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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.

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

Cowen

HATE filled Nazi nut Michael Cowen strutted the streets as a tattooed hardman…

But today the Sunday Sun exposes him as nothing but a vile paedophile.

A worshipper of Hitler and the far right, the hulking 43-year-old strutted around as a henchman for extreme organisations.

His North home was a sickening shrine to the Nazis with displays of Swastikas, an SS flag and even a cannister of Zyklon B – the cyanide gas used to kill millions.

But behind this swaggering macho image hid his other horribly twisted obsession – a hateful passion for the abuse of little boys and girls.

For Cowen had a horrifying picture library of tens of thousands of indecent images of youngsters stored on his computers.

The secret stash of shame was discovered after he ordered extremist CDs by racist “Blood and Honour” rock groups.

Undercover officers intercepted them on their way to Cowen’s home in Losh Terrace, Walker in Newcastle’s East End.

The disks included bands with names like Ethnic Cleansing and Hate Crime, and featured tracks such as “Freezer Full of ****** Heads”, “Multicultural Take Over” and “Make Them Die Slowly”.

Also in the stash were CD sleeves, with pictures of human remains, beaten and battered bodies, and people who appeared to have been shot, as well as swastikas.

Accepting the delivery on December 7, 2009, Cowen asked the undercover officer about sending the packages on to Germany.

Shortly afterwards, police with a warrant searched his home and seized the CDs. They also found 11,000 MP3 tracks on his computer of similar songs, and the Nazi memorabilia.

But chillingly, they also uncovered thousands of child porn images on Cowen’s computer, hard drive, USB sticks and memory card, mainly of young boys.

The 17,058 pictures and 215 videos featured boys as young as six and included images classed as level five – the most serious level.

Investigations revealed during 2009, Cowen used filesharing software and a social network sites to contact other perverts and up and download images of children, including some he made himself.

Dubbing himself “Spaceapple” or “Derek” he offered to swap pictures and videos and discussed sinister fantasies including “snuffing out” boys – killing them in a sexual way and filming it.

He uploaded a total of 626 indecent images and seven videos.

In interviews with police, Cowen – who has a tattoo of the number 88, which represents the alphabet placing of HH for Heil Hitler – said he was a National Front member and enjoyed the music of white supremacist bands.

He described himself as a “white nation soldier” and said a friend in Germany had asked him to order the CDs, which he planned to send on.

At first he denied the child porn charges – even accusing one of his victims of downloading the images.

But he was caught out by one of the pictures, where he was visible as the photographer, reflected in a mirror.

At Newcastle Crown Court, Cowen admitted possessing racially inflammatory audio recordings and written material, 13 counts of making and four counts of possessing indecent images of children between November and December 2009, and 11 counts of distributing indecent images of children in April 2009.

Defending, Mark Saunders said Cowen was “socially isolated” and had been involved in the far right movement since he was at school.

Judge Paul Sloan QC told him: “You have a long involvement with extreme right-wing and neo Nazi groups. You have admitted acting as a henchman for a group.

“The racially inflammatory CDs and written material which were delivered to your home address are of a particularly vile and offensive nature.

“The indecent images were of young children aged six years old and up, and predominantly of boys. It is clear that some of the victims were being subjected to truly awful sexual abuse. These offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence is justified.”

Cowen was jailed for 12 months for the racist material and three years for the child porn charges, to run consecutively making a total of four years behind bars.

After the hearing Det Chief Insp Dave Anderson, said: “There is no place for such extreme views which spread hatred in our communities and we’ll continue to investigate and prosecute anyone involved in such activity in an effort to bring them to justice.”

And Det Sgt Chris Wilson, added: “During the execution of a search warrant at Cowen’s house computer equipment was seized and analysed which uncovered child pornography offences. He was subsequently charged with making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children after thousands of images and videos were recovered.

“Offending of this nature is taken very seriously and I’m pleased such a dangerous man as Cowen has been jailed for his crimes.”

NEIGHBOURS described Cowen as a loner who tended to keep himself to himself.

But they were shocked to discover what went on behind the closed curtains of his terraced home.

Meanwhile, relatives of the 43-year-old said they have totally disowned him because of the shame he has brought on their family.

“The police were here for about three days when they came to arrest him,” said Nicola Farrier-Carr, who lives just a few doors away from where the pervert lurked.

“At first people though it was for racism – he tried to play it down, he was being targeted. But then my sister was warned by social services to keep away from him, and we realised it was something much worse. I stopped letting my kids play anywhere out of my sight.”

The 24-year-old mum, who has a two-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, added: “We very rarely saw him – you might see him going to the shop or something but that was about it. He was quiet and kept to himself.”

Now, all that remains to hint at the sinister goings-on within Cowen’s modest end-of-terrace house is a solitary St George’s flag sticker in a window.

But the emotional impact will last much longer. Much of Cowen’s family has already disowned him.

“We are totally shocked and disgusted,” said one family member, who the Sunday Sun agreed not to name. “We had no idea what he was like, he lied to us all about it, and we all feel so angry.

“He has never apologised to anyone about what he did. Prison is the best place for him.”

Newcastle Chronicle

pob2

Paul O’Brien from Darlington has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment for a rape and attack described by a judge as “beyond appalling.”

O’Brien is well known to us at HOPE not hate as he is a longstanding activist in the nazi music scene, and a regular attendee at gigs organised by the Blood & Honour music network.

O’Brien said he would return to kill the tearful victim – even if he were to go to prison.

The 47-year-old, of Oakland Oval, Darlington, admitted offences of rape, sexual assault and assault by penetration in relation to the incident in October last year.

Recorder David Dixon, sitting at Teeside Crown Court, said O’Brien will also become a registered sex offender for life.

Bearded O’Brien, who sat stoney faced in the dock throughout the sentencing hearing, smashed the woman’s phone and demanded sex, before carrying out what was described as a sustained attack.

The full details of O’Brien’s case can be read here.

Rather similar to the case of Ryan Fleming, another nazi sex attacker, O’Brien’s nazi friends are not making any comment condemning their comrade’s behaviour. O’Brien was the Blood & Honour link person in Darlington and his court case was known to all of his colleagues.

On his Facebook accounts it is apparent that most have unfriended O’Brien, leaving only a small group of Darlington casuals on his friends’ list.
Hope not Hate

THREE grandparents have been jailed for attacking a couple outside a pub – because they thought the male victim was Polish.

Paul Clarke, Sean Pickerill and Judith Pickerill – all in their forties – took part in the assault on Slovakian Milan Panacek and his English girlfriend Genevieve Barnett during a night out in Newcastle.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard tension had sparked between the male defendants and Mr Panacek because of the design of T-shirts they were wearing.

Sean Pickerill’s top bore the logo ‘Blood and Honour – England’, while Clarke’s had the brand ‘One True Saxon’.

Mr Panacek’s shirt had a quote in Spanish relating to the country’s civil war.

Following a disagreement on the dancefloor of The Rigger pub, Mr Panacek and Miss Barnett went outside where they were attacked by a group of around eight people, which included the defendants.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Power said: “They were shouting racial abuse about Mr Panacek being Polish.

“He tried to tell them he wasn’t Polish.

“Judith Pickerill punched Miss Barnett and scratched her to the face.

She pulled her backwards, pulling at her hair extensions.

“She fell to the floor and hit her head on the pavement.

“Her extensions were pulled out at the roots and blood was coming from her head.”

Judith Pickerill, aged 45, of St Bernard’s Road, Newcastle, went on to assault the pub’s manager Robert Birchill.

Father-of-three Sean Pickerill, aged 46, and Clarke were attacking Mr Panacek.

Police arrived to find the group which included the defendants making Nazi salutes and shouting: “Go back to your own country.”

Miss Power said witnesses described the group as ‘like a pack of animals’.

The court heard Miss Barnett suffered injuries including concussion and whiplash, and suffered blackouts after the incident.

Mr Panacek, who has lived in the UK for six years, had a fractured nose.

All three defendants pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault occasioning actually bodily harm. Judith Pickerill also admitted common assault.

The court heard they all had previous convictions but had not been in trouble for a number of years.

Marc Davies, representing Judith Pickerill and 47-year-old Clarke, also of St Bernard’s Road, said: “They are ashamed and very sorry.

“These are two people that had been out of trouble for a long time, addressed any issues with drugs and settled down with families and full time employment.

“They are active and involved grandparents.”

Paul Cliff, representing Sean Pickerill, of St Giles Road, Knutton – who also has a grandchild – said: “He works in the construction industry alongside people from all over the world including Eastern Europeans and there have been no problems.”

Judge David Fletcher sentenced each defendant to 12 months in prison. He told them: “This was an ugly, appalling incident. Your racial comments, in the hearing of numerous people, were completely ignorant. You are three people in your mid-forties. That makes this offence even more shocking.”

Stoke Sentinel

sean-pickerill