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Five far right thugs admitted violent disorder in city centre two years ago

Five thugs who styled themselves the “Polish hooligans” and travelled to Liverpool to take part in a far-right rally in the city centre avoided prison sentences.

They were recruited by a group calling itself the North West Infidels , who organised the anti-immigration march on Saturday, February 27, 2016.

It led to widespread disturbances on Lime Street and around St George’s Plateau as the far-right mob were met by equally determined counter demonstrators.

Police struggled to keep order and a number of people, including police officers, were injured as cobblestones, fireworks, bottles and other missiles were hurled between the two groups.

Five Polish nationals – Lukasz Poczesny, 34, Igor Fiodorow, 20, Marcin Lasota, 33, Patryk Lesniowski, 22, and Mateusz Slezak, 26 – all appeared at Liverpool Crown Court for sentencing this afternoon after pleading guilty to violent disorder.

Simon Driver, prosecuting, said no attempts had been made to liaise with Merseyside police ahead of the planned rally.

Mr Driver said an already tense stand-off between the two groups was further inflamed by the arrival of the “Polish hooligans” gang, who were wearing black hooded jackets and intimidating masks.

He added: “The arrival of this group was a catalyst for an increase in the levels of violence which then ensued between the opposing factions.

Igor Fiodorow - one of four charged with conspiracy to commit violent disorder after clashes between anti-fascists and the far-right protestors

Igor Fiodorow – one of four charged with conspiracy to commit violent disorder after clashes between anti-fascists and the far-right protestors

“Police officers came under direct attack from both sides. Items including industrial fireworks, flares, bottles, cobblestones, eggs, fruit and vegetables and other missiles were thrown at the police and the opposing groups.

“A police inspector was knocked unconscious by a missile and a police constable suffered a broken wrist.”

Other injuries including a young woman who suffered a facial injury that needed plastic surgery, and a man who suffered a broken nose, after both were hit by flying masonry.

The five defendants were arrested by police after order was restored and they were identified on CCTV footage. An examination of their mobile phones found they had been in communication with each other and with members of the North West Infidels.

Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said the group’s political views, however offensive, may have been genuinely held, but the real reason for their presence was to behave like hooligans.

He added: “This was all sport for you, whatever your superficial political beliefs.”

He said he was sparing them custodial sentences on account of the fact that they were all employed, had pleaded guilty, and the events had taken place some time ago.

Members of the group each received prison terms of 18 months, suspended for two years, and were ordered to carry out either 150 or 180 hours’ unpaid work.

Liverpool Echo

Dominic Howe admitted having a Samurai sword in the street.

Dominic Howe admitted having a Samurai sword in the street.


A MENTALLY ill man, armed with a samurai sword, was on the way to avenge his uncle’s death when he was stopped by police in South Tyneside, a court heard.

Dominic Lewis Howe has been banned from South Tyneside for six months after being found with the 18-inch weapon while under the influence of drink and drugs.

The court heard a resident had raised the alarm after spotting the 20-year-old staggering along Sheridan Road, South Shields, at about 8am on Monday, with the handle of the sword sticking out of his trousers.

Howe was arrested and, after he’d sobered up, told police he had been on his way to find the man who had supplied his uncle with the drugs he used to kill himself with an overdose.

Yesterday, Howe, of Percy Road, Whitley Bay, appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “He told police he had been drinking. He had gone to watch Newcastle play and had been drinking.

“He had also taken cocaine and ended up in a friend’s house in Whiteleas.

“He continued drinking and began to think about his uncle, who died of a drugs overdose. He wanted to find the man who sold his uncle the drugs, and he went out with the intention of trying to kill that person.

“All that was on his mind was revenge.” The court was told that Howe has been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and is hoping to receive medication in order to treat the illness.

Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “Looking at the reality of the situation, the defendant was extremely intoxicated and was staggering around with the sword down his trousers.

“In all probability he presented more of a threat to himself than to anyone else.

“There was no suggestion he was waving this sword around.

“This was something that was going to end with him being arrested by police before anything was going to happen. He wasn’t in any state to do anything.”

Magistrates warned Howe, who pleaded guilty to being in possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, that they were considering sending him to jail.

However, the court heard from the probation service that sending him to prison would be detrimental to his mental health condition.

Chairman of the Bench, Robert McDonald, said: “The bench has spent considerable time discussing how to deal with you for what is a very serious offence.

“Carrying that weapon in itself is dangerous. However, you did not produce it or threaten anyone, which is something we have taken into account.

“We were very close to sending you to prison.”

Howe was jailed for 12 weeks, suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision and banned from South Tyneside for six months.

Shields Gazette

Opposing factions hurled missiles and caused up to £25,000 of damage to St George’s Hall left daubed with Nazi swastikas

Right-wing activists involved in violent clashes between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists outside Lime Street Station have been jailed.

A woman was left scarred for life, a man suffered a broken nose and a police officer was knocked unconscious in ugly scenes last year.

Liverpool Crown Court heard opposing factions hurled missiles and caused up to £25,000 of damage to the historic St George’s Hall.

Nazi swastikas were daubed on walls, cobble stones were torn up from the building’s plateau and a Victorian statue was damaged.

Shane Calvert, Wayne Bell and Brian Stamp today appeared in court, alongside allies Nikki Prescott and Alan Raine. Calvert admitted conspiracy to commit violent disorder, while Bell was convicted after a trial. Prescott, Raine and Stamp admitted affray.

Bell liaised with Merseyside Police to organise “The White Man March” for now-banned fascist terrorist group National Action on August 15, 2015.The event, in Liverpool, ended in “humiliating failure” for the far right, after they were met by a much larger group of counter-protesters.

Simon Driver, prosecuting, said the fascists “were forced to take refuge in a left-luggage facility” before police escorted them to trains. Stung by the embarrassment, another far right group, the North West Infidels, headed to Liverpool on February 27, 2016.

Police were not informed and organiser Calvert deliberately changed the location of the “anti-immigration demonstration” from Manchester to Liverpool.

Brian Stamp, 34, from South Shields, jailed for 16 months after admitting affray

Brian Stamp, 34, from South Shields, jailed for 16 months after admitting affray

Fascists were again met by police and counter-protesters but had enlisted a group of Polish men called the “Polish Hooligans”. One cluster of far right-supporters congregated at the Crown Pub, including Stamp, Prescott and Raine, at around 11.30am.

A second group, including Calvert and Bell, gathered on the steps of St George’s Hall, as trouble flared at around 1.30pm.

Mr Driver said: “They displayed North West Infidels banners and neo-Nazi flags. They made gestures, which included the Nazi style ‘sieg heil’ salutes.”

CCTV showed the stand-off, with rival factions separated by riot police, who held the first group at the pub and escorted them away. Smoke canisters and fireworks were thrown and, at 2.30pm, the group near the hall were joined by the Poles.

Wayne Bell, 37, from Castleford, jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder

Wayne Bell, 37, from Castleford, jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder

They wore black hoodies emblazoned with “Polska Hooligans” and badges showing a person being kicked, captioned “good night left side”.

Police came under attack from both sides with industrial fireworks, flares, bottles, cobble stones and eggs. Mr Driver said: “A police inspector was knocked unconscious by a missile and a police constable suffered a broken wrist.”

A young female bystander suffered a facial gash requiring plastic surgery and a man suffered a cut and broken nose. People attending an antiques fair within the hall had to be locked in for their own safety.

A 75-year-old black woman who emerged was racially abused and struck in the forehead by a stone. Police eventually encircled the fascists and marched them to the station.

Shane Calvert, 36, from Blackburn, jailed for two years after admitting conspiracy to commit violent disorder

Shane Calvert, 36, from Blackburn, jailed for two years after admitting conspiracy to commit violent disorder

Mr Driver said Calvert wished to “avenge” the previous defeat, as shown in text messages to a man called Garron Helm. He and Bell, who bragged of punching left-wing activists “like that game whack attack”, recruited the Poles.

They exchanged messages talking of “payback time for Liverpool” and Bell spoke of “the local n***** population”.

Stamp boasted of buying “bad boy” gloves with reinforced knuckle-pads, which he was filmed wearing. Raine was recorded threatening “I’ll bite your f***ing face off” and Prescott yelling “come on then, let’s f***ing have it”.

Judge Menary imposed criminal behaviour orders, banning the five men from entering Liverpool for five years, for their “planned hooliganism”.

Billy Duggan, from Duggan & Parr Stone Repair Ltd, surveying the graffiti on St George's Hall

Billy Duggan, from Duggan & Parr Stone Repair Ltd, surveying the graffiti on St George’s Hall

He said: “There will, I have no doubt, be those on both sides of this political divide who are motivated by a desire to promote genuinely-held ideological beliefs – however repugnant or deeply offensive those views might appear to others.

“But I am equally sure that many of the people involved in the disorder on these occasions have made the journey or have involved themselves for no reason other than to behave like hooligans.”

Judge Menary jailed Calvert, 36, from Blackburn, for two years and Stamp, 34, from South Shields, who “came to Liverpool prepared for a fight” for 16 months.

He jailed Bell, 37, from Castleford, for two and a half years, telling him: “Your attitude towards other groups was deeply offensive, racist and you celebrated violent confrontation.”

Unemployed Raine, 41, from Sunderland, and doorman Prescott, 43, from Blackburn, each received 16 months in jail, suspended for two years.

Raine received a 25-day rehabilitation activity, 200 hours of unpaid work and a four-month home curfew, from 8pm to 6am. Prescott must complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity, 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 compensation.

Liverpool Echo



Four men jailed over a back lane attack which left an uncle and nephew fearing they would be killed were like “a marauding pack”.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the disturbance happened in the lane behind Peel Street, Hendon, and followed on from a demonstration in support of an alleged sex attack victim last September.

Sean Ruffell.

Sean Ruffell.

Two Asian men were drawn into the back lane by the sound of their cars being damaged, including a brick being thrown through a window, with repairs running to £1,100.

The court was told they could hear the word “dirty” being shouted underneath the shutters of a back yard, as well as comments relating to colour and Muslims.

A number of the eight men involved in the fight which broke out – which involved a garden fork and another tool – were wearing hi-vis jackets bearing the word “warden” on them which had been seen at the march.

Prosecutor Vince Ward described the men as a “splinter group” from the demonstration and added: “It’s clear from the context of this situation that this was a racially motivated attack.”

Witnesses told police they saw the men being kicked and punched, even when they were on the ground and clearly unconscious.

They were both taken to hospital by ambulance after police arrived on the scene. The uncle was left in need of stitches, with injuries to his head and right eye and bleeding from his gums and chin, while his nephew had a cut to the back of his head and forehead and injuries to his chest.

The uncle told officers: “I thought they were going to kill me” while his younger relative said: “I didn’t think anything like this could happen in England.”

Philip Hackers, 38, previously of D’Arcy Court, Hendon, and now of Oak Avenue, South Shields; Gary Hutchinson, 45, of Gilbert Court, Sunderland; Sean Ruffell, 26, of Athol Road, Hendon, and Darren Kerr, 26, of Gartland Avenue, Grindon, were each jailed for 27 months after they all pleaded guilty to affray.

Daren Kerr

Ruffell was jailed for a total of five years, with another four months given after he admitted possession of an offensive weapon – a knuckle duster found on him when he was arrested while he was involved in a fight in Mowbray Park in the aftermath of the demonstration – and 30 months for three counts of possession of drugs with intent to supply, dating back to a raid on his home in 2014.

Hutchinson faces another two months in jail for two shoplifting incidents from supermarkets while on bail for the affray.

Hackers also admitted possession of amphetamine on the day of the march, but faced no further punishment.

Recorder Nicholas Barker told the men: “After the demonstration it’s clear all four of you and four others decided on a course and were intent on finding trouble and that was the driver for distorted and prejudicial views towards Asian heritage.

Gary Hutchinson

“At this time you were a marauding pack.

“You were prepared or intent on meting out violence in any way that met your perverted ideas.”

The court heard alcohol had been consumed around the march, which had played a part in the outbreak of violence.

Ruffell’s ex-partner Jerri Butler, 27, of St Lucia Close, Hendon, who was not connected to the march in any way, was given 16 months imprisonment for possession of cocaine with intent to supply and 12 months in jail for possession of cannabis with intent to supply – the same charges as her former boyfriend – suspended for two years.

The court heard she had been working at a youth and community centre while the offending happened and had to leave her job as a result of the charges.

Phillip Hackers
Sunderland Echo

A BIGOT who was arrested by the North-East counter terrorism police unit after issuing a “call to arms” against Muslims on Facebook has been jailed.

Police found a crossbow and a telescopic sight at Lee John Carver’s home when they investigated his series of anti-Islamic posts on the social media website, York Crown Court heard.

The 44-year-old had posted “there is a civil war coming”, he was an “archery slave” and that he had “arrows aplenty”, the Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC said.

It was part of “a considerable number of months” of posts that revealed a “deep seated and deep rooted hatred of Islam”.

“It was effectively a call to arms to other like-minded bigots,” he told Carver.

“Bigots, for that is what you are and were, will be ostracised and will be held to account for what they do.”

Carver’s solicitor advocate Graham Parkin said the posts were the work of an “angry young man” who at the time was suffering from depression brought on by the effects of a life-changing motorcycle crash and who lived an introverted life in his house.

He had got the crossbow as an ornament or for use in his garden and had not taken physical action against Muslims.

Carver, of Greenacres Crescent, Selby, near York, pleaded guilty to three charges of stirring up racial hatred by publishing material on Facebook. He was jailed for 27 months.

He was brought to justice after a member of the public spotted his posts and contacted the North-East Police Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU).

Detective Chief Superintendent Clive Wain, head of the North East CTU, said: “Posts like these have the power to influence many vulnerable people and stir up racial hatred.

“As this case shows, it is vital that the public report concerning online material.

“By bringing such postings and websites to the attention of police we can work together with our partners to identify those responsible and put them before the courts.

“Anyone who has concerns regarding online content can report the material anonymously via gov.uk/ACT or call the police in confidence on 0800-789-321.”

Mr Parkin told York Crown Court that Carver’s problems coping with the effects of the crash had led to him being effectively homeless. But since his arrest last year, Carver had begun receiving treatment for his medical difficulties and had got accommodation and work.

Northern Echo

A former soldier who posted hate speech on Facebook about hanging Muslims and slaughtering refugees was today spared jail.

Donna Bowdler avoided prison last September after making vile remarks on the social network about the death of Muslims and destruction of mosques.

But while on bail over those offences, dating from October to December 2015, she made yet more offensive posts, between January and August 2016.

She wrote about slaughtering refugees and later said: “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough gunna be so much fun hanging Muslims”.

In response to an article about a flag being raised at Rochdale Town Hall to mark the Independence Day of Pakistan, she posted: “This is high treason.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard the 41-year-old added: “That paedophile flag will be getting torched along with those that support it. #EnglishKelts EK NS.”

 Donna Bowdler, 41, of Samuel Street, Warrington, handed nine months in prison, suspended for two years, after admitting publishing written material which is threatening/abusive/insulting with intent or likely to stir up racial and religious hatred (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Donna Bowdler, 41, of Samuel Street, Warrington, handed nine months in prison, suspended for two years, after admitting publishing written material which is threatening/abusive/insulting with intent or likely to stir up racial and religious hatred (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Lee Bonner, prosecuting, said Bowdler, of Samuel Street, Warrington , discussed “every Muslim in Britain getting waxed”, which was “urban slang for the act of being killed”.

Police discovered an arsenal of weapons at her home, including knives, machetes, axes, a baseball bat, bows and arrows, stun grenades and a throwing star.

Bowdler admitted publishing written material which was threatening, abusive or insulting with intent or likely to stir up both racial and religious hatred.

Police first investigated her in 2015 after she sent a “concerning” signed letter to the commanding officer at an army barracks.

When Cheshire Police officers visited her house, she was asked if she had any weapons and revealed a legally-owned air pistol and air rifle.

But she failed to mention a pepper spray canister – bought from Amazon for £11 – which was discovered along with three bags of cannabis.

She was bailed pending further enquiries and the initial series of posts were found on her Facebook account when it was examined.

Magistrates handed Bowdler 28 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, plus a 24-day rehabilitation programme last year.

Mr Bonner said Bowdler enlisted in the army in November 1995 and was discharged in November 1997.

He said there were no offences listed on her record and no mention of any tours of duty, despite her suggesting she had served abroad.

He applied for a forfeiture and destruction order for the weapons subsequently found in Bowdler’s home, over which she was not charged.

Claire Jones, defending, said her client had references from people including an ex-forces support network representative.

Judge Anil Murray said the posts were “grossly offensive” but Bowdler had not repeated the “serious offences” and could be rehabilitated.

He said: “These were vile utterances from you and you ought to be deeply ashamed of yourself.

“They are designed to stir up racial and religious hatred. This type of material can incite others not just to feel hatred, but to commit acts of violence.”

The judge said she demonstrated remorse, was no longer associating with the same people and was doing voluntary work.

Judge Murray said Bowdler suffered from mental health issues and was “suffering particularly badly” at the time.

He said doctors believed she was making progress, although a clinical psychologist’s report was “disturbing”.

Judge Murray said: “It’s clear you are someone who has had significant difficulty. You’re described as vulnerable and psychologically fragile.

“You have a wide range of psychological and emotional difficulties. It’s said if you are sent to prison, one could expect the emergence of self harm.”

Judge Murray handed her nine months in prison, suspended for two years, and a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

He added: “You need to understand that you have come very close to being sent to prison. If you breach this order, you and I will meet again.”
Liverpool Echo

Paul Whiteside took the girl to his mother’s house after she ran away following an argument with her family, who thought she was in a relationship with him.

An English Defence League activist who was being arrested for the abduction of a 15-year-old school girl “lied his head off” to police.

Paul Whiteside, 47, assisted the girl after she ran away from her home in Louth taking her to stay at his mother’s home in Derbyshire, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Esther Harrison, prosecuting, said that Whiteside knew the girl through his involvement in the EDL and met her after school on a number of occasions attracting the attention of neighbours who reported the matter to the police.

Miss Harrison said “They had met through mutual friends involved in the EDL. She had on occasions travelled with him and others to various demonstrations.

“It came to light that she had met him on several occasions after school. He was parked outside and she was seen talking to him for perhaps up to an hour at a time.

“Neighbours were concerned and took photographs and contacted the police.

“The matter was raised with the girl and her friend. She accepted it was her and said it only happened once.”

Miss Harrison said that there was an argument within the family about the matter and subsequent to that the girl ran away.

“She ran off and was reported missing. It is clear she contacted the defendant. He said he felt he could do nothing else but assist her.

“They travelled to Derbyshire that night and stayed at his mother’s property. The charge relates to the fact that when she was missing he knew where she was. She was at his mother’s house and he did not return her to Louth.”

Whiteside’s mother called police the following day and her son was subsequently arrested.

Miss Harrison said “Nothing of a sexual nature took place. It is fair to say that there were some photographs on his phone of the girl. They show her in various states of undress and her in the bath. They were not deemed to be indecent images.”

“In his interview he maintained he had no knowledge of where she had been and the last time he had seen her was a week before.”

Whiteside, formerly of the Louth area but now of Skinner Street, Creswell, admitted a charge of child abduction by keeping the child away from her mother in October 2016. He was given a 10 month jail sentence suspended for two years with a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 30 days.

He was also given an 18-month restraining order banning him from contacting the girl and a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Judge Simon Hirst , passing sentence, said: “She rang you and told you that you were in danger and at risk of violence from family members because of the perception that you were in a relationship with her. You agreed to take her out of Louth.

“You were arrested the following day. You lied your head off to the police telling them you did not know where she was.

“On your phone were photographs of the girl in the bath and in a state of undress. You have not been charged with those photographs but it is clearly a worrying feature of this case.

“It is clear to me that this crosses the custody threshold but given your character, the basis of your plea and the fact that you have effectively done a three month sentence of imprisonment I can suspend that imprisonment.”

Grace Hale, in mitigation, said there is no danger of Whiteside and the girl getting together again.

“He is now out of the area and has no intention of returning to the Louth area.”

She said he spent six weeks remanded in custody which is the equivalent of a 12-week jail term and added that he has kidney disease which involves him receiving dialysis three times a week.

Grimsby Telegraph

Nonce