Tag Archives: leicester

Liam Ferrar outside Leicester Magistrates Court, where he was sentenced for leaving a pig's head on the steps of a Muslim community centre

Liam Ferrar outside Leicester Magistrates Court, where he was sentenced for leaving a pig’s head on the steps of a Muslim community centre

Liam Ferrar, 24, admitted leaving the frozen head outside a Muslim community centre in Leicester on Boxing Day last year

An office worker who left a pig’s head on the steps of a Muslim place of worship has been spared a jail sentence.

Liam Ferrar, 24, admitted leaving the frozen head outside a Muslim community centre in Leicester on Boxing Day last year, in a religiously motivated attack.

Ferrar, of Brook Road, Leicester, pleaded guilty last month to causing religiously aggravated harassment by leaving the frozen pig’s head on the steps of the city’s Thurnby Lodge Community Centre.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, after the court heard he had written a letter of apology to his victims and was disgusted by his actions.

Sentencing Ferrar at Leicester Magistrates’ Court, District Judge John Temperley described the offence as being “to some extent planned, premeditated and targeted”.

The district judge told Ferrar: “You were well aware of the significance of your actions.

“You knew that what you did would cause great distress, indeed that was your intention.”

The court heard that Ferrar was under the influence of alcohol when he placed the pig’s head – which had been stored in a freezer for several months – in an area where it could not be avoided by adults and children arriving for prayers.

Stressing that the offence had taken place against a background of protests at the community centre’s use as a place-of-worship, District Judge Temperley added: “It is easy to imagine the shock, distress and disgust (those who discovered the pig’s head) would have felt.

“The witnesses statements I have read bear testimony to the serious impact of your actions, but the harm you caused goes further.

“Others in the local community and beyond would also have been affected when news of this incident spread, prompting profound alarm, fear and insecurity.

“It should have been obvious that what you did was intimidatory and would only serve to enflame an already tense and volatile situation.”

Suspending the 12-week prison term because of Ferrar’s personal mitigation, including his previous good character, the district judge accepted that the defendant regularly gave his time and energy to local good causes.

District Judge Temperley told Ferrar, who was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid community work and pay £85 in costs: “The character references I have read do you great credit.

“I also accept that you have demonstrated genuine remorse and regret for your actions. You co-operated with the police and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

Louise Cox, prosecuting, told the court a group calling itself Forgotten Estates had stepped up protests at the community centre last summer.

Defence solicitor Stephen Morris said the protest group, of which Ferrar was a member, aimed to highlight the lack of facilities in the Thurnby Lodge area.

Claiming that his client had chosen to distance himself from Forgotten Estates in September last year, Mr Morris said: “The behaviour by Mr Ferrar on this occasion is out of character – he is not somebody who displays racist tendencies.”

The Independent

Two men have appeared in court after being arrested on the day of the English Defence League (EDL) protest.

Mark Alan Taylor, 39, of The Fairway, Leicester, admitted using threatening and abusive words or behaviour and was give a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £50 costs.

Jay Joseph Willis, 30, of Moorhills Cresent, Leighton Buzzard, admitted obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty and being in possession of a small quantity of cocaine.

He will face a trial at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on January 17.

Both a condition of Taylor’s discharge and a condition of Willis’ bail ordered them not to attend any defence league or anti-Islamic gatherings of more than three people.

Both Taylor and Willis were arrested in Gallowtree Gate on October 9 following trouble at an EDL demonstration.

This is Leicester

FOUR men arrested on suspicion of causing disorder on the day the English Defence League protested in Leicester have appeared in court.

Officers arrested 17 people after trouble broke out on October 9 when 1,000 EDL members staged a demonstration in the city centre.

Yesterday, at Leicester Magistrates’ Court, Mark Bircham (23), of Boulter Crescent, Wigston, denied using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour and assaulting a police officer. He will face trial before magistrates on January 11.

Scott Kervin (30), of Castle Place, Abergele, Wales, denied having an offensive weapon, a pair of gloves containing ball bearings. He also denied using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour and will face trial before the city’s magistrates on January 18

Mark Turnbull (38), of Rawling Road, Gateshead, denied using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour and resisting a police sergeant. His trial will take place before magistrates on January 18.

Lee Whitby (27), of Harley Place, Stoke-on-Trent, denied using racially aggravated abusive words and will stand trial on November 26.

All four were released on bail on the condition they do not attend any meetings of the English Defence League, The Scottish Defence League or the Welsh Defence League or attend any anti-Islamic meetings of more than three people.

After the hearings, a Leicestershire police spokesman said: “Investigations into other offences that took place that day are still ongoing as a team of officers look into crimes reported during and after the protests.

“Detectives are speaking to witnesses and examining CCTV evidence in a bid to identify more offenders.”

This is Leicester

A supporter of the English Defence League head-butted one of the group’s opponents during an anti-racism music festival.

James Lee Elliott, 20, was drunk when he attacked a member of Leicester Unite Against Fascism during the festival last year.

The assault took place during a free music festival called Love Music, Hate Racism in Leicester’s Market Corner in October, Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard.

Elliott, who the court heard is already subject to a three-year football banning order, approached an information stall run by Unite Against Fascism and tried to pull down one of the group’s posters.

After three attempts, the court heard, he managed to pull the poster away and was challenged by a one of the people who were running the stall.

Prosecutor Cheryl Goes, told the hearing on Thursday that Elliott head-butted the man before he was restrained by onlookers and the police were called.

When two police officers arrived to take him away, Elliott became abusive, calling the two constables a series of foul names.

The officers said Elliott smelled of alcohol and was glassy-eyed.

The officers initially intended to issue him with a dispersal notice, which would have meant he would have to leave the city centre.

However, as he continued to swear at them and struggle, they attempted to restrain him but he began attempting to punch and kick them, the court heard.

He was eventually handcuffed when a third officer arrived to help his colleagues.

Ms Goes told the court: “During his police interview he accepted he was at the event and was a member of the English Defence League and was angered by the poster.”

Elliott has seven criminal convictions dating back to 2007, Ms Goes said.

Elliott, of Rona Gardens, Thurnby Lodge, Leicester, had previously pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour, but denied resisting arrest and assault.

He was due to be tried for those offences – which were caught on CCTV cameras – but changed his pleas to guilty on the day of the trial.

Kerry Patrick, representing Elliott, told the court that her client accepted he had been drunk and abusive but denied he had deliberately head butted his victim.

He had pleaded guilty to the assault charge because he accepted there was contact between him and the man.

Ms Patrick said: “He accepts he was being abusive throughout and that he was intoxicated.

“He also accepts he was angered by the content of the poster and that he took it down after several attempts.”

The chairman of the bench, William Langley, adjourned sentencing until Thursday, August 2.

In that time, probation officers will compile a report on Elliott and his criminal history to guide the magistrates who sentence him.

Elliott was released on unconditional bail.

This is Leicester

Three men were sentenced yesterday for their part in the public disorder which accompanied the English Defence League protest in Leicester.

Two of the men, who denied having any official political affiliation with the EDL, were among a group hurling missiles at the Independent Arts Centre Fabrika, in Humberstone Gate.

Christopher Chapman (22), of Armdale Drive, Netherhall, Leicester, was handed a 12-week suspended prison sentence, by city magistrates.

Unemployed Chapman pleaded guilty to causing £1,000 worth of damage to doors and windows at the venue and using threatening words and behaviour which caused people to fear for their safety

At a previous hearing, Chapman’s solicitor said he was “politically naive” and was still “suffering the effects” of the previous night’s drinking.

Andrew Millard (27), of Bradmore Grove, Birmingham, was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work.

Millard, who has a five-year banning order from football grounds for hooliganism, admitted a charge of attempting to damage the arts centre with a large wooden pole.

Ian Johnson, prosecuting Millard, said the group attacked the building after spotting members of the media covering last October’s protest from first floor windows. CCTV cameras filmed Millard picking up a large wooden pole, throwing it at the building but missing.

Chris Stewart, in mitigation, said: “It was a pathetic and half-hearted attempt.”

Ryan Stapleford, of Ashby Road, Ibstock, was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work in the community after admitting to launching a “flying kick” on a Muslim man on the afternoon of the EDL demonstration.

The 18-year-old, who was filmed on CCTV attacking the man outside Benny’s Chicken, in Granby Street, claimed he had been defending a friend who had persuaded him to accompany him to the protest.

This is Leicester

A man travelled to an English Defence League march in Leicester because he knew there might be trouble and he could shout and scream at Asian people, a court heard yesterday.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Dodds told Leicester Magistrates Court that Daniel John Buckley told police that was why he had made the journey.

Buckley, 27, of Oakley Road, Long Eaton, Nottingham, admitted racially aggravated harassment and obstructing a police officer.

Eve Patterson, in mitigation, said Buckley had an alcohol problem

He was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to attend a course to address his alcohol problem.

Leicester Mercury