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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

An inquest date has been set after Crehan died five months into a year-long jail sentence

A prisoner who was serving time for putting bacon on the door handles of a Bristol mosque died after a drug overdose, it has been revealed.

Kevin ‘Bunny’ Crehan was five-months into his year-long sentence in Horfield Prison when he was discovered dead in his cell.

Emergency services were called to the prison on December 27, 2016 after he was found unresponsive.

Files from the police and a post-mortem report have now been completed after several pre-inquest reviews.

A full inquest will begin on Monday, December 3, and is expected to last more than two weeks.

That means it will be nearly two years before his family finds out how the 35-year-old from Knowle West came by his death.

A post mortem examination heard he had died of a suspected overdose of methadone, a common drug used as a strong painkiller and as a substitute for heroin.

The court was told he had been admitted to hospital while serving his term following a drug overdose.

After he recovered, he was sent back behind bars, but was found dead in his cell shortly after.

A police investigation has now been completed, and they are not treating it as suspicious at this time.

Why was he in prison?

Crehan had been jailed in July 2016 after pleading guilty to an attack on the Jamia mosque in Totterdown in January 2016.

The ‘protest’ saw bacon being placed on door handles, a St George flag tied to the fence and abuse shouted at two elderly people.

Together with three others, the far-right group were charged in court.

Crehan was jailed for a year while Mark Bennett, 48, from Patchway, was sentenced to nine months in prison.

His wife, Alison, 46, was given a six-month suspended sentence for her involvement and Angela Swales, 31, from Brislington, was given a four-month suspended jail term.

The judge who jailed Crehan said he had taken into account the 35-year-old’s history of convictions, including football-related violence.

The group has also been given restraining orders banning them from going within 100 metres of a mosque anywhere in England or Wales for 10 years.

In his summing up, Judge Julian Lambert called it “an attack on England and the principles of freedom of religion”.

Since Crehan died nearly 18 months ago, there has been mounting speculation about the circumstances surrounding his death.

And while police dismissed it as “not suspicious”, it has not stopped several groups of people coming to Bristol to protest his death and sentence.

The latest march took place in Bristol at the end of last month, with dozens joining the ‘Gays against Sharia’ march near Temple Meads.

The Prison and Probation Ombudsman has confirmed a report into Crehan’s death has been concluded and passed to the coroner, although that is not expected to be made public until after the inquest.

Sitting in front of Avon’s senior coroner Maria Voisin, the inquest will look into the circumstances surrounding Crehan’s death, including how and why he died.

Bristol Post

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