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A man who deliberately drove at worshippers leaving an Islamic community centre has been jailed.

Three people were hurt when Martin Stokes drove into crowds leaving the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini centre in Cricklewood, north London on 19 September 2018.

Stokes, of Wembley, admitted dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and harassment.

At Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday he was jailed for five years.

Police said 25-year-old Stokes and others had parked outside the community centre on Horseshoe Close after a night of drinking.

The group were asked to move on by event stewards, who said they were causing a disturbance as there was a private event taking place.

Martin Stokes, 25, has been jailed for five years ( Metropolitan Police )

Martin Stokes, 25, has been jailed for five years ( Metropolitan Police )

In response, Stokes shouted racist abuse and then deliberately drove at worshippers leaving the community centre, before fleeing the scene, according to Scotland Yard.

Three people were injured, including a 50-year-old man who was hospitalised for three weeks due to serious hip and leg injuries.

Mohammed Al Bayati, from the Al Hussaini Association, said: “Our members were subject to racist and anti-Islamic taunts followed by a violent attack.

“The attack, against men, women and children and which resulted in serious injuries to the victims, took place at night during Muharram, a sacred month of the Islamic calendar.”

After sentencing, Det Sgt Kelly Schonhage said: “Stokes selfishly drove his car at a group of innocent pedestrians and had no regard whatsoever for their safety.

“It is very fortunate that no lives were lost in this incident and we are pleased that Stokes has now been brought to justice.”

Stokes was also banned from driving for seven-and-a-half years.

Michael O’Donnell, 20, and Thomas McDonagh, 20, both from Wembley, were charged in connection with the incident but their cases were discontinued.

BBC News

Martin Stokes hurled ‘racist and anti-Islamic taunts’ in religiously aggravated attack

Martin Stokes, 25, has been jailed for five years ( Metropolitan Police )

Martin Stokes, 25, has been jailed for five years ( Metropolitan Police )

A man who deliberately drove a car into a group of pedestrians outside a Muslim community centre has been jailed for five years.

Martin Stokes, 25, injured three people when he hurled “racist and anti-Islamic taunts” while he veered into the group outside the Hussaini Association hall in Cricklewood, northwest London, last September.

One man, in his 50s, sustained a serious leg and hip injury that kept him in hospital for nearly a month, the Metropolitan Police said.

Harrow Crown Court was told how at about 12.30am on 19 September Stokes and others were smoking and drinking inside a car parked in a lot close to the community centre.

Stewards for a private event being held there asked them to move on.

But in response “Stokes shouted racist abuse and then deliberately drove his car into a group of people who were leaving the community centre” before speeding away, the Met said.

He was arrested on 23 October following an investigation by Brent police.

On Wednesday he was jailed for five years and banned from driving for seven and a half years.

Stokes, of Lynton Close in Wembley, had admitted dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and a religiously aggravated offence.

Mohammed Al Bayati, from the Al Hussaini Association, said: “Our members were subject to racist and anti-Islamic taunts followed by a violent attack in which a vehicle was deliberately driven onto the pavement and aimed at the crowd of worshippers leaving the mosque.

“The attack, against men, women and children and which resulted in serious injuries to the victims, took place at night during Muharram, a sacred month of the Islamic calendar.”

The Independent

Geoffrey Ewart, from Grangetown, left one girl scarred for life after bombing around Scarborough in a BMW 330

Geoff Ewart appeared at York Crown Court to admit a dangerous driving charge

Geoff Ewart appeared at York Crown Court to admit a dangerous driving charge

A banned drink-driver who seriously injured two teenage girls in a seaside horror crash has been jailed.

Geoffrey Ewart, from Grangetown, bombed around Scarborough in a BMW 330 when the car careered off the road and tumbled down a steep embankment.

The 30-year-old – who ignored his passengers’ frantic pleas to stop – ran from the wrecked vehicle, leaving the two girls trapped inside.

Prosecutor Andrew Semple said one of them suffered catastrophic injuries including broken bones and was left immobile for weeks.

Mr Semple said the car, which had come off its wheels, had £12,500 of damage in the smash on Castle Road on June 24 last year.

Police found Ewart at a nearby taxi rank at about 1am.

Ewart, of Grisedale Crescent, was breathalysed three hours later by which time his alcohol level had dipped, but experts worked out that at the time of the accident he would have been about one-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit.

The offshore oil rigger admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle-taking, drink-driving, having no insurance and driving while disqualified.

Ewart once faked own 21st birthday party to evade justice

York Crown Court heard that the BMW belonged to Ewart’s father and that his son had taken it without his consent before setting off for Scarborough.

After picking up his passengers, he began to drive “very fast”.

Mr Semple said: “One of the girls said her head was forced back into the seat by his speed.”

He rejected their pleas to let them out before the car left the road and clattered through bushes as it rolled down the embankment.

The older girl suffered a broken shoulder and fractured pelvis.

Her injuries were so serious she was transferred to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where she underwent several operations, had two blood transfusions and remained bed-bound for three weeks.

It was another six weeks before she could move without a wheelchair or crutches.

She was left scarred for life with a 14cm injury on her arm.

The younger girl suffered whiplash injuries and had to undergo 10 weeks of physio.

Scarborough crash followed ‘night of sheer stupidity and madness’

Ewart had three convictions including one for violence and perverting the course of justice in 2010, when he was jailed for punching a man repeatedly during a street brawl in Middlesbrough.

Ewart tried to evade justice on that occasion by faking his own 21st birthday party and using falsified photos from the pub ‘shindig’ in a forlorn attempt to convince police he was elsewhere at the time of the incident.

Following his release from prison in December 2014, he was caught drink-driving and given a 12-month ban.

Ewart’s barrister James Kemp said the horror crash in Scarborough followed a “night of sheer stupidity and madness”.

But Judge Richard Wright QC slammed Ewart for his “dangerous, show-off” driving and “callous” decision to leave the girls in the car as he fled the scene.

“You have shown little or no remorse towards your victims,” he added.

Ewart was jailed for two years and eight months, and given a five-year driving ban.

Gazette Live

From 2016.

A DRINK and drug-driver tried to impress youngsters by speeding at up to 100mph on a residential street, before a “catastrophic crash” in which he left three passengers injured, one seriously, in the back seat.

Lewis Stores ignored requests from passengers to slow down moments before losing control of his Ford Focus, careering into pavement street furniture and ploughing into a bus shelter at 5am on April 2.

Just before the crash, Stores, who was jailed for 32 months yesterday, told his passengers “Watch this”.

Stores and his front seat passenger fled from the wreckage on Clyde Terrace, Spennymoor, but a passer-by freed two passengers from the car, but the third, a 14-year-old boy, suffered multiple fractures and other injuries and was airlifted to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Durham Crown Court was told as 20-year-old Stores was arrested at home almost double the drink-driving limit and with cocaine in his system two hours after the crash, the boy underwent emergency surgery for fractures to his left leg and arm, wrist and fingers.

Ian West, prosecuting, said while the boy came close to having to have an arm amputated due to a loss of blood flow, Stores, of Salisbury Crescent, West Cornforth, admitted to police he had been drinking at a house party in Middlestone Moor, Spennymoor.

The boy spent a month in hospital and the court heard, seven months on from the accident, he was still receiving treatment for nerve damage and skin grafts to his leg and arm, while he had lost dexterity in his wrist.

An impact statement from his mother, read to the court, said the boy still had some difficulty walking, as the recovering leg sometimes gave way, while he had only been able to attend school a few days a week.

Stores told police as he had a car, party-goers had asked him to drive to a petrol station for alcohol and drop some part-goers home.

Mr West said Stores began driving at excessive speed, “with an element of showing off” after leaving the petrol station.

A witness estimated the Focus to have reached up to 100mph on Clyde Terrace, while police experts concluded just before impact it was travelling at 72mph on the 30mph-limit street.

Stores admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and drink and drug-driving.

Amrit Jandoo, mitigating, said Stores, of previous good character, had committed an “appalling piece of driving”.

Mr Jandoo said: “He had been at this house party, but it was at the request of others he was obliged to take others to petrol stations to buy more alcohol. But, by getting into the car he accepts he knew he was over the limit.

“Others getting into the car were impressed by this vehicle and in some ways he wanted to impress them with its speed and power, and that led to this moment of madness. When told to slow down he applied his brakes, but lost control.”

Mr Jandoo said after the impact, Stores panicked and fled, but by the time police called at his home there was “no prevarication”.

Judge Simon Hickey said more than just one passenger could have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result, and it was only down to the skill of the surgeons that the long-term consequences were not worse for the most badly affected passenger.

Stores was also banned from driving for four years and four months.

Northern Echo