Tag Archives: Leeds

A Swindon man involved in a violent riot against police by the English Defence League has been jailed – but received a shorter sentence than the others because he has since quit the controversial far right group.

Thomas Flynn confronted police officers and forced them to push him away with riot shields during the disorder when EDL supporters from all over the country descended on Birmingham for a protest march through the city centre.

Sentencing of the eight men convicted of violent disorder was temporarily halted after one of them demanded to be updated on the Sydney café siege.

The judge, Richard Bond, adjourned the case after being verbally abused, urged to “pass proper sentences” on Islamic extremists, and asked: “Any news on the Australian hostages?”

Some of the defendants walked around the dock at Birmingham Crown Court during the outbursts, which also included chants of “No surrender to the Taliban.”

Judge Bond had already sentenced three of the men when one of them shouted “If there were proper sentences for extremists, the EDL wouldn’t be here” and another asked for news of events in Australia.

The judge then left the court-room for several minutes, before returning to continue to address the defendants and explain their sentences.

Jailing others for 18 months or two years, he gave Flynn, a 22-year-old from Grange Drive in Swindon, just 14 months after hearing that he now helped out at a respite centre and had since disassociated himself from the EDL.

Among the others in the dock over violent scenes at an EDL rally in Birmingham city centre was Otis Bloodworth, who attended the protest event in July 2013 wearing Union Jack boxing gloves and shorts.

CCTV footage played to the court showed Bloodworth, of Drummond Road, Skegness, Lincolnshire, punching a man who was being led away from the event by stewards.

The 35-year-old, who has 43 previous convictions dating back to 1997, was arrested and taken to a police station in March after an appeal for information on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme.

When questioned by officers as to whether he had any medical conditions, Bloodworth said he had ‘Islamophobia’ and refused to be represented by a Muslim solicitor.

Bloodworth was jailed for 18 months alongside Benjamin Crowder, who was celebrating his 21st birthday at the protest march.

Crowder, now 22, of Lumsdale Crescent, Matlock, Derbyshire, was given a two-year custodial sentence after footage was played to the court of him throwing an object at police.

Shane Williams, 27, of Birds Nest Avenue, Leicester, was jailed for two years. The court heard that he was seen chanting anti-Islamic slogans, hurled an empty soft drinks bottle at police, and was present at five of seven distinct sites of disorder at the protest.

Another defendant, Gareth Wall, 25, of Moresdale Lane, Leeds, used a metal pole to smash the window of a restaurant as thugs caused damage in the Regency Wharf area of Birmingham. He was jailed for 20 months after the judge told him he had shown no remorse for his “persistent” offending, which included kicking out at a police dog while goading the animal using a St George’s Cross flag.

During the EDL rally, a Muslim prayer cap and a Pakistani flag were set on fire in the street, while police were pelted with paving slabs and bottles. Around 200 EDL supporters were involved in the violence in the Broad Street and Centenary Square areas of Birmingham, which lasted for around two hours and left 30 officers injured.

Western Daily Press



A violent thug used a meat cleaver to threaten victims during a six-week campaign of robbery and burglary to fund a £600-a-week drink and drug habit.

Daniel Grant, 22, was jailed indefinitely yesterday after a court heard he had a hatred of people not like him and he enjoyed carrying weapons because it made him feel “on top of the world”.

Grant committed eight robberies in Leeds between December and January this year, taking £3,000 worth of valuables from victims. Some were assaulted or threatened with a meat cleaver and other weapons.

Leeds Crown Court heard Grant holds openly racist views and is an active member of the English Defence League, a far-right protest group. After his arrest he claimed he carried weapons because other people were “needled-up” and may attack him because of his political views.

Judge Penelope Belcher jailed Grant indefinitely, saying he posed a significant risk of committing serious offences in the future. He must serve a minimum of four years in prison before he can apply to the parole board for release.

Grant, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery, attempted robbery, burglary and possession of a bladed weapon.

He asked for 16 other offences to be taking into consideration, including seven robberies and five burglaries. Some of the offences were committed with the help of an accomplice.

Two of the offences included him targeting victim as they walked to work along a canal tow path near to Gotts Road, Armley. One man, who was told hand over his wallet, feared he would be attacked and left to bleed to death.

After his arrest Grant, who has previous convictions for assault and sex offences, told probation officers and a psychiatrist that he had a fascination with weapons and the power it gave him. He also said he had dreams about “torching” people and inflicting other injuries on them.

Jobless Grant said he committed the offences to fund his addiction to alcohol and cannabis. He was also a regular user of amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and anabolic steroids, which fuelled his aggression.

He said he was full of hatred for people who were not like him, including members of his own family. A report stated that he had an “abnormal personality” and had no empathy for his victims.

Judge Belcher said Grant was a risk to the public because he showed no desire to change.

She told: “You have made it clear that the lifestyle that you were leading, involving drugs and significant amounts of alcohol, is a lifestyle you have every intention of leading on your release from custody.”

After the hearing, Det Con Dave McKean, of City and Holbeck CID, said: “Grant put his victims through terrifying ordeals, often at knifepoint, purely to get money. I hope the sentence he has received will serve as some source of comfort to those whose lives have been affected by his actions.”

Yorkshire Evening Post

Soldier Cavan Langfield, arriving at court for the case, in which nine members of the EDL gang were given community sentences.

Soldier Cavan Langfield, arriving at court for the case, in which nine members of the EDL gang were given community sentences.

A gang of English Defence League supporters caused terror when they attacked a pub as an anti-racism rock concert was being staged.

Nine members of the gang were handed community sentences yesterday (Sept 3) after a court heard how windows and doors were smashed as bricks and bottles were hurled at Joseph’s Well in Leeds city centre.

Leeds Crown Court heard the gang members turned up at the venue and tried to get into to the Rock Against Racism event.

Violence erupted when one member of the gang, Mark Johnson, 31, tried to push past door staff but was resisted and suffered an injury.

A man who was at the event with his son was hit in the mouth with a missile thrown by a gang member and had a tooth knocked out.

Andrew Stranex, prosecuting, said members of the group were chanting ‘EDL’ in reference to the far right group. Others were heard to say: “We are not racist, we just hate Muslims.”

Members of the gang, aged between 14 and 31, were arrested after CCTV images were circulated to the media after the incident, which happened 2.30pm on June 18 last year.

Mr Stranex said the concert was supposed to be a peaceful event but when it was advertised on Facebook organisers had received warnings from EDL members that there may be trouble. One message read: “We will smash the place up.”

One member of the gang, soldier Cavan Langfield, learnt yesterday that he had been discharged from the Yorkshire Regiment ahead of sentencing.

The sentenced were:

Mark Johnson, 31, of Top of the Hill, Thurstonland, Huddersfield, 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 150 hours unpaid work and £400 compensation

Matthew Bermingham, 18, of Eton Avenue, Huddersfield, one year community order, 150 hours unpaid work and £100 compensation.

Aaron Childs, 20, of Chestnut Street, Huddersfield, one year community order, 150 hours unpaid work and £200 compensation.

Jonathan Foy, 19, of Fillingfir Road, West Park. Leeds, one year community order, 150 hours unpaid work and £100 compensation.

Joseph Harman, 20, of Cherrywood Gardens, Whinmoor, Leeds, one year community order, 200 hours unpaid work, £500 compensation.

Cavan Langfield, 18, of Stratford Close, Huddersfield, one year community order, 200 hours unpaid work and £250 compensation.

Tom Maudsley, 18, of Bridon Way, Cleckheaton, one year community order, 200 hours unpaid work and £100 compensation.

Two youths, aged 15 and 17, who cannot be named, were made the subject of 12 month referral orders.

Yorkshire Evening Post