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Kevin Crehan arrived just as a corrupt prison officer was busted

Kevin Crehan died at HMP Bristol in Horfield

Kevin Crehan died at HMP Bristol in Horfield

HMP Bristol was awash with illegal drugs and phones when an inmate who died of an overdose was first transferred there – because a corrupt prison officer had been smuggling them in, an inquest has heard.

The scale of the drugs problem at the Horfield prison was laid bare at the inquest into the death of Kevin Crehan – by the very person in charge of security at the jail.

Crehan, 35, died in late December 2016, just weeks after being transferred to the Horfield jail.

The first day of a two-week inquest into his death heard he died of a drugs overdose thanks to a cocktail of five prescription drugs, particularly methadone and diazepam.

An inquest jury heard he had been ‘doing well’ in his efforts to get off drugs during the first months of his sentence, served at Guy’s Marsh Prison in Dorset.

The inquest was told he was transferred to Bristol Prison on the last day of November 2016.

Giving evidence to his inquest was Joanne Hadden, the head of security at HMP Bristol, and she was cross-examined by Mikhael Puar, representing the Crehan family.

He asked her exactly how illegal or illicit drugs found their way into the prison.

She described numerous various ways in which drugs enter the cells, and said that at the end of November 2016, just days before Crehan arrived, a prison officer had been discovered smuggling around £20,000 worth of drugs and phones into the prison to sell to inmates.

That prison officer was subsequently sent to prison themselves, for two and a half years.

It meant that, at around the time Crehan arrived, prisoners had little trouble getting their hands on illegal drugs.

Ms Hadden said that this corrupt route had meant an end to the long-standing practice of friends and family throwing illegal drugs over the walls of the prison, a strategy that had returned in the months after that corrupt officer’s supply route was busted.

But she said that there had been other suspicious officers or staff at the prison. She spoke of other people whose work brings them into the prison, about whom there had been intelligence or suspicion.

“There have been members of staff who don’t work within the prison staff themselves who, while they haven’t been arrested, have left or stopped working there and there’s intelligence that there’s a route that has ended,” she explained.

Mr Puar asked if there was a particular problem at Bristol Prison of staff ‘turning a blind eye’ to prisoners accessing or taking drugs.

“You would like to think not but I’m not naive,” said Ms Hadden. “It’s not large scale though.”

It wasn’t just corrupt staff or civilians who brought drugs in.

“Prisoners can be paid thousands of pounds to return very quickly when they are released on licence, so that they can keep the drugs coming in on the inside,” she said.

“They will be released on licence but then make sure they do something which will mean they are arrested and returned to prison, but will have drugs hidden on them.

“Other routes into the prison are from people throwing them over the wall. In those packages will will be phones and drugs,” she added.

Ms Hadden said that visitors to the prison will bring drugs and phones in, and they have increasingly found that drugs like spice will be secreted within paper sent as letters.

“We found this was happening so acted to stop it. Now instead they will send drugs in legal letters to prisoners, which we are not allowed to open, so we have to check with the individual solicitors’ office to check they actually did send this letter or not

“We’ll close down a route and a new route will open up. It’s a continuing problem we have to face.”

The problem of the tide of drugs entering HMP Horfield has been well-documented before, but has been put into the spotlight with the inquest into the death of Kevin Crehan, which began on Monday.

Toxicology tests revealed Crehan had five prescription drugs in his system: Methadone, diazepam, mirtazapin, gavepentin and pregabalin.

Only one of those – methadone – he was actually prescribed, and even then, both the toxicologist and the Home Office pathologist told the inquest it was likely, on the balance of probabilities, the amount of methadone in his system indicated he’d taken extra on top of the 60mg a day he had been prescribed.

The inquest continues.
Bristol Post

Roy Larner became famous when he confronted knife-wielding ISIS terrorists around London’s Borough Market shouting “f**k you, I’m Millwall”

The so-called ‘Lion of London Bridge’ has landed himself in trouble after his caravan was raided by police – unearthing half a pound of drugs.

Roy Larner was one of 48 people injured in terror attacks around Borough Market in June last year, where eight people died.

The 48-year-old bravely confronted knife-wielding attackers, shouting “f**k you, I’m Millwall”, before being hacked with machetes.

Just over a year later – Larner’s caravan was raided by police in Greatstone, Kent – who discovered a haul of amphetamines, weighing 240g.

He pleaded guilty to possessing the drug at Canterbury Crown Court, but denied intending to sell the Class B drug to others.

Larner was released from hospital after 12 days with more than 80 stitches to his head, ear, arms and hands.

His heroism prompted members of the public to donate £50,000 to get the south Londoner back on his feet.

He gained his fame after shouting ‘f*** you, I’m Millwall’ during the 2017 attack as he grappled with Islamic terrorists.

A petition was even set up online to award him the St George’s Cross – with fans praising him around the world.

He will face a one-day trial in February next year and was granted bail until the next hearing.

Daily Mirror

Some of his other convictions can be found here along with a reference to his support of the National Front.

Christopher Smethurst repeatedly knifed the taxi driver after launching a ‘vicious, frenzied and entirely unprovoked attack’

A violent thug high on a cocktail of cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and whisky repeatedly knifed a taxi driver in a random attack after finding out his girlfriend had ‘slept with his neighbour’.

Christopher Smethurst, 32, screamed ‘die, die, die’ as he stabbed his victim in the face and body after he had been taken to an address in Moss Side.

The career criminal claimed he was upset as he had just found out his girlfriend had slept with his neighbour.

But a judge slammed the ‘vicious, frenzied and entirely unprovoked attack’ and jailed Smethhurst for 19 years and four months.

His victim, a 42-year-old driver working for Street Cars, had picked him up from outside Chico’s takeaway in Longsight and had appeared to be chatty and friendly during the journey to an address in Ruskin Avenue in Moss Side on November 11 last year.

The private hire driver told him the fare of £5.20, but there was no reply and when he turned around Smethurst lunged at him with a kitchen knife – which was five or six inches long – prosecutor David Temkin told Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court.

Smethurst shouted ‘die, die, die’ as he repeatedly stabbed his victim in the neck.

The taxi driver tried in vain to wrestle the knife from his attacker, suffering more stab wounds to his hands, before Smethurst pulled at the driver’s seat-belt, pinning him against the back rest, and continued to knife his victim in the face.

The driver, who was bleeding heavily, managed to escape, but Smethurst got out and continued the sickening attack in the street.

The desperate cabbie ran barefoot down the street – after his shoes came off during the assault – knocking on doors and begging for help.

Eventually, one resident took him in and dialled 999 as Smethurst.

Police found blood all over the inside and on the outside of the car. The victim was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary where he was treated for ten serious stab wounds to his hands, arms, chest and head.

He was left with a fractured eye-socket and needed plastic surgery to repair the stab wounds and damage to nerves and tendons.

“I thought I was going to be killed,” the driver later told the police, describing how the attack had caused significant psychological and physical damage.

Smethurst was arrested ten days later in Crewe where he had intended to rob shop with a toy gun he had spray-painted black.

Hand-written notes were found in his bag one of which read: “Nothing to lose anymore. Empty the cash in the bag. I have a 9mm Glock.”

His DNA was found in a bag which he had left at the takeaway in Longsight which, together with CCTV and evidence from the driver, linked him to the assault.

Smethurst was said to have a series of criminal convictions, including one for battery.

Jonathan Turner, defending, said his client had expressed ‘genuine remorse’ in letters he had sent both to the judge and his victim.

The barrister said his client ‘had no idea’ why he had launched the attack, but said it had followed an argument he had had with his girlfriend, in which he discovered she had ‘slept with a neighbour’.

The defendant had consumed ‘a large quantity of drink and drugs’ and had ‘simply lost his mind’, said Mr Turner.

“He knows that is absolutely no excuse for the way he behaved that day,” he added.

Judge John Potter told Smethurst he was considered so dangerous he must serve a minimum two-thirds of the 19 years and four months jail sentence.

Smethurst, of no fixed abode, but originally from Crewe, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing an imitation firearm.

Manchester Evening News

Appearing in court, this Newcastle fan claims he was forced to leap out of the away end at Huddersfield…

Newcastle fan Reece Smailes has been up in court after an incident that happened towards the end of the Huddersfield match earlier this month.

When Dwight Gayle walked the third Newcastle goal in, the United fan in question jumped over the barrier at the front and was then arrested in the area between pitch and away end.

The 24 year old pleading guilty to a charge under the Football Offences Act 1991 of going onto the playing area during a designated match.

In his defence/mitigation, he said that he’d had no choice but to leap over the barrier…because his recently done Newcastle United tattoo was sore from being pushed against by celebrating fans.

When searched by Police, they also found a bag of cocaine which he said was for personal use.

Magistrates were told that Smailes was previously given a three year Football Banning Order following an incident in 2011 when he punched a West Bromwich Albion fan.

The prosecution were asking for another banning order to be put in place.

Prosecutor Shamaila Qureshi:

“He was seen jumping over the safety barrier onto an area around the playing surface and raising his arms.

“As soon as he got to the area near the pitch he was arrested.”

“He admitted going into the banned area and said that this was to prevent being pushed against the safety barriers.

“The defendant said that he got pushed to the front and was concerned as he’d just had a large tattoo done.

“It was sore and hurt and he jumped over the barrier.”

Rachel Sharpe defending/in mitigation:

“The defendant was being shoved up against the barrier and then jumped over it to prevent discomfort having had a new tattoo.

“He ran towards the pitch but stopped himself before entering the pitch.

“This was in the last minute of the game when Newcastle scored and he was celebrating.

“He didn’t encroach into the pitch as he knows he shouldn’t and was quickly apprehended.”

The Magistrates did not make a Football Banning order but did order the Newcastle fan to pay a total of £484 plus £85 court costs and £32 victim surcharge.

The Mag

Sirrs was jailed for more than 12 years for his part in horrific racist attacks on Middle Eastern immigrants in Hull

Drug dealer Christopher Sirrs has this week been orders to pay back £3,000 from his ill-gotten gains – but he hides a shocking racist past.

Sirrs, 44, was one of two racist ringleaders who led a violent neo-Nazi campaign against asylum-seekers in Hull 14 years ago.

Sirrs was handed a 14-and-a-half year sentence which was cut to 12-and-a-half years on appeal, while his thug cohort Ben Povey was handed a 19-year sentence reduced to 15 years on appeal.

Bloodthirsty guttersnipes

During sentence, the judge at the time described them as “bloodthirsty guttersnipes”.

Povey and Sirrs mowed down an Iraqi asylum-seeker, sending him flying into the air “like a rag doll” and shattering his leg in three places. Later Povey, when asked about the attack, said to his girlfriend: “They should all die.”

Mugshots of Christopher Sirrs (left) and Ben Povey who was jailed in 2004 for racial violence

Mugshots of Christopher Sirrs (left) and Ben Povey who was jailed in 2004 for racial violence

It was just one of a serious of violent scenes which brought Hull’s racial tensions to melting point in the searing heat of July 2004.

Gang warfare

The city had become a battleground as gangs clashed in the streets, brandishing lead pipes, baseball bats, Samurai swords and planks of wood studded with nails. Cars were set alight with petrol bombs.

Judge Tom Cracknell said at the time the men were sentenced: “I regard Sirrs and Povey as very dangerous young men. They have not shown one moment of remorse about their conduct.”

Christopher Sirrs

Christopher Sirrs

The pair had joined the Hull Cruise Club – a group which spent its evenings driving souped-up cars around the streets.

Sirrs, then 30, was adept at manipulating younger members of a club which until then was described by police as a “nuisance rather than a menace”.

Thug who thinks he has a brain

Detective Inspector Mark Smith, the officer in charge, speaking after the men were sentenced said: “Sirrs is just a thug who thinks he has a brain.

“He likes to have people around him, likes to have muscle, and he seems to command respect among this element. [He] wouldn’t think twice about just petrol-bombing your house or car.”

Trouble flared in 2004 when a group of immigrants began driving their cars around the same area as the club. A minor clash led to a series of battles with cars being rammed or smashed up with baseball bats.

In mid-July Povey smashed the windscreen of a Vauxhall car driven by immigrants while Sirrs threw a petrol bomb at the vehicle. They pursued it with Povey swinging a Samurai sword from the open sunroof.

Mowed down

A few days later, two immigrants made the mistake of parking their car in the area before going out to a nightclub.

They returned in the early hours to be met by a gang hurling racist abuse because they believed they were among a group of Kosovans who had damaged the club’s cars.

One was hit with a baseball bat and the two fled up the street, with Sirrs and Povey in pursuit.

The car being driven by Sirrs, with Povey as passenger, crossed the central reservation and ploughed into the other man, sending him flying into the air, before driving off. Other members of the gang stayed to abuse the Iraqi with racist taunts as he lay there injured and in pain.

The attack led to further tension as members of the local immigrant community clashed violently with the gang members.

Witness intimidation

Sirrs and Povey had also tried to intimidate witnesses. Povey fire-bombed a car belonging to the family of a witness while both telephoned him to get him to change his statement.

Povey was convicted of causing Mr Mohammed grievous bodily harm with intent by a jury at Hull Crown Court. He was also jailed for making petrol bombs, intimidating witnesses, arson, violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon.

Sirrs was jailed for grievous bodily harm, which he admitted, and convicted of possession of a Samurai sword and nail-embedded pickaxe handle, making an explosive substance, violent disorder and perverting the course of justice.

Others were also jailed following that summer of madness for assaults, arson, making explosives and violent disorder.

Sirrs has continued his life of crime and is back in jail after admitting possession of amphetamine with intent to supply and possessing criminal property.

Hull Daily Mail

A 26-year-old Missouri man pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge Thursday for bringing an Amtrak train to a stop in southwest Nebraska last October and sending passengers into a panic.

Taylor M. Wilson, of St. Charles, Missouri, also pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered 9 mm CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 rifle, one of several guns FBI agents found in a search of his home, as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors there.

Several other counts will be dismissed at his sentencing Oct. 5.

“Why did you stop it (the train)?” Magistrate Judge Cheryl Zwart asked Wilson at his plea hearing Thursday.

“I was high,” Wilson answered.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Woods said Wilson had a mask, hammer, knife, a loaded .38-caliber gun, a box of ammunition and a National Socialist Movement business card on him when he got into an secure area of the train and cut the lights to the train.

She said train employees were running up and down the aisles attempting to determine the cause of the emergency stop. Some passengers, in fear, attempted to escape through the train’s windows.

When Amtrak workers found Wilson in the engineer’s seat of the follow engine playing with the controls, he claimed to be the new conductor, Woods said.

He later told investigators he had dropped acid right before, she said.

The conductor and others subdued Wilson, then held him and waited for sheriffs’ deputies from Furnas and Harlan counties to arrive in Oxford, 23 miles southwest of Holdrege.

In body-cam video of him being disarmed by deputies, Wilson was caught making shooting sounds at deputies and the conductor.

None of the 175 people aboard the eastbound California Zephyr were injured.

But he ultimately was indicted federally — in Nebraska and Missouri — after learning he had links to a white supremacist group and had expressed an interest in “killing black people,” according to an informant.

Woods said a search of his Missouri home in December turned up a cache of unregistered firearms (including a machine gun and short-barreled rifle), Mein Kampf and a shield with a swastika on it, pressure plates used to make explosive devices and writings about ISIS.

She said Wilson had planned to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS and bought a plane ticket but never used it. Wilson denied it.

According to the written plea agreement, he told a deputy after his arrest: “I was going to save the train from the black people.”

Wilson faces up to life in prison for threatening to disable railroad on-track equipment and a mass transportation vehicle in the Nebraska case and up to 10 years for possession of an unregistered firearm in the Missouri case.

After the hearing, Wilson’s parents, who were in the back of the courtroom, told him they loved him.

“You did well,” his mom said as a guard ushered him out.

In the hallway, Omaha attorney Jerry Sena said at sentencing he plans to argue that given Wilson’s limited criminal record he should be sentenced within the range of nine to 11 years.

Wilson is being held at the Saline County jail in Wilber.

Journal Star

Taylor Michael Wilson, a white supremacist, attacked an Amtrak train with 175 passengers aboard.

An armed white supremacist who brought an Amtrak train passing through Nebraska to a screeching halt after setting off an emergency brake pleaded guilty to a federal terrorism-related charge on Thursday.

Taylor Michael Wilson admitted in a plea deal with federal prosecutors that he was armed with a .380 caliber handgun and National Socialist Movement identification cards when he entered a secure compartment of an Amtrak train, disabled the train and cut the lights back in October. As part of the agreement with federal prosecutors, Wilson will also plead guilty to a count of receipt and possession of an unregistered firearm.

When conductors subdued the defendant, Wilson said, “I’m the conductor now, bitch!” and reached for his waistband, according to the agreement. The attack happened in a part of the state so remote that it took deputies an hour to arrive at the scene. There were 175 passengers aboard the train at the time.

Wilson’s plea deal included additional revelations that weren’t previously disclosed. Wilson was caught on a body camera making shooting sounds at deputies, and he used racial slurs and insults against the conductor. He also said that human beings were “a plague” on the planet.

“I got a reason for doing what I’m doing. I stopped the fucking train,” he said. “I was going to save the train from the black people.” The plea agreement also says that Wilson quoted Friedrich Nietzsche.

A search of Wilson’s home outside of St. Louis found “hollowed out” portions of walls where he concealed “propaganda relating to the National Socialist movement, body armor, ammunition, and pressure plates that can be used to make an explosive device.” Some of the weapons, including a fully automatic machine gun and a short-barrel rifle, were illegal to posses under federal law.

The government also seized some of Wilson’s handwritten papers, including one that read “National Socialism: Victory of Death!” They also found journals full of “numerous derogatory and threatening comments about the Jewish race and African Americans” as well as writings about the defendant’s “frustrations with the American government, society, and the media.”

The plea agreement says that Wilson told a cellmate that he “dropped acid” right before he entered the secure part of the train. The Lincoln Journal Star reported that Wilson told a judge he was “high” at the time he stopped the train. His attorney said he hoped for a sentence in the range of nine to 11 years.

Wilson is set to be sentenced on Oct. 5.

Huff Post