Archive

Tag Archives: CxF

Michale Kearns was jailed for Bold Street attack on anti-fascists

Michael Kearns, 43 of Dovecot Ave, Dovecot

Michael Kearns, 43 of Dovecot Ave, Dovecot

A Liverpool man jailed this week over a £5m drugs plot has links to the same extremist group involved in violent scenes on the steps of St George’s Hall.

Michael Kearns was part of a right-wing gang that caused a mass brawl in Liverpool city centre when they attacked anti-fascists in 2013.

After serving time for his role in that skirmish he is now back behind bars after cops busted the drugs operation he was part of.

Kearns, 43, was one of 13 men sentenced to a total of more than 60 years on Thursday for their involvement in cocaine and amphetamine plots.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the drugs gang used ‘apparently harmless’ middle-aged people driving cars and caravans to try and avoid the attention of cops.

Kearns was caught with others members of the group with 227g of 83 per cent pure cocaine while travelling on the M6.

He was jailed for five years and four months.

Now, the ECHO can reveal the 43-year-old was among a group of far-right activists that targeted anti-fascist rivals in a violent attack on Bold Street back in 2013.

Shoppers watched in horror as the men punched and kicked people heading for a fundraising gig at the News From Nowhere Bookshop.

The trouble then spilled into Cafe Tabac, with CCTV of the brawl showing diners being forced to flee the trouble.

Kearns, of Dovecot Avenue, was described as being ‘in the thick’ of the violence by Judge Robert Trevor-Jones.

Then – handing him 14 months for violent disorder as he sentenced the group – the judge added: “All of you were either members of, or have associations with, groups which happen to hold right-wing views or positions whether it be the National Front, English Defence Force or North West Infidels.

“It is that common factor which brought you all together on Bold Street that evening because you had been made aware there was to be some form of anti-fascist meeting.”

The North West Infidels were the extremist group behind last month’s Liverpool city centre rally that saw trouble flare between the right-wing gang and anti-fascist rivals.

While Kearns is thought to have been in custody during February’s demonstration, it is believed Blackburn-based Shane Calvert was among those who took part.

The 34-year-old was jailed alongside Kearns for violent disorder in relation to the Bold Street incident.

Liverpool Echo

Thirteen people involved in cocaine and amphetamine plots jailed for more than 60 years

A £5m drugs gang used “apparently harmless” middle-aged people driving cars and caravans to try and avoid the attention of cops.

Thirteen people involved in cocaine and amphetamine plots were today jailed for more than 60 years at Liverpool Crown Court.

Judge Alan Conrad, QC, said the gang’s three conspiracies were “marked by their professionalism and careful organisation”.

He said: “Legitimate businesses were used as cover. Taxis were used. Vans were acquired and liveried to appear legitimate.

“Cars and caravans were used – driven by apparently harmless middle-aged people in order to avoid attention.

“As and when drugs were seized this was treated simply as a risk of the enterprise and the operation continued, with the methods used changing.”

The North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (TITAN) investigated the gang’s activities between February 2014 and June 2015 as part of Operation Pitscale.

Simon Berkson, prosecuting, said 47-year-old Paul Berry – who co-owned an internet tickets and events company in Manchester – was the ringleader.

Berry’s “right hand man” Stephen Reeves, 48, used his furniture business Skemersdale Furnishings as a cover to transport drugs.

Kenneth Pritchard, 67, used his BMW to “transport box loads of drugs” and allowed his caravan, kept in a timber yard in Burscough, to be used to store cocaine.

Dean Stephen, 36, was provided with a van “disguised with a false logo” to transport significant amounts of drugs, which he also stored at his home.

The court heard Lee Tarry, 33, was stopped by police travelling from Skelmersdale to Glasgow in a taxi on February 14, 2014.

Hidden inside a bed – identical to those sold by Reeves’ furniture firm – was 3kg of 60-70% pure cocaine, valued at £720,000.

On June 16, 2014, a dog walker found 45kg of amphetamine, valued up to £900,000, in rural Meadow Lane, Ormskirk.

Peter Linford, 58, had hired a van, collected the haul and “stashed it in a hedge overnight”, but was caught when he returned to collect the drugs.

Reeves and Linford also disguised a Ford Connect van with the logo ‘Auto Valet Direct’ before it was given to Stephen.

Officers seized 51kg of amphetamine from this van and Stephen’s home, valued at £514,000, on October 9.

Police stopped drugs courier Warren Bennett, 36, who was driving a tipper truck in Litherland , on December 8.

They asked him to move a heavy bag, which he initially said contained tools, before shouting: “I’m f***ed, I’m f***ed!”

When asked what he meant, the defendant replied “It’s full of whizz”, revealing 46kg of amphetamine, valued at up to £456,000.

After months of observing Pritchard, police stopped his BMW X5 on February 12, 2015.

Officers recovered 68kg of amphetamine from the car and 2kg of “import quality” cocaine – secreted in a void in a cupboard – from his caravan.

On March 7 they caught Darren Highfield, 44, transporting 18kg of amphetamine to Sheffield to the homes of Dimitri Wright, 40, and Ryan Vintin, 38.A

nd on April 21, 227g of 83% pure cocaine was found in a car containing Stephen Higgs, 32, Micheal Kairns, 43, and Anoushka Lindsay, 40, on the M6.

The gang all pleaded guilty to their involvement in respective conspiracies, with Berry and Reeves admitting all three charges.

Berry, of Abbey Walk, Preston, who was on licence for a previous cocaine plot, was jailed for 11 years.

Reeves, of Charnock, Skelmersdale, who had no previous convictions, was jailed for nine years.

Linford, of Groveside, Edge Hill, was sentenced to four and a half years.

Pritchard, of Manor Crescent, Burscough, and Kearns, of Dovecot Avenue, Huyton, were both handed five years and four months.

Wright, of The Meads, and Vintin, of Luna Croft, both in Sheffield, were jailed for three years and eight months and three years and four months respectively.

Tarry, of Cherrycroft, Skelmersdale was jailed for five years, and Higgs, of Wadeson Road, Walton, for three years.

Stephen, of Egerton, Skelmersdale, was handed an extra 12 months on top of an existing three-year sentence.

Bennett, of no fixed abode but from Preston, had one month added to an existing three year and four months term.

Couriers Martin Cleary, 37, of Shaw Lane, Prescot, and Highfield, of Hollybank Way, Sheffield, received two years behind bars.

Lindsay, of Molyneux Road, Kensington, will be sentenced on March 24.

Liverpool Echo

The far-right supporter jailed in this story is Michael “Mayo” Kearns. He was also jailed for violent disorder after attacking a group of anti-fascists with the North West infidels. You can read that report here

Merfyn Jones has been convicted of 13 counts of rape and been placed on the sex offenders’ register for life

Defendant Merfyn Jones, of Shotton, was jailed for 17 years for a series of historic sex offences against children

Defendant Merfyn Jones, of Shotton, was jailed for 17 years for a series of historic sex offences against children

The perverted past of a man — branded a sexual predator — caught up with him when he was jailed for 17 years for a campaign of sexual offences.

Merfyn Jones, 53, of Rowden Street in Shotton, was placed on the sex offender’s register for life.

Jones had denied 13 offences of attempted rape, attempted rape and indecent assault against four complainants, when they were children, dating back to the 1990s.

But he was unanimously convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court in December.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said that Jones continued to deny the offences and had shown no remorse at all.

“You have no comprehension of the way in which you were meant to behave as a grown man towards young children, or the harm you have caused the victims,” the judge told him.

Jones, from Fllintshire, was a man of no convictions and had to be sentenced for his behaviour 20 years ago when he was in his 30s, he said.

Although there had been a significant delay, the other side of that was that he had managed to live a normal life for many years while the victims had to live with what he had done to them.

“You took advantage of four young girls and you did so repeatedly,” Judge Rowlands told him.

Two of the victims had been raped.

“Totally understandably, your behaviour had an appalling and profound effect,” the judge said.

“They continue to suffer to this day while you could not care less about the harm you have caused.

The only mitigation was that the offending ended in the 1990s and he had not been in any trouble since.

Judge Rowlands said that the victims were women now in their 20s and 30s but that Jones had taken away their childhoods — and thought he had got away with it.

“Now, I am afraid, you have to answer for your depraved behaviour as a younger man,” he said.

At the earlier hearing the judge said that on the verdicts of the jury, he fell to be sentenced as a sexual predator who had got away with for many years.

Jones was convicted of six charges of rape, one charge of attempted rape and six charges of indecent assault.

Prosecuting barrister John Philpotts said that victim impact statements showed the offences had not been reported at the time because the victims, as children, did not think they would be believed.

Some of them spoke of being unable to sleep, having nightmares, and still feeling the pain of what he had done.

One said that she felt angry and emotional and found it difficult to trust people.

Another told how her confidence and self-esteem had been affected and she suffered panic attacks.

Mr Philpotts described it as a sustained campaign of sexual offences with multiple victims which had caused severe psychological harm.

Paul Smith, defending, argued that the description of a campaign was not appropriate.

He said Jones appreciated that he was to receive a very significant sentence but he asked to judge to keep totality in mind.


The Daily Post

AN AIRBUS security check on a worker’s computer revealed indecent images of children and sparked a police investigation.

When police probed the emails of Broughton factory employee Matthew Woodward they discovered he had received an email from someone claiming to be a 13-year-old girl looking to exchange ‘naughty pictures’.

Woodward, 22, formerly of Cable Street in Connah’s Quay, pleaded guilty at Mold Crown Court to 16 offences.

Judge Niclas Parry imposed a three-year community order and sent him on a sexual offending treatment programme.

Woodward must complete 120 hours of unpaid work and will remain on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

He is also banned from working with children.

David Mainstone, prosecuting, said that in September 2011 Airbus did a check of the defendant’s computer and as a result his offending came to light.

Police then seized Woodward’s personal laptop and further images of children were found.

Andrew Green, defending, said Woodward’s life had ‘fallen apart’ because of what he had done.

The defendant had lost his job and moved to Derby, the court was told.

Daily Post