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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

A politician’s eight-year-old daughter was “petrified” when anti-Islamic protesters marched into the garden of their home with banners and banged on the window.

Lancashire MEP Sajjad Karim’s home was targeted by the English Defence League (EDL) as part of a day of protests against “radical Islam” in the county on July 2 last year.

Twelve admitted public order offences at Preston Crown Court for offences committed during the protests at another location in Brierfield and will be sentenced on May 25.

Speaking from Brussels, Mr Karim, who was due to give evidence, said: “It is not the sort of thing any child should ever have to be prepared for.”

Bernard Holmes, 26, of Bolton Road; Leonard Hawley, 47, of Worcester Road; David Wilson, 47, of Devon Road, all Blackburn, and Jason Smith, 43, of Torquay Avenue, Burnley pleaded guilty to racially aggravated provocation of violence while David Garrett, 45, of Beckett Street, Darwen, admitted having an offensive weapon.

Leanne Thornton, 26, of Oak Avenue, Todmorden; Graham Smith, 48, of Draperfield, Chorley; Paul Blundell, 45, of Lee Street, Longridge, John English, 24, of Shorrock Lane, Blackburn; Martin Corner, 31, of Corporation Street, Chorley; Jordan Lonsdale, 20, of Ribble Lane, Clitheroe, and Paul Jackson, 41, of Spring Bank Terrace, Blackburn, pleaded not guilty to violent disorder but admitted using threatening behaviour.

Sajjad Karim added: “To be afraid to leave ones house as a mob fuelled by hate protests outside is as frightening as it gets. They showed no regard to the fact my wife and daughter were at home.

“It left me hoping and praying that our four walls would keep us safe and you can’t begin to imagine how my young daughter felt.

“There were many more innocent people caught up in their violence that day and I am thankful this eleventh hour change of plea means they won’t have to relive their ordeal in a courtroom.

“We have not and will not allow such mobs to use their threatening ways to hound people in our society.”

Lancashire Evening Post

  • Michael McQueenie, 28, raped the vulnerable girl near local primary school
    He had been drinking for three hours and messaging women online for sex
    He lured girl, 14, who has learning difficulties, into bushes but was spotted
    Just 15 minutes after the rape he continued to message women online
    He initially denied raping the girl but was caught out in an identity parade
    A court heard that McQueenie has a ‘poor attitude towards women’
    He has 37 prior offences on his record including assaulting his partner
    McQueenie has now been jailed for 11 years and seven months for the rape
  • Michael McQueenie (pictured) has been jailed for more than 11 years for raping the 14-year-old girl, who has learning difficulties and is partially blind

    Michael McQueenie (pictured) has been jailed for more than 11 years for raping the 14-year-old girl, who has learning difficulties and is partially blind

    A rapist wearing a hi-vis jacket who attacked a 14-year old partially blind girl after he failed to find sex on Skype and WhatsApp has been jailed for more than 11 years.

    Michael McQueenie, 28, from Blackburn, Lancashire, had been drinking for three hours after leaving work at a waste recycling plant and was ‘sexually frustrated’ after repeatedly trying and failing to arrange to have sex with women over the internet.

    Eventually McQueenie, who was still dressed in his work high visibility jacket, targeted the teenager after he spotted her sitting on a wall near a primary school.

    He lured her into bushes before ordering her to strip and raping her.

    The victim was found when her father, who had gone out looking for her, spotted her and McQueenie emerging from the bushes.

    McQueenie fled but was later arrested as the immediate run-up to the attack had been caught on CCTV.

    A court heard he resumed his online trawl for sex just 15 minutes after the rape.

    The court heard the girl has a ‘multitude of learning difficulties,’ and had no concept of stranger danger and had been ‘inherently trusting of people.’

    Her teacher said: ‘Anybody could ask her to do anything and she would do it.’

    The court heard McQueenie’s actions ‘destroyed’ the girl’s loving, devoted and protective family and had left a ‘permanent and deep scar in their lives’.

    In a statement read out in court, her father said: ‘The attack has altered our lives forever and we are completely and utterly devastated.

    ‘I feel this has destroyed me and my family.’

    McQueenie admitted rape and sexual assault at Burnley Crown Court and was locked up for 11 years and seven months.

    He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and was issued with a Sexual Offences Prevention order, banning him from having unsupervised contact with any female under the age of 16 and from living in the same household as any female under 16.

    Joseph Allman, prosecuting, told the court the incident occurred on June 5 last year, after the girl had a chance encounter with McQueenie.

    An eyewitness had been looking out onto the park when he saw the teenager being lured into some bushes by a stranger and went out to intervene.

    The man came across the girl’s father, who was already looking for her.

    They both went into the nearby park and saw the teenager and McQueenie, but he fled when the girl’s father chased after him.

    Initially the girl said the stranger had just touched her.

    She later told police she had met a ‘naughty man’ who told her to kiss him and take her clothes off before she was made to perform a sex act on him.

    Police later established several people had seen the victim sitting on a low wall with a stranger at 8.24pm, shortly before she was seen on the playing field.

    The stranger on the wall was described as similar to the man the girl’s father had chased and eyewitnesses said he had been wearing a hi vis jacket and had been drinking beer.

    CCTV captured McQueenie going in to a local shop to buy beer in his hi viz jacket.

    McQueenie was arrested on June 11 but claimed that after leaving work he had gone home, had a lot to drink and had not gone out again.

    Mr Allman said: ‘Significantly, he adamantly denied he was wearing a yellow hi-vis jacket that day and maintained he had never been issued with that kind of jacket.’

    He was re-interviewed when officers received statements from several people who had seen McQueenie sat on the wall.

    He maintained he wasn’t the attacker but was later picked out by a witness during an identification parade.

    He maintained he wasn’t the attacker but was later picked out by a witness during an identification parade.

    Police then spoke to his workmates, supervisor and project co-ordinator.

    Mr Allman told the court: ‘They readily established he did have a yellow hi vis jacket and in fact was issued with it that day.

    ‘They also established his jacket had disappeared by the following morning by the time he arrived at work. It has never been found.’

    ‘The defendant insisted it wasn’t him and ultimately tried to point the finger in the direction of what he described as “Asian gangs” hanging around in the area.’

    McQueenie’s mobile phone and the laptop he shared with his mother were seized.

    When officers analysed the phone and computer, they found he had made extensive use of two messaging functions, Skype and WhatsApp.

    Mr Allman said: ‘In the early hours of the morning of the day the victim was raped, he sent really vast amounts of sexually themed messages to a wide range of women who were apparently strangers, or at most online acquaintances.

    ‘He had at least 10 specific sexual conversations, trying to meet for sex or have a webcam session and all of these exchanges ended in frustration.

    ‘About 15 minutes after the girl was raped, he resumed contact and carried on contacting numerous women to make small talk, but also to talk about sex.’

    McQueenie has 37 previous offences on his record dating back to 2004.

    At the time of the rape he was subject to a domestic violence suspended prison sentence for assaulting his partner as she held a baby.

    The court heard the probation service found him to have a ‘poor attitude towards women.’

    In mitigation defence counsel Kenneth Hind said : ‘The only major mitigation is that he has pleaded guilty.

    ‘He is facing up to the reality of the offences themselves.

    ‘This was an opportunist offence. It was committed within, what must be fair to say, a small window of opportunity.

    ‘It’s a terrible offence in itself, but it’s a one-off situation.

    ‘There’s no history or anything that would indicate that it’s likely to occur again, significantly.

    ‘There’s certainly a lack of maturity on his part, certainly in dealing with women.

    ‘There’s no doubt that there will follow a very substantial prison sentence and of course he knows that that will be the outcome.’

    Passing sentence Judge Jacqueline Beech told McQueenie: ‘You lack remorse and any insight into the consequences of your offending on others.

    ‘It would have been immediately obvious to you that she was very vulnerable and that’s no doubt why you led her into the park and did what you did to her.

    ‘It’s clear at the time you were sexually frustrated as you had been seeking instant gratification over social media. ‘

    ‘Your offending has destroyed everything the victim’s family had been working for.

    ‘You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself. This is a long sentence and rightly so.’

    Daily Mail

    Michael McQueenie admitted the crimes in November

    Michael McQueenie admitted the crimes in November

    A man has been jailed for the rape and sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl with learning difficulties.

    Michael McQueenie, from Highbury Place in Blackburn, was sentenced at Burnley Crown Court to nearly 12 years after pleading guilty in November.

    Lancashire Police said the 28-year-old assaulted the teenager on 5 June last year after he “lured the girl” into a wooded area.

    Det Ch Insp Dean Holden described it as “a callous attack”.

    “Her ordeal only came to an end when her dad came to find her and McQueenie ran off for fear of being caught,” he added.

    He said the victim’s family were grateful to witnesses who helped identify him.

    McQueenie was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and will be subject to a lifelong Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

    BBC News

    michael McQueenie 1

    michael McQueenie 2

    michael McQueenie

    A MAN has admitted raping a teenage girl on playing fields near a school.

    At Preston Crown Court yesterday, Michael McQueenie, of Highbury Place, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault.

    He had been due to stand trial but accepted the charges against him.

    Police said they hope the plea will allow the victim, who was 14 at the time of the attack, to start to rebuild her life.

    The incident happened when McQueenie, who was wearing a fluorescent yellow jacket, lured the girl into a wooded area near St James’ Primary School, in Oozebooth Terrace, on June 5.

    He asked her remove her clothing and then subjected her to a serious sexual assault.

    McQueenie, 28, was disturbed and ran off when the girl’s concerned father came looking for her.

    Detectives launched a major inquiry and a dedicated team of officers carried out door-to-door inquiries in the area.

    The youngster is being supported by specially-trained officers.

    Det Chief Insp Dean Holden, from Lancashire Constabulary, said the girl was terrified by her ordeal.

    He said: “I welcome the result, given the terrible ordeal that this vulnerable young girl suffered.

    “I hope that McQueenie’s admission of guilt and his subsequent sentencing next year will bring some closure to the victim and her family so that they can start to get on with rebuilding their lives.”

    Cllr Hussain Akhtar, who represents the Shear Brow ward, said: “Our community does not accept things like this.

    “What he did is very bad and sad. Parents in the area have discussed with their children about strangers and they are now keeping an eye out.

    “I hope this girl can put behind her what happened and that she can get on with her life. There should be a very strong punishment for people like McQueenie.”

    McQueenie will be sentenced at Burnley Crown Court on Monday, January 26.

    Lancashire Telegraph.

    TWO ‘reckless yobs’ who pushed lit firelighters through the letterboxes of four homes have been jailed.

    Simon Cockerill, 26, and Ethan Hesketh, 21, went on the arson spree in Mill Hill, Blackburn, as people were asleep.

    Police said the pair, who committed the crimes while ‘fuelled with alcohol’, put lives at risk by their irresponsible behaviour.

    They were each jailed for 18 months yesterday after pleading guilty to theft, committing arson recklessly and arson.

    Four front doors in Hollin Bridge Street were torched in the early hours of June 23.

    Cockerill, of Whalley Road, Clayton-le-Moors and Hesketh, of Hozier Street, Blackburn, were arrested after being captured on CCTV at Lock Mill Service Station, in Bolton Road, Blackburn, before they stole the firelighters used in the attacks.

    Police said the arson attacks had been ‘potentially extremely serious’ and it was lucky that no-one had been hurt.

    DC Mick Ingram from Blackburn CID said: “Both Cockerill and Hesketh didn’t think about the potential consequences of their actions. They put people’s lives in danger and it was fortunate that no one was seriously injured.

    “It was a reckless and irresponsible act which was fuelled by alcohol and I hope this sentence sends out a warning that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

    “The fires could easily have developed into serious incidents and left people trapped in their homes.”

    In Hollin Bridge Street residents hit out at the pair.

    Jackie Mullin, 40, said: “They deserve what they got. I think they are sick, or maybe they are just idiots.”

    Steven Holland, 40, said: “It is not a very nice thing. They put lives at risk.”

    Samantha Brown, 37, said: “It could have caused serious harm. We’ve got to make an example of them.”

    Police said that the unique nature of the incident was now used in internal training sessions by the fire service and police in Lancashire to highlight good working practices.

    Lancashire Telegraph

    This story is from Feb 2012 and relates to Ethan Hesketh who was also convicted of this