Archive

Tag Archives: Blackpool

A man who broke into a Blackpool synagogue with a lump of concrete told police he wanted to ‘blow up’ the holy building.

Andrew Prendergast, 47, smashed a window and a lock to get into the Jewish place of worship on Raikes Parade, Blackpool Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday.

He left bloodstains throughout the building and damaged the alarm system.

When asked by police why he targeted the synagogue, he said: “I wanted to blow them up… synagogue… blow it up. I am proud to be English and don’t want the Jews here.”

Magistrates heard how police were alerted to the burglary at the Blackpool Reform Synagogue by a woman who had seen Prendergast using a piece of concrete to open the front door.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said that officers followed a trail of bloodstains, caused by an injury on Prendergast’s hand, around the prayer area, toilets and offices.

She said: “Eventually they found him hiding behind the altar. He was verbally resistant when officers tried to arrest him. He swore and kicked out and threatened to kick the officer.”

“When he was taken to the police station officers had to put a spit hood on him.”

Prendergast, unemployed, of Raikes Parade, indicated a guilty plea to charges of burglary in a building other than a dwelling with intent to steal, and racially or religiously aggravated damage.

Robert Castle, defending, said: “He apologises and does not seek to avoid responsibility for what he did.

“Nothing I can say will make what happened any better, however, there was no violence towards anyone.There was no planning . It was impulsive and chaotic.”

Presiding magistrate Simon Bridge told Prendergast, who lives just a few yards from the synagogue: “To target a synagogue – a place of worship – shows the scourge of anti-Semitism was obviously there. You have two previous convictions for racially aggravated offences.”

He sent Prendergast to be sentenced by a judge at Preston Crown Court on December 18.

He was remanded in custody in the meantime.

The door of the synagogue had to be boarded up following the anti-Semitic attack.

One woman who lives on Raikes Parade, who did not want to be named, said: “The synagogue is well-used and the driveway is always packed with cars. I saw them at the weekend and I didn’t notice anything wrong with the door then.

“On Monday, the police were here after I dropped the kids off at school. There was an unmarked car and I suspected it was CID because they weren’t in uniform, and three or four police cars. They were there until the afternoon.

“We have lived here for years and we’ve never seen any issues with the synagogue, but there are some houses on this street and around here that aren’t very nice.

“There are some flats that police are often in and out of.”

PC Ian Ashton, community cohesion and hate crime officer, said; “In Lancashire we have quite a small Jewish community based mostly in Lytham, St Annes and Blackpool. I have links with these communities and we don’t generally see a lot of hate crime towards them, but it does go on. We are seeing an increase in hate crime, but that may be because they have people like ourselves that they have the confidence and trust in to report it to. “We treat hate crime very seriously and we look to investigate all hate crimes reported to us, and look for positive outcomes within the victims wishes.”

Lytham St Annes Express

A man known for expressing extreme right wing views has been jailed for building a homemade taser and threatening to attack Muslims.

Darren Dale, from Blackpool, was being monitored by police officers before his arrest. When they attended his home on Valentines Day for a pre-arranged visit, he made racist comments, Preston Crown Court heard.

He went on to detail his violent plans to attack and kill Muslims.

The 41-year-old the showed the officers several weapons he had obtained, including a steel bar from a dumb bell, a knife and two tasers.

He had made one of the two tasers himself and that it was as powerful as a police one. It simply needed a battery to work, he said.

He added that he had been watching YouTube videos on making explosive devices.

After obtaining permission to search his property, officers later arrested Dale and recovered the weapons. They also found black plastic block with wires sticking out.

Charged with threats to kill and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon, Dale pleaded guilty to both counts and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

“It’s horrifying that an individual planned to carry out a pre-empted venomous attack intending to harm people because of their religion,” said Detective Superintendent Will Chatterton of Greater Manchester Police after the trial. “As a result of our police officers working closely with Counter Terrorism specialists, Dale’s intentions were thwarted long before he could ever carry them out and I hope that is a fact that gives people good reason to be confident in the ability of the police to identify, prevent and prosecute such offenders.

“Our first priority will always be to keep people safe.”

The sentencing comes amid heightened concern over the far-right terror threat, which has been incorporated into government assessments for the first time.

Recent statistics released by the Home Office showed that more than half of a record number of religiously-motivated hate crimes were directed at Muslims in 2017/18.

The number of people referred to the Prevent counter-extremism programme over suspected far-right extremism has rocketed by 36 per cent in the same period.

British security services say Isis-inspired groups and individuals pose the biggest threat to the UK, but five right-wing terror plots have been foiled since March 2017.

The Independent

Jack Renshaw also sent explicit messages but claimed he was being framed by an anti facist group

Neo-Nazi Jack Renshaw offered a teenage boy £300 to spend the night with him

Neo-Nazi Jack Renshaw offered a teenage boy £300 to spend the night with him


A white supremacist groomed two children online by sending them explicit sexual pictures and offered one boy £300 for the night.

Jack Renshaw, from Skelmersdale, claimed he was set up by the anti fascist group Hope not Hate in a bid to discredit him.

The self-confessed Neo Nazi told the court that the group maliciously hacked his mobile phone and sent the sexual messages to the teenagers.

However, jurors believed he was lying and found him guilty of four counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity during a trial at Preston Crown Court in June last year.

The former leader of the British National Party youth wing set up two fake Facebook profiles and contacted the boys, aged 13 and 14, between February 2016 and January 2017.

Using Facebook Messenger, Renshaw, boasted that he was rich, could give the boys jobs, asked for intimate pictures and even offered £300 to one boy spend the night with him.

Renshaw, who also plotted to kill local MP Rosie Cooper, was jailed for 16 months after one of the boys told a tutor about the messages and he was reported to police.

Police seized two Blackberry phones from his family’s then address in Blackpool but most of the internet history had been deleted.

However, officers recovered some material that included searches for homosexual pornography.

The 23-year-old also received a three-year prison sentence two months earlier when he was found guilty by a different jury at the same court of stirring up racial hatred after he called for the genocide of Jewish people.

Both cases can be fully reported following the end of proceedings he faced at the Old Bailey where a jury was unable to reach a verdict on a charge that he was a member of banned far-right group National Action.

Another two phones belonging to Renshaw were later recovered and they showed evidence of searches for homosexual pornography.

When interviewed, he told police he was heterosexual and a virgin who did not believe in sex outside of marriage, and viewed homosexuality as “unnatural”.

He went on to blame the police for putting material on his phone as he told them: “I believe this is a vicious, malicious attack to put me in prison, to ostracise me from the nationalist movement and to ostracise me from my family.”

But at his trial he said that was a “kneejerk reaction” and he told the jury he now believed Hope Not Hate had hacked all four phones by “some form of synchronised access”.

He said: “They are obsessed with me. They had a gripe with me for a long time.

“They have been writing articles about me since 2014.

“There was a pure hatred of me and everything I stand for.”

Cross-examined by prosecutor Louise Brandon, he dismissed the views of three experts who gave evidence that hacking had not taken place and explained he had some experience in the field as a technician at Dixons Retail where he resolved computer hitches for customers.

Miss Brandon said his suggestion of remote access to his phones was one worthy of a spy novel.

She said to him: “The reality of this is you know that if people whose views you want and whose opinions matter to you knew you were interested in men and young boys then they would cast you out.”

Renshaw replied: “That is not the case at all. The nationalist cause has gays in it. It’s just I’m not gay.”

Following his convictions for the child sex offences he was placed on the Sex Offender Register for 10 years and was told by Judge Robert Altham his 16-month jail term would start after he has completed his sentence for inciting racial hatred.

Renshaw had denied those offences, committed during a demonstration by a group named the North West Infidels on Blackpool Promenade in March 2016, and at a gathering of far-right extremists, the Yorkshire Forum For Nationalists, held the month before.

The court heard that the defendant had described Jewish people as parasites and called for them to be “eradicated” at the Yorkshire event, where he spoke to delegates from other far-right organisations.

During that sentencing hearing, Renshaw nodded his head in the dock as Judge Altham questioned whether he still held the same views as he had when he gave the two speeches.

The judge noted: “The defendant is resolute in his original views and withdraws nothing.

“He seeks to raise street armies, perpetrate violence against Jewish people and ultimately bring about genocide.”

Liverpool Echo

It was revealed in court he had groomed two underage boys online


The leader of banned neo-Nazi group National Action is a convicted paedophile who was jailed last year for grooming two underage boys online, it can now be revealed.

White supremacist Jack Renshaw set up two fake Facebook profiles and contacted the boys, aged 13 and 14, between February 2016 and January 2017.

Communicating via the Facebook Messenger app, Renshaw boasted to the youngsters that he was rich, could give them jobs and offered one of them £300 to spend the night with him.

He also requested intimate photographs of the pair before one of the boys reported the messages to his tutor and the police were contacted.

Renshaw claimed in his defence that an anti-fascist group made up the allegations to discredit him.

He said Hope Not Hate had maliciously hacked his mobile phones to send messages of a sexual nature to the teenagers.

But jurors at Preston Crown Court did not believe him, and convicted him of four counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He was sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Renshaw, 23, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, also received a three-year prison sentence two months earlier when he was found guilty by a different jury at the same court of stirring up racial hatred after he called for the genocide of Jewish people.

Both cases can be fully reported following the end of proceedings he faced at the Old Bailey – where a jury was unable to reach a verdict on a charge that he was a member of banned far-right group National Action.

Investigations led to the seizure of two BlackBerry phones from Renshaw’s then family address in Blackpool, Lancashire.

Much of the internet history on the phones had been deleted but officers used specialist software to retrieve some of the relevant material.

Another two phones belonging to Renshaw were later recovered and they showed evidence of searches for homosexual pornography.

When interviewed, he told police he was heterosexual and a virgin who did not believe in sex outside of marriage, and viewed homosexuality as “unnatural”.

He went on to blame the police for putting material on his phone as he told them: “I believe this is a vicious, malicious attack to put me in prison, to ostracise me from the nationalist movement and to ostracise me from my family.”

But at his trial he said that was a “kneejerk reaction” and he told the jury he now believed Hope Not Hate had hacked all four phones by “some form of synchronised access”.

He said: “They are obsessed with me. They had a gripe with me for a long time.

“They have been writing articles about me since 2014.

“There was a pure hatred of me and everything I stand for.”

Cross-examined by prosecutor Louise Brandon, he dismissed the views of three experts who gave evidence that hacking had not taken place and explained he had some experience in the field as a technician at Dixons Retail where he resolved computer hitches for customers.

Miss Brandon said his suggestion of remote access to his phones was one worthy of a spy novel.

She said to him: “The reality of this is you know that if people whose views you want and whose opinions matter to you knew you were interested in men and young boys then they would cast you out.”

Renshaw replied: “That is not the case at all. The nationalist cause has gays in it. It’s just I’m not gay.”

Following his convictions for the child sex offences he was placed on the Sex Offender Register for 10 years and was told by Judge Robert Altham his 16-month jail term would start after he has completed his sentence for inciting racial hatred.

Renshaw had denied those offences, committed during a demonstration by a group named the North West Infidels on Blackpool Promenade in March 2016, and at a gathering of far-right extremists, the Yorkshire Forum For Nationalists, held the month before.

The court heard that the defendant had described Jewish people as parasites and called for them to be “eradicated” at the Yorkshire event, where he spoke to delegates from other far-right organisations.

During that sentencing hearing, Renshaw nodded his head in the dock as Judge Altham questioned whether he still held the same views as he had when he gave the two speeches.

The judge noted: “The defendant is resolute in his original views and withdraws nothing.

“He seeks to raise street armies, perpetrate violence against Jewish people and ultimately bring about genocide.”

Huff Post

The man who groomed and murdered Blackpool girl Paige Chivers has been given a further jail term for subjecting two young children to a catalogue of vile physical and sexual abuse more than a decade before killing the vulnerable teen.

Robert Ewing, 66, was jailed for life in 2015 for the 2007 murder of 15-year-old Paige, whom he had exploited sexually.

Robert Ewing and Paige Chivers

Robert Ewing and Paige Chivers

It has since emerged that he terrorised a young girl and boy in the early 1990s, with one of the children as young as five.

He was given 15 years in jail after being found guilty of the latest offences at Preston Crown Court – but the court heard due to his ongoing 32-year sentence he is not eligible for parole until he is aged 92.

Judge Philip Parry said Ewing could appear “charming and beguiling” to other adults.

But he told the killer: “Behind closed doors with children you were a brutal, perverted and sadistic bully.

“Many would describe you as evil incarnate. You are in judgement a modern day monster.”

He said Ewing made the girl’s life “an utter misery” while treating the boy “like a play thing”.

The court heard he subjected the little boy to physical abuse by tying him up, throwing urine at him, defecating on his bed, throwing him around, dragging him by his hair and hitting him with a back scratcher.

He was found guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting the boy, and a count of child cruelty towards each of the children.

Some jurors were visibly distressed as they were then told he was responsible for Paige’s murder and other offences.

Ewing, wearing a bottle green jumper, sat with his arms folded gave no reaction as the girl, now a grown woman, stood in the witness box to tell the court how his depraved behaviour affected her.

She said: “He tried to rid me of my pride, my dignity, and my identity.

“He became a permanent image in my mind. I saw him all the time. I would wake up and I couldn’t breathe.”

She said she needed years of therapy to deal with the effects of her abuse, adding: “Now I know I can walk away from all of this and be free.”

The boy, in a statement, said: “I really believed when he made threats to kill me I thought he would do it.

“I was made to feel I must have been so naughty that Robert Ewing was punishing me for what I had done.”

The court previously heard how the child killer forced the girl to watch while he tortured the boy, who was just seven or eight-years-old at the time.

He would subject her to cold baths and would force her head under the water until she couldn’t breathe.

The girl, who was aged as young as nine, was frequently woken at night and made to crawl around and pick up fluff from the carpet.

The boy was also made to stand naked on a chair while Ewing watched him, and he would sexually assault him.

Previously prosecutor Robert Dudley told the jury: “He would be told that was what he got for being a dirty, disgusting thing.”

The court heard the boy’s headmaster raised concerns about rope burns on the boy’s wrists – caused by Ewing – but he was “too scared to tell the truth” and blamed them on another child.

A later police investigation saw Ewing convicted of two counts of gross indecency and one count of indecent assault at Wolverhampton Crown Court in 1995.

In 2007, Ewing, formerly of Kincraig Place, Bispham, was convicted of murdering Paige Chivers, who was last seen on August 23, 2007, at a bus stop in Ashfield Road, Bispham.

The 15-year-old’s body has never been found but Ewing was convicted of killing her in his flat after bloodstains were found.

He was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

During a search of Ewing’s flat in All Hallows Road, Bispham, police officers found a hoard of cuttings about the case and about the murder.

Blackpool Gazette.



A DRUG addict who robbed a college lecturer at knifepoint has been jailed.

Craig Gilroy, 23, of Ribble Road, central Blackpool, took cash, an iPhone and food from his victim when he pounced on the man in an alleyway at the back of a mini market on Palatine Road.

The thug pleaded guilty to robbery at Preston Crown Court yesterday, and was jailed for two years and eight months.

Louise Whaites, prosecuting, said Gilroy approached his victim on November 3 and was holding a glinting eight inch bladed knife by his waist.

Gilroy demanded money, but the lecturer, who was walking home from Blackpool and the Fylde College university campus on Palatine Road, said he did not have any.

Miss Whaites told the court: “The defendant pushed him against the alleyway wall, raised the hand holding the knife and held it to his neck and again requested money.”

The man gave him £10 cash and went on to give him his iPhone, worth £495, and a bag of food.

He waited in the alley until Gilroy had rejoined two other men and moved away from the area, and became extremely distressed when he arrived home.

Gilroy, who was wearing a hooded top at the time, with a scarf up to his nose, later sold the mobile for £20 and bought two bags of heroin.

The thief, who has 65 previous offences on his record, told his partner he had “jacked some guy”, but denied the offence when questioned by police.

Paul Humphries, defending, said his client accepted using the knife to threaten, but denied any intent to use it to cause harm. He also denied threatening to kill the man if he went to the police.

Mr Humphries said: “He tells me he is very sorry. He understands the pain and misery he has caused the male and his family.

“He wishes he could turn the clock back. He was at a low point in his life.

“There was also a food shortage in the house.”

Gilroy had also been on a methadone programme but was not attending at the time.

Judge Philip Butler said: “It must have been a terrifying experience for the man.

“That he suffered no physical injury is very little mitigation because one can imagine the psychological effect”.

From 2011

Blackpool Gazette

A thief who was short of money in the run up to Christmas targeted the same shop two days running.

Craig Gilroy, 30, of George Street, North Shore, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft.

He was given a 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £47 compensation with £85 costs plus £20 victims’ surcharge.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said Gilroy was detained at the B and M Bargains store, Whitegate Drive, on December 23 at noon, after stealing three jars of coffee valued at £14.

CCTV showed he had been in the shop the day before and taken four bottles of liqueur worth £47.

He had a record of 29 previous offences of theft and similar matters and at the time of the offence was on post prison sentence supervision.

Howard Green, defending, said in the run up to Christmas his client was short of money and decided to steal to get some. Gilroy, who had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, was estranged from his family.

He had no permanent accommodation but was allowed to sleep at the address he had given.

He had also missed appointments with the probation service on his post prison sentence supervision.

Blackpool Gazette