for fraud offences after helping to scam thousands of pounds from people across the country.

Thomas Moffett, Elliot Reed, Nancy Shaw and Gary Oliphant were part of a group of 18 people sentenced for offences including conspiring to commit fraud by false representation and money laundering.

Lancashire Police made the arrests following two investigations.

The first investigation involved 32-year-old Moffett, of Bridge End in Barley, who was arrested by police in January 2013 for alleged offences as owner of Moth Communications Limited.

He ran the company from his bedroom at a former address in St Aidan’s Close, Blackburn.

Victims were told that they owed a debt and it should be paid immediately, otherwise bailiffs and the police would come to their address and seize property to the value of what was owed, usually several thousands of pounds.

The court heard that during October 2011 to December 2012, £127,000 of fraudulent cash to passed through his bank account.

The court heard how vulnerable people were targeted, including elderly owners of bed and breakfast hotels.

Officers found Moffett’s offences were linked to a second investigation involving Nancy Shaw, 50, Elliot Reed, 38 and Gary Oliphant, 42.

Shaw, from Pemberton Street, Blackburn, set up a business called The Business Hub Directory Ltd, while Reed, of Clitheroe Road, Whalley established a company called The Business Directory SEO UK Ltd.

The court heard Shaw allowed £59,000 of fraudulent cash to pass through her account between September 2012 and August 2013, while Reed’s company took £78,000 from victims between May 2012 and July 2013.

More than a dozen offenders involved in the network allowed their personal accounts to be used to launder the fraudulent money.

Oliphant admitted to money laundering and also allowing his home to be used for the purpose of fraud. He said he was aware of the scam and was present while some of the calls werehad been made.

Det con Jane Challenger, of Lancashire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, was responsible for the investigation into Moffett.

She said: “This was a sophisticated fraud investigation in relation to a boiler room scam. Victims were bombarded with telephone calls. The calls were threatening and aggressive, stating they owe for a debt and that the payment should be made immediately.”

“Victims felt pressurised to pay the money, some parting with life savings and in other cases being forced to close down their businesses.”

Det con John Banks, of Blackburn CID, responsible for the second investigation with det con David Gill, added: “The investigation into Shaw, Reed and Oliphant was extensive and involved dealing with hundreds of victims throughout the country.

“The impact on the victims has not only been detrimental financially but also physically and mentally with some victims losing their businesses and becoming seriously ill as a result of these crimes.

Moffett, 32, was sentenced to two-years and 10 months in prison, Reed, 38, two-years and two months’ jail and Shaw, 50, two-years. All pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Oliphant, 42, of Campbell Street, Blackburn, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and money laundering, sentenced to and was jailed for two-years, and five months’ jail.

The following also pleaded guilty to money laundering as part of the scam: Marcus Moss, 44, of Vicarage Lane, Wilpshire, was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two-years.

He was given 200 hours’ unpaid work; Reginald Gregory, 53, of Ivinson Road, Darwen, sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two-years.

He was given a 35-week curfew and electronically monitored; Samuel Dysart, 22, of Haslingden Road, Blackburn, sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two-years.

He was given 280 hours’ unpaid work; Zak Deaffern, 25, of Ratcliffe Street, Darwen sentenced to 22 weeks in prison suspended for two-years.

He was given a 26-week curfew and 12 months’ supervision;

Joanne Orr, 25, of Tythebarn Street, Darwen, was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two-years.

Anthony Lucas-Brewer, 32, of Cavendish Street, Darwen, receivedwas given a two-year community order and £500 fine;

Lauren Poland, 27, of Marsh House Lane, Darwen, was given a 26-week curfew and electronically monitored;

Bryan Baron, 40, of Moorfield Avenue, Ramsgreave, was given 170 hours’ unpaid work;

Christopher Hayes, 38, of Selkirk Close, Blackburn, was given a two-year curfew, electronically monitored for 20 weeks and a supervision order of 18 months;

Coleen Turner, 42, of Douglas Place, Blackburn, was given a two-year community order and 26 week curfew;

Gary Brown, 42, of Wood Street, Darwen, was given a two-year community order and 200 hours unpaid work;

Michael Middlehurst, 35, of Powell Street, Darwen, was given 12 months in prison suspended for two-years;

Sharyle Connor, 40, of Fawcett Close, Blackburn, was given a two-year community order;

Kevin McAuley, 35, of Seacole Close, Blackburn, was given a two-year community order and 200 hours unpaid work.

Lancashire Telegraph

O'Brien has been banged up after his parts in the violence that marred Dover during the protests

O’Brien has been banged up after his parts in the violence that marred Dover during the protests

A protester who attacked people with a wooden pole during disturbances in Dover has been jailed for 15 months.

John O’Brien, 40, of Paddock Street in Oswaldthistle, near Blackburn, was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday August 5 having previously pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

In addition to attacking rival protestors with a wooden pole, he was also filmed throwing objects, pushing against the police line and acting in an aggressive manner.

O’Brien was arrested on Friday April 1 after officers travelled to his home address and recovered items of clothing he had worn on the day of the protests.

Detective Sergeant Matthew Smith of Kent Police said: ‘I am pleased to see the robust sentences given to those who chose to come to Dover and commit acts of serious violence under the guise of peaceful protest.

‘I hope it provides some compensation to the people of Dover who should not have to tolerate such behaviour in their community.

More than 70 people have been arrested so far in connection with the demonstrations on Saturday 30 January 2016, and detectives continue to review hundreds of hours of footage of offences committed on the day.

Dover Express

A 35-YEAR-OLD man attacked his partner twice in a week during rows over him contacting the mother of his children.

Blackburn magistrates heard on the first occasion Daniel Briers burst open the bathroom door after she locked herself in with his mobile phone and made it clear she was going to “interrogate” it.

Briers, of Francis Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting Toni Parker.

He was made subject to a community order for 18 months, with a 25 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 80 hours’ unpaid work, and ordered to pay £50 compensation, £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.

Elliot Taylforth, prosecuting, said after Miss Parker had locked herself in the bathroom with his phone he forced the door, splitting the frame, and grabbed her by the face. When she said his fingers were in her eyes, he let go.

The second assault came after they had been out drinking together. A row started over him seeing his ex-partner and during that he assaulted her. She said he punched her repeatedly in the face but he claimed he had only hit her twice to the back of the head. When she failed to attend a hearing to establish the facts, the magistrates accepted his version of events.

Paul Huxley, defending, said the argument started when there were messages coming through from his former partner who is the mother of his children.

He said: “There are problems but he wants to build bridges.”
Lancashire Telegraph