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 Gerard Batten, in the white shirt and blue tie, sitting to the left of Tommy Robinson, with Daniel Thomas to his right, at the Ukip demo planning meeting Credit: Gerard Batten/Twitter

Gerard Batten, in the white shirt and blue tie, sitting to the left of Tommy Robinson, with Daniel Thomas to his right, at the Ukip demo planning meeting Credit: Gerard Batten/Twitter


A far right activist who claims to be one of the organisers of a Ukip rally and who attended a top level meeting with the party’s leader Gerard Batten has a conviction for attempted kidnap, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Daniel Thomas, 29, has been instrumental in promoting “The Brexit Betrayal” march, a London demonstration in which the newly appointed Ukip advisor ‘Tommy Robinson’ is expected to speak on December 9.

In a picture tweeted by Gerard Batten on Friday, Thomas is photographed sat next to Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League, alongside the party leader.

Mr Batten tweeted: “Spent the afternoon planning Brexit Betrayal – Brexit Must Mean Exit March & Rally,” adding that the event was a “leaver family day out”.

It can be revealed Thomas, a father of four, was jailed two years ago for the attempted armed kidnapping of a man in Hampshire.

Daniel Thomas, also known as Danny Tommo, with Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, at a demonstration Credit: Daniel Thomas/Facebook

Daniel Thomas, also known as Danny Tommo, with Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, at a demonstration Credit: Daniel Thomas/Facebook

Last night, Ukip insisted Thomas was there purely as a Robinson’s bodyguard, despite the photograph showing him sat at the conference table with note paper and having a proven record in organising political rallies.

The revelations could prove to be politically damaging because Ukip’s National Executive Committee is under pressure from former leader Nigel Farage to hold a vote of no confidence in Mr Batten’s leadership when it meets in London.

Last week, Mr Farage wrote a letter to the 15-strong NEC urging it to pass a vote of no confidence in Mr Batten’s leadership over the way he had courted Robinson and pursued an anti-Muslim agenda.

Mr Farage told the Sunday Telegraph: “I am absolutely disgusted with the whole thing. I have been warning repeatedly for the past few months that this was a disastrous course of action. And we are now pretty much at the end game.”

Mr Batten insisted he “was not aware” of Thomas’s conviction and asked to be sent details.

A police mugshot of Daniel Thomas after his arrest for attempted kidnapping

A police mugshot of Daniel Thomas after his arrest for attempted kidnapping

In July 2016, a judge condemned Thomas and two other men for an “extraordinarily frightening incident” matched only by its “stupidity” in which they armed themselves with knives and targeted Graham Page at his home on Hayling Island.

Mr Page told Portsmouth Crown Court that Thomas, along with Darren Anscombe, 38, and Leo Smith, 34, burst into the house shouting “you’re coming with us”.

He claimed they wrongly accused him of stealing £10,000 of drugs from them and tried to drag him away.

Mr Page resisted and the men fled, shouting “we’ll be back”. Upon arrest Thomas, from Hampshire, admitted the offence. He was jailed for two years. The two others received 30 month sentences.

Danny Tommo takes a selfie at one of the far right demonstrations he organised

Danny Tommo takes a selfie at one of the far right demonstrations he organised

After his release from prison last year, Thomas adopted the pseudonym Danny Tommo and organised marches throughout the country calling for Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, to be freed from a sentence for contempt of court.

Thomas became an expert at dealing with local authorities and police to set up protests, where he also gave speeches. He is now among the inner circle of Robinson’s associates and this year organised two rallies outside the Old Bailey when Robinson was appearing there.

Last week, he posted a video to his thousands of followers on Facebook promoting the Ukip march as “the beginning of the political revolution”, adding “we are going to be working together”.

He regularly visits London’s Speakers’ Corner where he films himself arguing with Muslims, and was once handcuffed and detained by police before being released.

Daniel Thomas is led away by police from Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London

Daniel Thomas is led away by police from Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London

On Saturday night, Thomas said the attempted kidnapping was committed because he “got involved with some stupid people” after experiencing financial difficulty.

“Everyone deserves a second chance,” he said. “I came out of prison and I have turned my life around.

“I now go to church every Sunday and pray for forgiveness. Hopefully I will better myself over the years and this incident will be forgotten.”

He was privately educated and has worked as a bricklayer, sales and marketing manager and run a web design company. However, he has now stopped working to “dedicate everything to the cause.”

 Daniel Thomas speaks at the demonstration he organised outside the Old Bailey while Tommy Robinson appears at a hearing Credit: Rmv/Zuma Press / eyevine

Daniel Thomas speaks at the demonstration he organised outside the Old Bailey while Tommy Robinson appears at a hearing Credit: Rmv/Zuma Press / eyevine

Thomas, a former tank driver with the King’s Royal Hussars, from which he was medically discharged before seeing active service, added: “What we are trying to do with Ukip is the future.”

A Ukip spokesman said Thomas was at Friday’s meeting “in the capacity of Mr Robinson’s personal security”.

He added: “Mr Thomas is not part of Ukip’s planning team. He has served his sentence and has returned to the world of work just as Lords Archer and Ahmed have returned to the House of Lords after serving serious criminal convictions.”

Daily Telegraph

THIS drug-dealing family from hell who kidnapped and held a man hostage are today behind bars.

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The Callisons brought fear to the streets peddling heroin and terrorising neighbours with their anti-social behaviour.

Now the grandmother, mother and two sons have been locked up for a total of more than 23 years for the kidnap and drugs offences.

They bundled their victim into a BMW, drove him to a friend’s to show off, stabbed him with a knife, and threatened him with a knuckleduster and sword.

Isaac Callison, 23, had already been charged with heroin dealing along with his gran, 63-year-old Billie Callison.

But when former associate Eddie Lowdon borrowed and subsequently damaged Isaac Callison’s car the family sunk to new depths and hatched a plot to get money from his parents.

Isaac, his brother Shane, their mother Tracy and a friend Alan Knowles bundled Mr Lowdon into a car, stabbed and beat him before ringing his parents demanding money as he begged for mercy.

Jailing them, Recorder Stubbs said: “This involved the brutal detention and beating and the use of him as a hostage to extract money from his parents. It must be every parents’ nightmare to receive a call trying to extort money from them while threats are made and they could hear their son crying for help in the background. No mercy was shown to him and these offences are so serious only custody can be justified.”

The kidnap of Mr Lowdon took place in February this year at a time when he had an association with the family.

Having returned Isaac Callison’s car damaged, the heroin dealer summoned his violent, steroid-fuelled brother, Shane, to mete out revenge.

Robin Patton, prosecuting at Newcastle Crown Court, said: “Fifteen to 20 minutes later Shane Callison, Tracy Callison and Alan Knowles arrived and said Isaac wanted payment.

“Shane Callison, who had brought a knuckleduster, punched Mr Lowdon in the face. He then took out a knife and stabbed him with it in the top of his right thigh, in the groin. He was then handcuffed by Shane Callison who continued to kick and punch him. He said he had taken two days of steroids and had not been training.

“Then Tracy Callison came in with a very long box. Shane Callison said it was a shotgun, saying it would kill an elephant and if he didn’t get the money he was going to get it.”

A BMW convertible then had a big bag draped over the back seat and Mr Lowdon was bundled into the car.

Shane Callison stopped off at a former girlfriend’s house to show off his hostage and pick up a sword, which he threatened Mr Lowdon with.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Lowdon said: “I was frightened I’m now scared to go out of the house. I keep getting flashbacks and fear for my children. I was threatened with my family being harmed, I thought I was dead.”

Isaac Callison and Billie Callison, both of Napier Road, Swalwell, Gateshead, both admitted possession with intent to supply heroin after £1,500 of the drug was found at their home last August. Isaac also admitted kidnap and was jailed for seven and a half years,

Billie Callison was jailed for 18 months for the drugs offence.

Shane Callison, 21, of Park Terrace, Swalwell, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to blackmail, kidnap and grievous bodily harm and was locked up for seven and a half years.

Tracy Callison, 44, of June Avenue, Winlaton, Gateshead, admitted kidnap and was jailed for four years.

Alan Knowles, 28, of Napier Road, Swalwell, Gateshead, admitted kidnap and blackmail and was jailed for three years.

Today residents living in Napier Road said they were delighted the culprits had been locked up.

Pensioner Patricia Kinghorn, 72, a grandmother-of-two, said: “It is very worrying to think that drug dealers were living in the street and I’m glad they have now been locked up.

“Police would often visit their house and we used to be concerned for the youngsters living in the area. I think most people here will be glad to see the back of them.”

Dad-of-two Mick Reckton, 61, added: “I think it’s great they’ve been locked up because they made people’s lives a misery and it was horrible having the Callison family live in the street.”

Newcastle Chronicle

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A DANGEROUS armed robber who once kidnapped and tried to rape a 10-year-old child has gone on the run after fleeing his Exeter bail hostel.

Mark Sleman, a known member of the EDL, was released from jail under licence earlier this year as part of a seven-year sentence for robbing a homeless man at knifepoint and attempting to rob a garage shop supervisor in Exeter, again armed with a knife.

sleman

But the probation service has now withdrawn his licence as they are no longer able to supervise him and a police manhunt has been launched to get him back behind bars.

Police believe Sleman is still in the Exeter area and the public has been warned not to approach him but to call 999 immediately if they see him. A police spokesman said: “It is very important to get him in because of the kind of guy he is. We believe he is still in Exeter and we have mainly been looking at areas and addresses he had links to and carrying out checks.

“We are now asking for more information from the public. The more eyes looking for him the better.

“We are very keen to try to get hold of him. My message to the public would be to not approach him as he is a violent man. If they see him in person they should call 999 immediately. If they have any information as to where he is they should call us on 101.” Sleman category of offending means he has spent nearly 20 of his 42 years locked up and when he was jailed at Exeter Crown Court in November 2008 the judge considered an “indefinite term” which would have meant he could only be released if he could prove to the Home Secretary he was no longer a danger to the public.

He had been diagnosed as a ‘cold and callous psychopath’ and had robbed his own homeless friend at knifepoint when they were sleeping rough on land near Sandygate roundabout.

He then attempted to rob the Esso station at the Moto services on the M5 at Sowton and was only thwarted by a quick-thinking shop assistant.

He was also sentenced to another four months when he admitted the offences were a breach of a suspended sentence he had been given for failing to notify the Sex Offenders’ Register of a change of address.

The court also heard that Sleman had previously served a nine-year jail sentence for attempted rape, indecent assault and kidnap. That involved kidnapping a 10-year-old girl from a house, taking her to a caravan, sexually abusing her, threatening her, then returning her to her address.

He had also been jailed in 2003 for robbing the Winning Post service station, on Haldon Hill, near the city, at knifepoint.

PC Nagle added: “I cannot comment on any other previous convictions apart from the armed robbery he was on licence for. But when people start breaching their licence they often think what else can I get away with.

“We don’t want to worry the public but it is vital he is caught. There is an obvious fear he will offend again. We are not suggesting he will commit the same offences but it is clear he is a criminal who has a history of violent offending.

“He needs to be recalled to prison. He has a substantial amount of his sentence left.”

PC Nagle said that in addition to fleeing the bail hostel he had got into arrears over paying his accommodation. He was released from prison on 1 May.

“He was being monitored by probation service and they have revoked his licence as they were not able to supervise him anymore,” he added.

“It is never good having someone like that out. We are doing everything we can to find him. And hopefully, with the public’s help, it is not long before we do.”

Police say that Sleman also goes by the name Archie Sleman and Stuart Holmes. He is described as a white man, 5ft 11in tall (180cm), medium build, cropped ginger hair, blue eyes, with a 3in scar on his right cheek and a soft English accent. He has numerous tattoos on his arms, including a rose, the name Suggs, a cross and some dots.

As well as Exeter, Sleman is known to have visited Torbay, East Devon and Exmouth.

Anyone who knows the current whereabouts of Sleman or has seen him recently is asked to contact police on 101 quoting police reference DE/13/8408

Express & Echo