Tag Archives: March for England

His killers have been jailed for life with minimum terms totalling 34 years

The family of murdered Andrew Groves made a loving tribute to him on the day his killers were jailed.

Russell Oakey and Michael Dommett both received life terms today (July 26). Oakey, 42 and of Hanham High Street, was convicted by a jury and Dommett, 38 and of Oakhanger Drive, entered a guilty plea part way through a trial.

Bristol Crown Court heard 47-year-old Mr Groves sustained a brutal beating in a house in Oakhanger Drive, Lawrence Weston, which was then set on fire.

 Michael Dommett (left) and Russell Oakey. Both have been jailed for life for murdering Bristol dad Andrew Groves. (Image: Avon and Somerset Constabulary)

Michael Dommett (left) and Russell Oakey. Both have been jailed for life for murdering Bristol dad Andrew Groves. (Image: Avon and Somerset Constabulary)

‘A devoted family man’

As the case concluded Mr Groves’ family said: “The sentence these two men will get will be never enough for us as a family. For we will never see our dear Andrew again.

“Andrew was a kind and loving son, a truly beautiful person, and was loved by so many people.

“He was a hard-working and devoted family man and his sudden death has been devastating to his wife, his son Lewis and daughter Molly.”

The family also thanked the emergency services who first attended the scene, and made desperate attempts to revive Mr Groves.

The statement adds: “We would also like to say thank you to Avon and Somerset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, who had over 70 people working on the investigation.

“Without them and their hard work and professionalism we would not be here today.

“We would also like to say a very special thank you to three amazing people who have given us their support, compassion and help during this very difficult time – DC Hilary Bolland, DC Carol Doxsey and Krissy of Victim Support.

“Once again thank you to you all.”

‘Daddy’s girl’

The court today heard statements from Mr Groves’ family.

Mr Groves’ daughter Molly was 17 when her dad was murdered. She said she was a “daddy’s girl”, her dad was very affectionate and would help his children with their homework.

She said: “Dad was always really proud of me and my brother.”

She remembered going to the cinema with her dad, with his large Coke and nachos, looking happy. When her dad died she felt scared and didn’t know what to do, she said.

She thought Mike Dommett had been her dad’s friend, and she couldn’t understand why anyone would want to hurt him.

She found life after the killing very difficult, she said, but wanted to attend court for the trial to hear what happened and listened to awful things. She described her dad as a family man who was always smiling.

Andrew’s father Barry said Andrew was born at Southmead Hospital and when he saw him for the first time he was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen. He last saw him four days before he was murdered and he was his “usual, cheerful self”.

When Mr Groves was told of a murder inquiry regarding his son he thought: “Why would anyone kill my son? He’s never had an enemy in my life.”

He said he had to identify him at a mortuary and even though he had sustained horrendous injuries he was still his beautiful son.

He said: “That day my life, and that of Andrew’s family and friends, changed for ever.”

Mr Groves said the sadness would live with his family for ever.

The deceased would always do anything for his children, he said, and they missed their loving, generous and hard-working dad.

He said: “I’m devastated I will never see my beautiful son again. I hope those found guilty of his murder get the maximum the court can give.”

Mr Groves son wanted him as best man

Andrew Groves’ son Lewis was 25 when he learned of the death of his dad.

Today the court heard how he went to his dad’s home and found police at the scene. He said his dad was his best friend and they had a very special relationship. He said his dad would have been his best man at his wedding but he never got the chance to ask him. Since the murder he has felt so much negativity, he said.

He said he found it hard to look at motorbikes, knowing how much his dad liked them. He said the intention to set light to his dad was hard to hear

‘We are the ones serving a life sentence’

Louise Groves, Andrew’s former wife, said Andrew was kind, happy and had the biggest heart. She said his life was his family and loved nothing more than family trips and celebrations. He wanted nothing more than his children to be happy, she said.

She said: “No-one deserves the pure evil inflicted on him. No punishment will ever be enough. We are the ones serving a life sentence.”

Police statement – pair ‘concocted a series of lies’

Senior Investigating Officer DI Lorna Dallimore said: “These convictions are the result of a detailed and painstaking investigation by officers and police staff.

“Andrew Groves was subjected to a truly horrific ordeal inside the house in Oakhanger Drive, with a fire deliberately started in an attempt to conceal evidence.

“We were able to prove Michael Dommett, who had taken on the tenancy of this property from his late father, and Russell Oakey were solely responsible for Andrew’s death.

“They concocted a series of lies to distance themselves from the scene of the crime and claimed they’d left Andrew at the property asleep.

“Through a combination of forensic and DNA evidence, analysis of telephone data and ANPR cameras, we were able to expose these lies and prove they were responsible for Andrew’s murder.

“I’d like to thank Andrew’s family for their support of our investigation and I hope these convictions will help them move forward with their lives.”

Bristol Post

Jasper Gough has been jailed at Grimsby Crown Court for sexual assault and assault. He also glassed a man in a bar

Jasper Gough, who has been jailed for three years and nine months

Jasper Gough, who has been jailed for three years and nine months

A woman who was sexually assaulted and beaten by a man says the vile things he did to her will remain in her thoughts forever.

Jasper Gough has been jailed for what he did to the woman – but not before putting his victim through three years of torture before he admitted it.

He also glassed a man in a nasty pub confrontation during a separate and unrelated incident.

Gough, 26, of Tennyson Road, Cleethorpes, admitted sexually assaulting the woman and a common assault offence against her in May 2015.

He also admitted a separate offence of assault, causing actual bodily harm, against a man out on a friend’s birthday celebration on June 29, 2016.

He was jailed for three years and nine months at Grimsby Crown Court and given a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting the woman and a two-year order relating to the glassing victim.

He was also ordered to register as a sex offender indefinitely.

After the hearing, the woman said: “This whole court case has lasted three long years and, during that time, he has lived a normal, happy life, living in the same town as me and my son while everyone and his family called me a liar.

“Those three years have been torture for me – for him to just turn around and admit the offences three years later, when he could have admitted them at the start.

“But he had to drag out the process as much as he possibly could, as if he hasn’t put me through enough.

“The vile things Jasper did to me will remain in my thoughts forever now.

“Jasper had a controlling violent temper and manipulates people. His family will always defend him, making him always think he isn’t wrong for what he does to women.

“To them, it’s never his fault. It’s horrifying knowing I had to live in a town while a man who sexually abused me and battered me is walking about.

“At times, I felt like the justice system completely failed me.”

Her words came as two victims of the same domestic abuser called for a register identifying offenders to help prevent repeat behaviour in a further relationship.

The victim’s father told the Grimsby Telegraph: “He is disgusting. I can’t explain what it’s done to the family. It’s just been disturbing.”

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said that the “glassing” happened at the Barracuda bar in Cleethorpes.

Gough used a hard plastic glass as a weapon and pushed it into the face of the victim, who was having a night out with friends for a birthday celebration.

It was believed that the victim had worked as a doorman but was not working in that capacity at the time of the attack.

He is believed to have suffered cuts, bleeding and a chipped tooth.

Grimsby Telegraph

A man hurled a torrent of abuse at a schoolboy and then repeatedly drove his car at him – because he was a Muslim.

The terrified 15-year-old was forced to jump over a wall to get away from Lee Blenkin as he zig zagged towards him.

Blenkin, once honoured by the Queen for services to the community, was jailed after admitting to religiously-aggravated assault.

District Judge Michael Fanning told him: “This is disgusting behaviour.

“You caused enormous fear to a 15-year-old boy and the public won’t tolerate this, neither will this court.”

The attack on the boy happened as he walked towards his mosque wearing full Islamic dress on August 9.

As he headed along Carlton Road in Dewsbury Blenkin drove past, wound his window down and shouted something at him.

Jill Seddon, prosecuting, told Kirklees Magistrates’ Court: “The boy said: ‘He seemed to want my attention and I went towards the car.

“‘When I got to the passenger window the man said why did you convert to them?

“‘I said what do you mean and he said why the f**k are you wearing that?

“‘He shouted at me and I believe this was because I was wearing Islamic dress.’”

Blenkin continued to shout at the teenager, making reference to him being a Muslim, and this tirade of abuse lasted for around one-and-a-half minutes.

When the 49-year-old finished shouting, he reversed away before driving at the boy.

He said: “I ran away and the vehicle drove at me again. It did this four times.

“I heard the tyres losing grip and I ran as fast as I could as I thought he was going to hit me.”

The schoolboy eventually took refuge behind a wall, noted down the car number plate and texted the details to his sister who called police.

He added that he felt very distressed by his ordeal.

Zahid Majeed, mitigating, said that his client was “genuinely remorseful” and “bowed his head in shame” over his actions that day.

The court heard that successful engineer Blenkin, of Halifax Road in Dewsbury, was once invited to Buckingham Palace and given an award by the Queen.

Mr Majeed said: “He has nothing but remorse and regret.

“He understands that everyone has rights to their religious freedom and it was none of his business to make any comment about the way the complainant was dressed.”

Judge Fanning jailed Blenkin, who had no previous convictions, for 16 weeks.

He told him: “The only explanation for your behaviour is some type of deep seated animosity towards Muslims.

“You targeted a 15-year-old for no other reason than he was dressed as a Muslim.

“You revved the car engine, spun the wheels and drove at him in a zig zag as he ran no doubt in fear for his life.

“This is a deterrent sentence. Nobody should believe that they can behave in this way and target somebody because of their religion of race or belief.”

Because Blenkin used his car as a weapon, Judge Fanning also banned him from driving for 12 months and eight weeks.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner





ON the second anniversary of violent St George’s Day clashes which saw thugs bring Brighton to a standstill, The Argus can reveal some of the main perpetrators have been spared jail.

The March for England clashes cost an estimated £1 million in policing, and it has taken nearly two years for the participants to have their day in court.

But the Argus can reveal that that of the five men and two women who were convicted of violent disorder after trials at Hove Crown Court last month, all were handed suspended sentences.

More than 1,300 officers policed the far-right march, which culminated in shop fronts bring smashed and glasses and chairs hurled between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators in the city centre.

Policing the protest cost more than £500,000 while retired detective Graham Cox estimated at least as much again would have been spent since in court and police time, and questioned the sentences handed down.

He added: “Ultimately we do live in a free country and people should be allowed to demonstrate providing they don’t break the law.

“I don’t think you can put a price on free speech providing they are acting lawfully.

“So I don’t think banning marches is the correct approach and this is the price we have to pay for it.”

He added: “The [suspended] sentences seems on the lenient side to me.

“I know you cannot always send everyone to prison, but I suspect some of the people who have investigated might be a little bit disappointed with how much the courts have backed them up.”

The violence broke out outside the Dorset pub at the corner of Gardner Street and North Lane after the parade had ended on April 28, 2014.

A team of six officers spent three months studying CCTV to identify those involved in the violence, and detectives have travelled the country to make arrests.

Detective Superintendent Carwyn Hughes said: “This was terrifying for those people in the area and we ensured the resources necessary to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

“We will always prosecute where protests become an excuse for a fight.”

Organisers of the far-right March for England said they would not return to Brighton in 2015 and nothing has been announced for this year.

However, one group is organising an event at the Level to celebrate the lack of a March for England, while far-right group Pie and Mash Squad told The Argus it planned to come to the city but refused to say more to “lefty journalists”.

Police are laying on extra resources in case of trouble.

Brighton and Hove chief superintendent Nev Kemp said: “Should we become aware that any group wants to exercise their right to lawful protest, we will of course be happy to liaise with them and the local community to try and facilitate a peaceful protest.”


THE trouble started almost as soon as the far-right demonstrators got off the train into Brighton on the morning of April 27 two years ago.

Police had taken few chances, moving the parade from the city centre to the seafront and putting 1,325 officers on duty along with horse and dogs.

But shouts of “scum” and worse filled the air as the far-right group of around 200, many swathed in St George’s cross flags, made its way down Queens Road, taunted by counter-demonstrators, many covering their faces with black scarves.

Punching the air and shouting back, the March for England group was tightly controlled by police as it moved on to the seafront with many of the shops around shuttered for the morning and the usual weekend pleasure-seekers out of sight.

Tension ratcheted up as the group went on to the seafront, with flares thrown by some of the hundreds of counter-demonstrators, police horses helping to keep the two sides separate – and bystanders filming the action on their phones.

Yet the parade on the seafront passed off without serious violence and it was only when the marchers started heading back towards the railway station that police had bigger worries.

Groups started filtering off into the city centre, ending up drinking at The Dorset pub in Gardner Street, where the burst of violence that led to two-week trials two years later kicked off.

Witness Alice Johnson had been having a coffee with a friend and remembered: “Some groups from the march were having a drink outside The Dorset and then a group of guys who had their hoods up came from the other direction towards them.

“There was a bit of a stand off and then they were sort of shouting at each other but no one was really taking the first step. I don’t remember who threw something first but they started throwing glasses at each other and then the guys outside the pub started throwing the outdoor furniture.

“Everyone got out of the way and we were behind a dumpster – we could not really get past.

“It was a bit shocking and interesting at first – and then we felt unsafe. People threw chairs and things that caused lots of damage and a few of the shopfronts were smashed. “It was quite shocking for a while.”

As well as the damage to surrounding shops, many traders complained of thousands of pound in lost revenue due to the disruption to the city.

Two police officers were assaulted as people blocked the road to the station along Queens Road and Surrey Street.

They were knocked to the floor and had items thrown at them.

In the years since, there has been a huge police effort to track down those involved in the fighting, with weeks spent sifting through CCTV and officers travelling up and down the country making arrests.

In August of that year a case heard in magistrates court against Richard Kemp, then 39, from Halifax in Yorkshire, was thrown out of court after officers gave different accounts of what he had been doing with a chair. Magistrates said there was no case to answer due to inconsistencies in the evidence.

In between there have been calls from some quarters to have the march banned, although in the end it was the organisers themselves who have so far not held the parade here again.

Many believe they picked Brighton in the first place partly due to the town’s “lefty” reputation and some suggest the shift from the Green council last year may have dampened that attraction.

Witness Ms Johnson said of the latest convictions: “I hope that maybe they have reconsidered their behaviour.”


Fourteen people appeared at Hove Crown Court in two trials charged with violent disorder.

On Wednesday, February 17, six of them were found guilty and on Tuesday, March 21, one more person was found guilty. Seven were found not guilty.

Craig Wells, 34, of Connell Drive, Brighton; Alan Titterton, 50, of Wordsworth Avenue, Sheffield; Lorna Marcham, 31, of Norwich Drive, Brighton; Andrew Gill, 42, of Sixhills Street, Grimsby; Graham Clark, 52, of Belgrave Road, Margate, Kent; and Scott Banks, 21, of Acacia Road, Doncaster, were all given a two-year suspended sentence.

Tracey Parsons, 50, of David Stoddart Gardens, Swindon, was given a one-year suspended sentence.

Gavin Pidwell, 30, of Glynde, Lewes; Michael Woodhouse, 49, of Baden Road, Brighton; Jack Woodhouse, 19, of Baden Road, Brighton; Gareth Cooper, 34, of Burton Avenue, Doncaster; Richard Walker, 47, of Hillside Lane, Henfield; Ian Crossland, 42, of Hollinsend Road, Sheffield; and Stephen Caudwell, 54, of Angleton Close, Sheffield, were all found not guilty.

Brighton Argus

A gang attacked a man with metal bars and pieces of wood outside his house – following a row about barbecue parties.

Two of the six men involved in the frightening assault in Wath-upon-Dearne last July have now been jailed for their part in the attack during which their victim was knocked unconscious and badly injured.

 Jack Houlton

Jack Houlton

The victim said he had been living ‘like a prisoner in his own home’ following the attack that involved one of his neighbours.

Danny Hare and Jack Houlton were both jailed at Sheffield Crown Court after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, said the victim’s rear garden backed onto the neighbouring property lived in by Hare, who had moved in a few months before the attack.

He said after a number of ‘minor or petty’ disagreements between them, on June 30 Hare had hosted a ‘noisy barbecue’ in which water balloons were thrown towards the victim’s open kitchen window.

Mr Goldsack said when the man asked them to stop,‘threats and abuse’ were shouted towards him.

The man hosted his own family barbecue on July 4 which ended around 10.30pm.

Mr Goldsack said shortly after midnight a man had gone to the victim’s house and repeatedly banged on the front door.

The man left after the victim said he would call the police.

Shortly after, the man left the house to walk his aunt home but six men came out of a passageway and chased him as he tried to run home.

Mr Goldsack said: “As he got to the front door, he tried to grab the door frame but felt his legs being pulled away.

“There was then a heavy blow to the back of his head and he could hear shouts of ‘Get him out of the house’.

“He thinks he lost consciousness.

“He came to in the front garden and his stepson and aunt were pulling him towards the house.”

Mr Goldsack said the man recalled being hit numerous times.

He said the victim was a self-employed builder who had at least six weeks off work because of the injuries, which included a fractured cheekbone, double vision and nerve damage.

The 36-year-old said he had been ‘living like a prisoner in my own house’ following the attack and knowing some of the people that attacked him were still at large.

Dermot Hughes, representing Houlton, said his client was now ‘remorseful’.

He said: “He has expressed sorrow for what happened to the victim. It must have been an awful attack.”

The court was told Hunt hoped to have his sentence suspended so he could return to Sheffield to live with his mother and restart working.

Judge Julian Goose QC said: “This was a frightening attack in front of his family and friends. This has caused him considerable harm.”

Hare, 28, of Bushfield Road, Wath-upon-Dearne, was jailed for two years.

Houlton, 26, of Trough Drive, Thrybergh, was given a lesser sentence of 20 months’ imprisonment because of his earlier guilty plea.

Sheffield Star

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