Tag Archives: Hull

Far-right extremist Simon Sheppard had previously denied the Holocaust happened

A notorious far-right extremist who made sick jokes about Jews being exterminated during the “Holohoax” set himself up as an eccentric “mad scientist” in a cynical bid to entice girls into having sex for a so-called “sexperiment”.

Simon Sheppard pretended to be a psychologist when he approached girls in Bridlington and gave them a card inviting them to take part in the bizarre bogus sexual experiment. The 65-year-old, who has strong links to Hull, has now been jailed for three years and nine months.

Sheppard, of Promenade, Bridlington, had been convicted by a jury on February 18 after a trial at Hull Crown Court of eight offences involving attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and inciting the sexual exploitation of children in Bridlington.

Recorder Tahir Khan KC told a sentencing hearing at Bradford Crown Court that a 21-year-old woman went with a friend to Bridlington on July 17 last year. Sheppard approached them, made conversation and asked them how they were and if they wanted to go on an adventure.

“You were claiming to be a scientist who had degrees and was conducting an experiment,” said Recorder Khan. “You were saying you were accredited.”

They declined the offer of going for a walk and having a drink. “He was holding himself out to be a psychologist,” added Recorder Khan.

Three weeks later, on August 12 last year, two 15-year-old twin girls were at Bridlington pier when Sheppard approached them and handed them a card and encouraged them to go with him. “The girls were confused and thought that the invitation that you were extending was creepy and they began to leave,” said Recorder Khan. “You got up and started to follow them. They ran and later told their mother what had happened.”

On August 21 last year, two girls were at the fairground at Bridlington pier when Sheppard – “wearing a suit” – handed one of them a card, which she took. “You disappeared quickly from the direction you had come,” said Recorder Khan. “You were encouraging these young girls to participate in a so-called experiment but they had the good sense not to.”

On August 31 last year, Sheppard approached two 14-year-old girls who were sitting on a wall eating ice creams and “came very close to them” before handing them cards. He told them: “Just read it.” The invitation was for them to have sex for £150. The police became involved and investigated Sheppard’s activities.

“You persisted in claiming that you were a psychology expert and you weren’t doing anything wrong,” said Recorder Khan. “The police found no evidence that you were, or are, a psychologist, nor could they find any scientific publication connected to you on a website. You were passing yourself off as a scientist.

“You passed yourself off as a scientist and approached girls in the hope that they would participate in penetrative sexual activity in exchange for money. You blamed the victims for what happened.”

Gareth Henderson-Moore, mitigating, said that there was no evidence that Sheppard had a specific interest in children and he has no previous convictions for sexual offences. “There were no images recovered from any device,” said Mr Henderson-Moore.

“There have been no previous markers of any kind to indicate concerns about children and he says that he does not have any interest in children. He has been rather broad in the people that he has targeted in this enterprise and there are statements from adults also who were targeted in the same way.

“The offending has arisen as a result of his wilful disregard for the age of the persons he approached rather than a particular targeted interest in minors.”

The offences were very unpleasant. Sheppard had vulnerabilities and had a marginalised childhood and adolescence. “He considers himself to something of a mad scientist and it is perhaps that which has led him into trouble on more than one occasion,” said Mr Henderson-Moore.

“He has spent a considerable amount of time on remand. He was convicted in February and has waited in excess of nine months to know his fate. That has been nine months of anxiety. He continues to be vulnerable in a custodial environment and reports that he has difficulties with other prisoners.”

In addition to his jail sentence, Sheppard was given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and must register as a sex offender for life.

History of racism and Holocaust denial

Sheppard had been jailed for nine months at York Crown Court in June 2018 after being convicted by a jury of using racially aggravated words to a Sky engineer. He had “barracked” the man while he was working on a satellite dish at a neighbour’s flat in June 2017.

Sheppard, then living in Selby, was also given a five-year criminal behaviour order. He had told the court that he was not happy that a black man had been given a flat in his block of flats and denied intending the neighbour to overhear racist abuse. It had been claimed that Sheppard regularly used a racist word when he saw the neighbour.

In 2008, Sheppard claimed asylum in the United States under freedom of speech laws after failing to turn up at court towards the end of a seven-week trial at Leeds Crown Court, where he was accused of publishing racially aggravated material. He was convicted in his absence of a series of charges relating to possessing, publishing and distributing racially inflammatory material.

He failed in his asylum application and was deported back to this country after being detained at a Los Angeles airport. He was later jailed for four years and 10 months but the sentence was eventually cut by a year after an appeal.

The material was anti-Semitic and racist, with what police described as “despicable references to the Holocaust”. Police said at the time: “You have to remember that there are people in our community who lived through the Holocaust. They don’t deserve to have their experiences treated in this way.”

Sheppard claimed that he was not breaking the law because he used an internet server that was based in the United States, but a judge ruled that the prosecution could go ahead. Sheppard claimed that he was being persecuted because of his right-wing views.

The police investigation began after a complaint in 2004 about a leaflet called “Tales of the Holohoax”, which had been pushed through the door of a synagogue in Blackpool. It was traced back to a post office box in Hull registered to Sheppard. One leaflet found by police suggested that the Auschwitz concentration camp was a holiday camp provided by the Nazis and that Jews from all over Europe went there to enjoy a free holiday.

In 2000, a trial at Hull Crown Court was told that Sheppard, then aged 43 and living in Westbourne Avenue, west Hull, had claimed that there was “nothing wrong with being racist”. He had been found with election leaflets parodying the deaths of the Jews in the Holocaust.

The police were called in after complaints from members of the public. He declined to offer pleas and not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf.

Sheppard and a youth delivered the two-sided leaflets to homes in the Avenues area of Hull ahead of the European elections. There was reference to the “country being spoiled by millions of immigrants from the Third World” and he suggested that white people, black people, Asian people and Jewish people should be segregated by “selective breeding”.

Sheppard had been found with 153 leaflets. The youth had another 248. The prosecution told the court: “He told the police there was nothing wrong with being racist and he was campaigning on behalf of the British National Party.”

He was convicted by the jury of publishing and possessing threatening, abusive or insulting leaflets.

Hull Daily Mail

Sonny Grainger is only 21 but has already been in court 20 times

He was the baby-faced boy who became one of the youngest people in Hull to get an Asbo.

And Sonny Grainger is now back behind bars after making his 20th appearance in court this week.

Grainger was jailed for two years and four months for a shocking attack outside a Hull pub which saw him punch a man “for no reason”, follow him, kick him in the head and then brag about the assault to a bouncer.

Grainger, who was the second youngest person in Hull to be given an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) has previously served two short spells in prison for his behaviour.

He was slapped with the order in 2009 and banned from seven streets after he “terrorised” the Boothferry estate by stealing cars, starting fires, assaulting neighbours and even smashing his own windows.

Neighbours described him as a “living hell”.

‘Wave of terror’

Sonny Grainger was once described as an 'ASBO Crimewave'

Sonny Grainger was once described as an ‘ASBO Crimewave’

PC Trevor Neeham said at the time: “Sonny Grainger has caused untold misery for the people of the estate. He has been a tyrant to people here.

“On a daily basis we received complaints about his behaviour, it is actually unbelievable how bad this lad was. He has been a one-boy wave of terror.”

He went on to break the terms of his Asbo just two hours after it was served with it, followed by a further five times in 18 months. He was eventually put on a tag.

Kicked out of 7 schools

When he was 13, he assaulted a fellow pupil at Bridgeview Special School, Hessle, after he was caught with cannabis on the premises. At the time, his mother said the order was no longer working and claimed she was not receiving the support she needed to tame him.

Grainger was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), a condition where children have disruptive and oppositional behaviour that is directed towards authority figures.

In 2011, when he was 14, he returned to trouble and was given a second Asbo which lasted for two years after causing problems around the former One Stop shop in Hessle Road.

He was shoplifting, harassing staff and causing damage. By this point he had already been excluded from seven schools.

Just a year later Grainger was sent to a secure children’s home in Leeds after breaching the second order.

Grainger arriving at court in 2014

Grainger arriving at court in 2014

At the time, his mother said: “He was very upset when they took him away. He was crying his eyes out.”

She told at the time that her family were not getting enough help with him and her son “knew how to play the system” by a very young age.

Ward councillor Pete Allen said: “I don’t like to see any young lad get sent to a children’s home but if that’s the best thing fro him, it may not be a bad thing if there is a long-term gain.

“Sonny has to take advantage of this opportunity.”

However, he did not and he was soon back in trouble again.

In 2015, when he was 18, Grainger was back at court for attacking a man with a plank of wood after his brother had taken his own life the day before.

Hull Magistrates Court heard how Grainger took his frustration out on a man he mistakenly believed was trying to provoke him. He admitted four charges, including one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one of racially aggravated violence.

The victim of the attack suffered a number of facial injuries, including lumps on his head and bruising to his face.

Grainger also admitted racist language towards his victim. He was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, as well as a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Criminal friends

Grainger posed with guns with notorious criminal Liam Windas

Grainger posed with guns with notorious criminal Liam Windas

In 2015, he was seen in a picture on a Facebook profile with notorious Hull gangster Liam Windas.

The picture, from Sonny’s Facebook page, shows the pair posing with guns and smiling. Windas was jailed for 24 years in October this year after supplying drugs and guns across Hull.

Although Grainger has managed to behave since then it seems his troubled past was never far away.

Attacked man ‘for no reason’

This week he was jailed for causing grievous bodily harm after carrying out the sickening attack outside the King Edward pub in Anlaby Road “for no apparent reason” in the early hours of June 23.

Hull Crown Court heard how, after punching his victim, Grainger then followed him along Anlaby Road before kicking him in the head, leaving him and then going back and moving his unconscious body, leaving him and then going back and moving his unconscious body onto the path.

He then went back to the pub and “re-enacted” the attack to the bouncer.

Sonny Grainger has been sentenced for the attack

Sonny Grainger has been sentenced for the attack

His mitigation said Grainger had been thinking about his late brother – who’s birthday was coming up – and his former relationship which had recently ended.

Judge Bury said he had gone out to “drown his sorrows.”

Shocking CCTV footage was shown to the court.

Prosecuting, Mr Nigel Clive said the 21-year-old, now of Walsall Garth, had an “unenviable criminal record” who “first came to the court in 2008 to the youth court and he was back before the court regularly”.

Jailing Grainger to two years and four months – half of which he will serve in custody – Judge Bury said: “The incident was an unplanned one and your mental state was not the best that night. The CCTV doesn’t indicate any particular reason why you punched him, but punch him you did. You followed him and caught up with him at a busy junction and approached him.

“This was a repeated assault. You have previous for violence but they are not as serious as this. It is clear you are still young and I accept you are very sorry for what you have done but that doesn’t take back what you have done and for that you have to be punished, although I accept you had emotional issues at the time.”

Hull Daily Mail

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

Bret Atkins and Jamie Snow smirked as their jail sentences were increased for the race-hate campaign they orchestrated from inside a top security jail

Bret Atkins, 24, and Jamie Snow, 27, sent crude explosive devices from the segregation unit of Full Sutton prison, near York and sent them to law firms in Halifax and Nottingham Photo: PA

Bret Atkins, 24, and Jamie Snow, 27, sent crude explosive devices from the segregation unit of Full Sutton prison, near York and sent them to law firms in Halifax and Nottingham Photo: PA

A murderer and a robber who sent crude explosive devices from the segregation unit of a top security jail to Asian solicitors as part of a race-hate campaign have had their prison sentences increased.

Bret Atkins, 24, and Jamie Snow, 27, smirked and laughed as a judge at Leeds Crown Court was told how they constructed basic incendiary devices made from crushed match heads in their cells at Full Sutton prison, near York, and sent them to law firms in Halifax and Nottingham.

Despite Atkins and Snow appearing by videolink from different prisons – Whitemoor and Wakefield – the two managed to exchange smiles with each other as details of their racist messages were read to the court.

Atkins – who is serving a life term with a minimum term of 20 years for murdering a man in Hull in 2009 – grinned even though his barrister told the judge he had converted to Islam since arriving at Whitemoor.

Judge Rodney Jameson handed down a seven year prison sentence to Atkins, who was found guilty by a jury earlier this year of conspiracy to send an explosive substance with intent to burn.

The judge ordered this to start 18 months before the end of his current 20 year minimum term and said this would have the effect of increasing the minimum term of his life sentence to 22 years.

Snow, who is originally from Leeds, was serving an eight-and-a-half year sentence for robbery, attempted robbery and possessing a firearm with intent when he sent the letters.

He was given an extended sentence of six years and three months after admitting offences of sending an explosive substance with intent to burn and making threats to kill. The judge said the extended part of the sentence meant he will be on licence five years after he is released.

Atkins admitted murdering 35-year-old Simon Ash in Hull in 2009.

A judge at the time said he and another man had ”callously and cold-bloodedly” killed Mr Ash, who was walking alone.

They kicked him and stamped on his head so hard that an imprint of Atkins’s shoe was left on his face.

Devices were sent by the pair but, the court heard, they were intercepted before they reached their intended targets.

The judge was told that both men had a “shared racial hatred” of Asian people and had threatened to kill Asian prisoners, attack the imam at Full Sutton and burn down mosques.

As well as the incendiary devices, Snow sent threatening letters to solicitors – one including an illustration of how to make a bomb using a light bulb.

Jonathan Sandiford, prosecuting, said Snow wrote a letter to a probation officer referring to Asian people as “dirty disgusting vermin”.

Prison officers intercepted a letter sent to Rahman Ravelli solicitors in Halifax from Snow in November 2012 and found a device inside made from crushed match heads and a striking device attacked to the opening flap.

When confronted about it, Snow said “two out of three is not bad”, according to Mr Sandiford.

The prosecutor said he was “claiming he’d already sent another two”.

Mr Sandiford said Snow sent a threatening letter to another law firm, signing it “your neighbourhood Muslim-killer”.

He said prison officers heard Atkins bragging in phone calls that he and Snow were vying to kill the prison imam, saying: “Me and Snowy have got a deal – whoever gets to him first can have an ounce of amber leaf (tobacco).”

The court heard Atkins sent a letter to Carrington’s Solicitors, in Nottingham, containing another incendiary device but it was intercepted.

The message included the sign-off: “Ha, ha, ha, boom. I’ve got my eyes on you.”

Mr Sandiford said the pair also conducted a dirty protect in the segregation wing of Full Sutton when they daubed threats against Muslims on the walls of their cells in excrement.

But Philippa Eastwood, defending Atkins, said: “He had converted to Islam since he has been at HMP Whitemoor and has been a practising Muslim in the time since he had been there.”

Snow – through his barrister Richard Simons – tried to get the judge to increase his sentence to more than seven years so he could get access to a mental health course in prison to address his personality disorder and other potential psychiatric problems.

But Judge Jameson said he could not take this unusual course.

The judge told the pair it was unlikely the devices they made would have caused any more injury than burns to the hands of anyone who opened them.

But he said they “exercised considerable ingenuity in making these potentially dangerous devices out of the materials at your disposal”.

The judge said: “In both cases, you sent improvised incendiary devices by the mail, or submitted them to be sent by mail, to Asian solicitors in the north of England.

“No injury was caused by any device that you sent. It is difficult to know the extent of the distress that you caused.”

After the hearing, Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Wilson of the north east counter-terrorism unit said: “Bret Atkins and Jamie Snow waged a campaign of hate against innocent people, choosing victims purely on the grounds of their race or religion. They expressed deeply racist and anti-Muslim views and sent a series of threatening letters, designed to instil fear in their recipients.

“Snow and Atkins took their hatred beyond threats to kill and even tried to post explosive materials in an attempt to cause harm or injury. Thankfully this mail was intercepted by vigilant officers within the prison service and was never able to enter the postal system.

“Snow and Atkins may already be in prison, but they will still be held accountable. We will continue to work with the prison service to respond to racially-aggravated incidents and punish those who seek to threaten the safety and confidence of our communities.”

Marcella Goligher, governor of Full Sutton Prison, said: “We are committed to the prevention of crime and are proud of the work our vigilant and highly-skilled members of staff do to detect it.

“These convictions have been secured as a result of strong partnerships, and we will continue to work with the police and the CPS to ensure prisoners who break the law are prosecuted.”

Daily Telegraph

From Sept 2014

A source close to Phillip Simmons said the May Street murderer is ‘doing OK’ in HMP Full Sutton

Notorious Hull double murderer Phillip Simmons has “converted his religion and become a vegan” in a bid to start a new life.

A woman close to the May Street murderer said Simmons has also given up smoking and “does nothing but read books” as he serves a 36-year sentence in HMP Full Sutton for murder.

Simmons was jailed in February last year after he admitted killing his housemate Daniel Hatfield, 52, and Mr Hatfield’s friend, Matthew Higgins, 49, in his back yard at 7 May Street, west Hull, in April 2016.

Phillip Simmons was jailed for life for the murders of Matthew Higgins and Daniel Hatfield.

Phillip Simmons was jailed for life for the murders of Matthew Higgins and Daniel Hatfield.

Since his imprisonment, the woman said he had converted from Catholicism to “a form of Islam”.

“He seems to be doing OK in there,” she said.

“He has converted to a different religion and is trying to come to peace with himself for what he did.

“He has stopped smoking and just seems to read books these days.”

Simmons is currently being held in HMP Full Sutton near Pocklington.

The maximum security prison houses some of the country’s most dangerous and notorious criminals .

They include Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who murdered at least 12 young men between 1978 and 1983 in London, and English gangster Curtis Warren.

Speaking about Simmons, the woman said: “He has gone vegan as well, and is really trying to turn everything around.

“He seems to be doing OK though overall – he is not ready for visits yet he told me, but he calls a lot.

“I think it would be too difficult for him to see his family. He got 36 years for the murders, so he is in for a long one.”

Simmons admitted two charges of murder and one of robbery at Hull Crown Court in February 2017.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told Simmons at his sentencing last year: “The circumstances are intensely horrific and demonstrate you are an extremely dangerous and violent man.

“I am of the view that it is almost inevitable that you will never be released from prison. I cannot foresee a time when it will ever be safe to release you.”

The woman said the Hull murderer was trying to turn his life around, and had taken a number of measures in a bid to do so.

Hull Daily Mail

In a quiet cul-de-sac off Beverley Road, a neighbour peered over her garden wall into the back yard of 7 May Street.

She could hardly believe her eyes, but there appeared to be a foot sticking out from under a duvet.

The woman called police, reporting what appeared to be a body in next door’s yard.

She did not know there were in fact two, and she had stumbled upon the scene of East Yorkshire’s first double murder for nearly 20 years.

He had long since fled, but Phillip Simmons, 38, one of several residents at the privately rented property, had turned 7 May Street into a house of horrors.

The burly and intimidating 16.5st thug had murdered housemate Daniel Hatfield, 52, who weighed just 6st, and his friend Matthew Higgins, 49, who was only paying him a visit.

It may never be known who was killed first, but Simmons told police it was Mr Hatfield, which would mean Mr Higgins was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For after attacking his first victim in the kitchen, and continuing the assault with a variety of weapons after dragging him into the yard, Simmons walked back into the house and found the second man standing in the kitchen.

He took a “calculated”, instant decision to kill him too, later telling police: “I thought that I had no choice, I’m gonna have to do him as well.

The two murders were almost identical, involving beating and the use of multiple weapons.

It was a grim task that befell the officer who had to remove the duvet.

But in an exclusive interview with the Mail, the officer who led the inquiry revealed that other potential victims crossed Simmons’s path, and may have been lucky to escape with their lives.

After the second killing, Simmons walked back into the house and found someone else in the kitchen, a woman who also lived there.

The killer decided to leave.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Cockerill said she may be “simply lucky to be alive, considering the mindset of Simmons at the time, having just murdered two men who were no threat to him, one after the other.

“He’d reached a tipping point in his life where he’d committed these crimes.

“He had nothing to lose and could see where this would end up, and that was prison for the rest of his life.”

Simmons was on the run, but he was already a suspect and evidence was being quickly gathered against him.

He dumped his trainers in the bin at a “local address”, but these were recovered.

As well as retrieving forensic evidence from the scene and making inquiries locally, police continued filling in any gaps in their knowledge even after Simmons was arrested.

Det Chief Insp Cockerill said: “We spent some considerable time creating a timeline between the murders and his arrest to help us understand what had happened and where our evidential opportunities lay.”

It is thought Simmons spent just two days at large before he was arrested after a robbery at a Betfred bookmakers in Preston Road, east Hull, from which he hoped to fund his flight from justice.

Simmons, whom police describe as “a physically imposing, large man”, threatened the manager with a broken bottle, and demanded money.

Police say the manager was wise not to have challenged Simmons, handing over the £2,800 he took.

Det Chief Insp Cockerill said: “It was that decision and good fortune that he was not seriously injured, or worse, because Simmons knew what he’d done, he knew he was wanted, he had nothing to lose, and he’s an extremely violent and volatile individual.

“Simmons is capable of remarkable levels of violence.”

The officer said it is one of the worst cases he has seen.

“I’ve seen worse injuries,” he said, “but to have one after the other in such a premeditated way, which for me is an illustration and indication of where he was psychologically at the time, where he’s thinking that’s a rational decision, where a man has used horrendous levels of violence in two murders, is shocking.”

Det Chief Insp Cockerill praised relatives of the victims for the dignity they showed in court yesterday, when Simmons admitted two counts of murder and robbery.


Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told the killer: “Phillip Simmons, you have pleaded guilty to two exceptionally serious crimes, and the crime of robbery.

“In respect of the murder convictions, there is but one sentence I shall be passing in due course, and that is a life sentence incumbent on each of the two counts.

“The only issue for determination is the minimum term that should be served in this case.

“There is an argument that I should impose a whole life term, but cogent arguments have been advanced as to why I should not take that course.

“I make it clear at this juncture I have not made any decision.

“At present I keep an open mind, but it is only right that I should indicate that I take, of course, an exceptionally serious view of such an exceptionally serious case.”

Hull Daily Mail




VIOLENT: Mum Shauna Sirrs attacked pub landlord Craig Smith

VIOLENT: Shauna Sirrs attacked pub landlord Craig Smith

An east Hull mother who attacked a pub landlord before posting a homophobic slur about him on Facebook has been spared jail because it would be “catastrophic” for her children.

Shauna Sirrs, 23, was brandishing a glass when she attacked Craig Smith in the Wawne Ferry pub, Bransholme, after she was asked to leave.

Appearing at Hull Magistrates’ Court last month for a trial, Sirrs admitted assault but was found not guilty of sending a communication which conveyed a threatening message, contrary to the Malicious Communications Act.

At Magistrates Court today, Sirrs was handed a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

In her basis of plea, the court heard Sirrs admitted being reckless when brandishing the glass but that her intention was not to use it to hit Mr Smith who suffered a cut to his forehead but did not need hospital treatment.

In sentencing Sirrs, District Judge Fred Rutherford said: “You are the mother of two young children. Sending you away would be catastrophic for your family.

“I am sure you will not involve yourself in this type of behaviour again because you know it will mean prison.”

At last month’s hearing, Mr Smith said Sirrs and her friends were asked to leave because they were smoking in the pub and being disruptive, but Sirrs claimed it was to do with being given the wrong change after she and her group bought drinks.

She admitted injuring Mr Smith with the glass but insisted she only meant to thrown the contents of the glass at him but it slipped, leaving the victim on the floor covered in blood.

According to Mr Smith, she later uploaded the pictures of the injured Mr Smith to Facebook. Once charged with assault, Sirrs took to the social media site and called Mr Smith, who is gay, a “f*****”, the court heard.

Humberside Police were called immediately after the attack and Sirrs was later charged with assault by beating. When she received her summons to appear in court however, Sirrs took to Facebook.

In the post, she said: “Can’t believe [I] have just got this. What a f****** joke. What a grassing f***** c*** of a so-called man! He got glassed in the face, hardly a f****** beating, the lying little grass c***.

“If he wants a f****** beating, I’ll happily give him one.”

HDM ERM NEWS 13-10-16 NOT MAIL COPYRIGHT Screenshots of fb posts Shauna Sirrs put on fb.

Speaking after the last month’s hearing, Mr Smith said: “We started arguing and then all of a sudden a glass came hurling my way and it smashed me in the face. I was probably no more than 30cm away from her and it hit me just under the eye.

“I fell to the ground and was bleeding everywhere. The worst bit is she found it really funny and just started taking loads of photos.”

Mr Smith also admitted the slur on his sexuality was distressing.

He said: “It was deeply upsetting. I’ve worked in the pub industry for more than 30 years and no one has ever taken issue with my sexuality. No one has ever given a damn about my personal life and they have no reason to. It just wasn’t nice.”

As well as the suspended prison sentence, Sirrs was also ordered to pay £200 compensation.

Hull Daily Mail


A THUG who repeatedly punched an anti-fascist protester in front of children during an EDL march in Hull city centre has walked free from court. John Claydon, 46, was caught on CCTV punching David Harding, who was part of a small group of men and women taking part in a counter-protest.

John Claydon is arrested after the assault during the EDL march in Hull.

John Claydon is arrested after the assault during the EDL march in Hull.

Yesterday, Recorder Michael Smith sentenced Claydon who has convictions for violence from 1999, 2001 and 2007 to an 18-month community order and 100 hours’ unpaid work.

HGV driver Clayon, 46, of Dronfield, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecutor Stephen Welch told Hull Crown Court: “On Saturday, August 17, the EDL held a march within Hull city centre. There was a heavy police presence, with some 300 people on the march, as it passed along Ferensway, past St Stephen’s shopping centre.
“At approximately 2.20pm, it became clear that there were six to eight people who were protesting against the EDL. The complainant had been holding a banner stating that Hull is multicultural.”

Mr Welch said the protesters, members of the group United Against Fascism, had been holding a “silent protest”.
CCTV captured the moment two men, identified as Claydon and Melvyn Parker, broke away from the main EDL group.

Mr Welch said: “Mr Parker grabbed the banner that Mr Harding had been holding and tried to push it away.

John Clayton restrained by police

John Clayton restrained by police

“He then pushed a female who approached him. That concluded his involvement.

“Mr Claydon then punched Mr Harding repeatedly in the face. Mr Claydon continued to punch him while Mr Harding was on the floor.

“It did not cease until he was hauled off Mr Harding by PCSOs.”

The attack happened in full view of children, said Mr Welch.

Mr Harding suffered a cut to his forehead, which required ten stitches, and two black eyes, and was off work for a week.

Following the attack, he had trouble sleeping and is psychologically scarred, said Mr Welch.

Claydon admitted having attended previous EDL meetings, where he claimed to have been attacked, physically and verbally, by anti-fascist protesters.

During an earlier hearing, Claydon had refuted the prosecution’s case that he had punched Mr Harding up to six times.

Richard Thompson, defending, said his client claimed to have heard members of the rival group shouting insults at soldiers.

Mr Welch strongly denied this suggestion.

Mr Thompson said: “Mr Claydon accepts that he allowed his emotions to get the better of him.

“The assault was over within ten seconds. This was not a sustained attack.”

Sentencing, Recorder Smith said it was a sensitive case, but told Claydon the politics of the march was “of no concern” to him.

He said: “I am sentencing you purely and simply for the act of violence in a public place.”

As part of his punishment, Claydon must complete an anger management course and pay Mr Harding – who was not present in court – £500 compensation.

Parker, 46, of Mansfield, Nottingham, was made to pay £265 costs at a hearing at Hull Magistrates’ Court on September 1.

Hull Daily Mail

A MAN repeatedly punched an anti-fascist protester in front of children during an EDL march in Hull, a court has heard.

John Claydon, 46, was pictured by the Mail being dragged away by police officers seconds after the attack.

John Claydon is arrested during the EDL march in Hull on August 17. Inset, from top, Melvyn Parker, Wayne Douglas and David Bolton

John Claydon is arrested during the EDL march in Hull on August 17. Inset, from top, Melvyn Parker, Wayne Douglas and David Bolton

He was one of four men who appeared before city magistrates yesterday in connection with trouble at the August 17 march .

Claydon, of Dronfield, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecutor Deborah Gibson told Hull Magistrates’ Court how Claydon had lashed out at David Harding, part of a six to eight-strong group taking part in a “silent” protest, holding placards, outside St Stephen’s shopping centre in Ferensway.

She said: “This defendant tried to grab Mr Harding’s placard, which simply stated Hull was a multicultural place, before repeatedly punching him in the face, forcing him to the floor.

“He continued to punch Mr Harding. Mr Harding was punched about six times to the face.

“The attack was only stopped when police officers dragged him off Mr Harding.”

Mr Harding was left with a cut to his face, which required ten stitches, as well as two black eyes.

Miss Gibson said Mr Harding’s mobile phone was also broken, most likely when he was forced to the ground.

She said a key aggravating feature of the attack was the fact that it was carried out in front of families on a Saturday afternoon.

“The assault was in full view of children,” said Miss Gibson.

More than 400 EDL supporters took part in the march, with all those arrested having travelled to Hull from elsewhere.

Ian Phillips, defending, said his client admits attacking Mr Harding, but denies punching him several times.

He said: “My client argues there were two punches, not the five, six or more as the Crown describes.”

Claydon was granted bail on condition he resides at his usual address and will be sentenced at Hull Crown Court on September 20.

Meanwhile, Melvyn Parker, 46, of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, admitted using threatening and abusive language against Mr Harding.

Parker also admitting possession of cocaine, a class A-controlled drug.

Miss Gibson said: “As the march proceeded along Ferensway at around 2.40pm, there was another group protesting against the EDL. No gestures were being made.”

Referring to Claydon and Parker, Miss Gibson said: “Two males broke away and approached these protesters.

“Mr Parker grabbed a banner from one of these protesters to try to stop the protest. That protester was Mr Harding.

“Mr Parker pushed, albeit lightly, a female who was with Mr Harding.

“When Mr Parker was arrested, he was found to be in possession of a small quantity of cocaine.”

Defending, Dave Robson said Parker – a dad-of-two and a struggling bricklayer – was drunk and became “caught in the political passion” of the EDL march, but regrets his actions.

Mr Robson said: “He says he was called names, including a Nazi, which upset him. He took offence to that and grabbed the placard.”

Parker was ordered to pay £265 costs.

David Bolton, 52, of Braintree, Essex, who has the letters EDL tattooed on the back of his head and a red rose on his neck, pleaded guilty to using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The court heard staff at the Star and Garter pub in Portland Street called police at 3.25am on August 17 because they believed a group of men were carrying knives.

Bolton was searched and no weapon was found.

However, he was arrested after ignoring seven warnings from police to stop shouting obscenities at them, said Miss Gibson.

Defending, Mr Phillips, said: “He admitted that he could not keep his mouth shut.”

Wayne Douglas, 43, of Hemsworth, West Yorkshire, admitted charges of being drunk and disorderly and possession of cannabis, a class B-controlled drug.

Miss Gibson said Douglas was caught by officers urinating in the street “in full view” of passers- by.

He was subsequently searched and a small amount of the drug was found in a tin.

Both Bolton and Douglas were given 18-month conditional discharges and ordered to pay £100 in costs.

This is Hull

A 37-year-old Hull man flew to Canada to meet a teenage girl he had been grooming on the Internet, a court heard.

When Brett Moses arrived in Vancouver, he then took an 11 hour bus journey to meet the 13-year-old in Grand Forks.

He was stopped by Canadian police following concerns by the parents of one of the girl’s friends.

Moses, a security guard in Hull, has now been given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after earlier pleading guilty to sexual grooming.

Hull Crown Court heard that he first started speaking to the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on an Internet chat room in 2004.

He claimed to be a 13-year-old called John Smith and initially spoke to the girl’s father.

It was him who introduced Moses to his daughter, having heard claims of “John” being beaten and abused by a foster father.

The correspondence continued for seven or eight months, in which time Moses was introduced online to some of the 13-year-old’s friends.

It was June 2005 when Moses travelled to Canada.

On arrival to Grand Forks, he telephoned the 13-year-old girl, but got no reply.

He then called her friend, whose parents questioned Moses and went to meet him, asking to see identification.

The prosecution said Moses claimed to have lost his ID, saying he was Brian Patterson and that John Smith was his foster son, and had been too ill to travel.

Eventually Moses confessed to the authorities, was detained and deported to the UK, where he was met by British police.

This is Hull