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He claimed his views were ‘normal for the area’

David Holmes was congratulated by one Far Right movement for ‘a good job in Heanor

This racist with an infatuation with the Far-Right peppered lamp posts and bus stops with Neo-Nazi stickers, including one with an emoji of Adolf Hitler.

On them were offensive slogans such as “Muslim scum out” and “Hitler was right”, one of which was found by a horrified headteacher outside a primary school.

Derby Crown Court heard how David Holmes also displayed a Ku Klux Klan figurine in his Heanor window.

He also put bottles of his “potent” homemade wine on neighbours’ doorsteps. On them were written more racist slogans, including “black lives don’t matter,” “save my race” and one celebrating Klaus Barbie, a Gestapo officer known as the Butcher of Lyon and who tortured and killed Jews during the Second World War.

Jailing the 63-year-old married Holmes for a year, Recorder Stuart Sprawson said: “You have deeply-held entrenched views about other people of different ethnicity to you.

“One of the people to complain was the headteacher of a primary school concerned about the impact this would have on the pupils and totally against the views being taught there.”

Siward James-Moore, prosecuting, said the offensive stickers were placed around Ilkeston, Heanor, Mapperley, in Shipley Park and on the Nutbrook Trail during 2019.

He said police received a number of complaints about them.

Mr James-Moore said: “Some said ‘deport illegal immigrants’ and other showed an emoji of Adolf Hitler with a hand written note which read ‘Muslim scum out’ and ‘Hitler was right’.

“More of the Hitler stickers were found around Heanor and Langley Mill and were forensically analysed and linked to this defendant through a fingerprint.

“Another sticker was found on a bus stop and showed a white toddler with a shaved head and the number 88 on it which is a link to a far-right ideology linked to Hitler’s birthday and the letters HH for ‘Heil Hitler’.”

Mr James-Moore said Holmes was arrested at his home address in Ashforth Avenue, Marlpool, Heanor and a number of items were seized.

He said this included letters from a Far-Right movement the defendant is a member of congratulating him for “a nice job in Heanor” and to “keep up the good work”.

Mr James-Moore said: “In interview, the defendant was upfront and frank, telling police he had placed more stickers around Shipley Park and on the Nutbrook Trail.

“He said his views were the normal views of people living in the area and were not offensive.

“He said he had issues with extensive immigration and what he called the ‘dilution of Aryan blood’.”

Mr James-Moore said after being released on bail for that series of offences, Holmes’ next offence happened on December 14, 2019.

He said he placed a US Confederate flag in his window and a figurine of a Ku Klux Klan member wearing a conical hat which was reported to the police by neighbours.

Mr James-Moore said the final set of offences involved the bottles of wine with offensive and racist messages.

He said: “Finally, on July 19, the defendant went out into his garden and began arguing with a neighbour over a dispute he had about a shed they were erecting.

He told them he would burn it down and said he would send ‘200 skinheads to come and knock at your door as you’re a grass’ or words to that effect.”

Holmes, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to a number of charges including racially aggravated harassment, racially-aggravated criminal damage and witness intimidation.

Joe Harvey, mitigating, said: “I had a brief conference with Mr Holmes this morning during which he told me he knows what he did was hurtful and apologises for the appalling offences.

“He describes his behaviour as ‘evil’ and that’s not far off the mark.”

As well as the jail sentence Holmes was handed a two-year restraining order not to contact his neighbour and a two-year criminal behaviour order which says he is not allowed to place stickers on any items which would be visible to other people.
Derby Telegraph

A Millwall fan dubbed the ‘Lion of London Bridge’ after he fought off Islamic terrorists has been given a 21-day curfew for possessing amphetamines.

Roy Larner, 50, was repeatedly stabbed by Jihadis who killed eight and injured 48 others in London Bridge and Borough Market on 3 June 2017.

He famously roared “f**k you, I’m Millwall” as he fought with the killers.

But Larner was caught with two golf-ball sized packages of amphetamines when searched at Newington Butts in Elephant and Castle on January 21.

He was given a 21-day home curfew between 8pm and 6am as part of a community order for possession of the drugs.

Larner has suffered from PTSD and insomnia since he was stabbed in the terrorist attack, Croydon Magistrates’ Court heard.

District Judge Nigel McClean said: “This offence was aggravated by the fact that there was a more serious quantity involved.

“I’m going to make a stand alone community order of a 21-day curfew, you will be required to be at home from 8pm to 6am daily.”

Larner was spared jail in 2018 after a video emerged of him spitting at a black photographer and shouting abuse in Elephant and Castle.

The Millwall fan then launched into a racist outburst at his local MP’s office in Brixton.

He later admitted racially aggravated common assault and religiously aggravated harassment.

Larner was sentenced to eight weeks, suspended for 12 months, for spitting on the photographer and fined £50 for his abuse at the MP’s office.

He was also banned from visiting his MP’s office for two years.

After the London Bridge attack Larner moved to a caravan site outside Canterbury but was then caught with 230 grams of amphetamine on another occasion and handed a 12-month community order.

Larner was then arrested and taken into custody in March last year after he moved back into his mother’s home.

Larner, of Ledbury Street, Southwark, admitted possession of a class B drug and was sentenced to a 21-day curfew.

Daily Mirror

Neo-Nazi Martyn Gilleard has been found guilty of making bombs for a far-right terrorist campaign, after having previously admitted downloading thousands of images of child sexual abuse.

Police initially searched Gilleard’s flat in Goole, East Yorkshire, in connection with child pornography offences.

But once inside the 31-year-old’s home, they discovered not just evidence of a paedophile, but the equipment of a potential terrorist as well.

Officers found machetes, swords, bullets, gunpowder and racist literature. Most sinister of all were four home-made nail bombs stashed under his bed.

He wrote of starting a “racial war” and murdering Muslims, but Martyn Gilleard boasted that he was no “barstool nationalist”.

‘Distressing images’

And a jury has decided he truly did want to put his white supremacist views into action.

At the opening of his trial at Leeds Crown Court, Gilleard admitted 10 counts of child pornography offences. Officers had discovered more than 39,000 indecent images of children on his computer.

After sentencing, Ch Insp Chris Kelk, of Humberside Police, said: “The images include some of the most disturbing my team and I have ever seen and by admitting his crimes it has prevented the images being seen by jury members.”

Ch Insp Kelk commended his team for their professionalism despite the “distressing nature” of the images.

Jurors considering the terror charges did not learn of this until they delivered their verdict.

‘Potentially lethal’

Gilleard, a forklift truck driver from Goole, East Yorkshire, admitted to police and the court that he had held racist views.

At the time of his arrest he was a paid-up member of the National Front, the White Nationalist Party and the British People’s Party – all opposed to multiculturalism.

His computer password was Martyn1488 – the 14, according to prosecutor Andrew Edis QC, being a reference to the far-right’s “14 words” slogan, “We must secure the existence of our race and the future for white children.”

The 88, Mr Edis added, represented the eighth letter of the alphabet – an abbreviation for “Heil Hitler”.

But Gilleard was not simply a passive crank, the court was told.

In a notebook recovered by police, Gilleard wrote that the “time has come to stop the talk and start to act”.

“Unless we the British right stop talking of racial war and take steps to make it happen, we will never get back that which has been stolen from us,” he added.

“I am so sick and tired of hearing nationalists talk of killing Muslims, of blowing up mosques, of fighting back, only to see these acts of resistance fail to appear.”

In another note, he wrote that he wanted to see “reds” – left-wing activists – attacked with “lightning strikes” and “home-made grenades”.

His comments were a chilling echo of far-right nail bomber David Copeland, jailed for life for murder after attacks targeting London’s gay community and ethnic minorities in 1999.

By the time police raided his flat, Mr Edis said, Gilleard’s preparations for this impending conflict had already been well under way.

Officers had discovered the four nail bombs under a bed along with “potentially lethal bladed weapons”, 34 bullets for a .22 calibre firearm, and printouts from the internet about committing acts of terrorism, Mr Edis told the court.

These had included instructions on how to make a bomb and how to poison someone, he added.

Gilleard had already pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possessing 34 cartridges of ammunition without holding a firearms certificate.

Offensive weapon

But he denied that he had intended to hurt anyone with the nail bombs, arguing in court that he had only assembled them to give himself something to do.

When asked why he made the devices, he said: “I’d had a couple of cans. I was just sat around bored.”

The jury, however, decided that he had more sinister purposes in mind.

After the raid on Wednesday 31 October 2007, Gilleard fled to the home of his half-brother in Dundee, Tayside. Police caught up with him after a three-day manhunt.

Detectives who interviewed his work colleagues were told that he had expressed racist views to them. The police also recovered a high-visibility jacket belonging to Gilleard that had been daubed with a hand-drawn swastika.

Born on 15 July 1976 in York, Martyn Paul Gilleard had a complicated upbringing. At the time of his birth his mother had two older children by her ex-husband. He became the adopted son of his mother’s new partner after she remarried in 1978.

He left school at 16 with GCSEs in history, English language and literature, but failed to complete a course at Northallerton College. In 2000 he began working for Howarth Timber in Breighton, East Yorkshire, as a forklift truck driver.

In 2002 – the same year he was fined £25 for possession of an offensive weapon – his partner gave birth to a son, but the couple split in 2006.

A prison cell, not the racial conflict of which he dreamed, now awaits him.

BBC News

From 2008

A GRANDFATHER who was wrongly branded a paedophile has been found guilty of the attempted murder of his tormentor.

Mark Pearson repeatedly stabbed Michael Inwood with a lock knife in a horrific attack outside the Aldi store in Spennymoor on the afternoon of September 9.

Newcastle Crown Court was told Mr Inwood was stabbed eight times, including in the heart and lung, but he managed to survive the attack.

Pearson, 46, had denied trying to kill Mr Inwood but, following a trial, a jury convicted him of attempted murder as well as the less charge of carrying an offensive weapon.

The jury was told that Mr Inwood had wrongly accused Pearson of being a child sex offender which had led to several verbal altercations between the pair.

During a police interview read out during the trial, Pearson told police Mr Inwood was a bully who was “telling everyone” that he was a paedophile.

The attack happened outside the supermarket after he was called a paedophile on a bus in the town.

During his evidence, Pearson told the court: “If I meant to murder him I would have stood over the c*** and stabbed him again. How am I meant to know where his f*****g heart is? I don’t know about bodies.”

But during the trial Ian Brook, prosecuting, said Pearson’s account was not credible as he had changed his story several times and admitted lying about stabbing Mr Inwood.

Mr Brook also made reference to a message sent from Pearson’s phone to a friend shortly after the incident in which he said Mr Inwood had been stabbed and was “laid on the f*****g floor, flat out”.

Pearson, of Eden Road, Spennymoor, had denied stabbing Mr Inwood or carrying a knife.

Pearson, who is a father and grandfather, was found guilty on both counts this afternoon.

He has been remanded into custody and will be sentenced on May 1.

Northern Echo

White supremacist Michael O’Neill, aged 61, made jibes at everyone from Taylor Swift to Sadiq Khan

Michael O'Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child

Michael O’Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child

A Nazi has been jailed for a campaign of race hate on social media which included jibes at everyone from London mayor Sadiq Khan to pop superstar Taylor Swift.

White supremacist Michael O’Neill, aged 61, was arrested after an investigation by counter-terrorism police watching far-right groups.

He spent three years using Facebook and Twitter to spread racial abuse.

O’Neill was continually blocked by the social media giants for posting offensive material, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

But he created accounts under slightly different names so he could go on spouting filth.

He posted a picture of Tyler Swift with her arm around a black child and claimed she could catch Down’s Syndrome.

Jailing him for two years for his racist messages, Judge James Townsend said that he needed to pass a sentence to deter others.

He told the defendant the posts went on for a prolonged period of nearly three years and were available for all to see.

Police said after the case that the sentence should deter others from posting extreme views.

O’Neill, of Redhill Close, Ernesettle, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of distributing written material on social media likely to stir up racial hatred.

But he was found guilty after a four-day trial last month.

The jury saw more than 100 bizarre and offensive Facebook posts and tweets from between 2015 and 2018.

Simon Burns, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said among the more worrying posts was a suggestion that black Labour front bencher Diane Abbott “needed dispatching”.

O’Neill, with links to the National Front and Combat 18, also said Mr Khan should ‘f*** off and die’.

The barrister also reminded the judge that O’Neill said Pakistani Muslims should be “wiped out”.

O’Neill told a court that a tattoo of the number 1488 – linked to Hitler – was nothing to do with Nazis and was just a reminder of his PIN.

O’Neill said that he had the ink done years ago because he kept forgetting the number.

He also briefly sang the anthem “Flower of Scotland” from the witness stand during his trial.

Rupert Taylor, for O’Neill, said his client had “learnt his lesson”.

He added that the defendant no longer posted messages on social media or associated with far-right racists.

Mr Taylor said O’Neill drank heavily, was socially isolated and in poor health.

He added: “He has had the good sense to mend his ways. He is anxious to accept assistance and that is something that could be done in the community.

“It is really a plea for mercy for him to live quietly with restrictions.”

Mr Taylor said that his comments did not provoke actual violence or drive anyone to radical views.

Det Sgt Steve Foale from Counter Terrorism Police South West said after the case that the unit started examining O’Neill’s online activity early in 2018.

He added that when police searched his home in July that year, they found books, flags and music linked to the far-right.

DS Foale said: “His mindset combined with his aspiration for others to commit violence towards vulnerable members of our communities cannot be underestimated and could not go unprosecuted.

“O’Neill had at least eight Twitter and Facebook accounts attributed to him from which he continually posted a large amount of offensive extreme far-right material.

Chief Inspector Rob Mooney added: “The sentencing today of Michael O’Neill will send a positive message to the people of Plymouth that Devon and Cornwall Police and our partners will not accept any extremist ideology.

“Residents in our community must be protected from anyone that displays these abhorrent and bigoted behaviours.

“This court result shows that we take reports of this nature very seriously and urge our communities to carry on reporting such activity to police.

“If you have any information about suspicious activity or behaviour please contact Counter Terrorism Police in confidence. You can report a potential terrorist threat via our secure online form at gov.uk/ACT or call us on 0800 789 321.”

Plymouth Herald

Neighbours speak about bizarre behaviour of neo-Nazi Nathan Worrell as he is jailed

Neo-Nazi Nathan Worrell, right, appearing at court and inset after being jailed. His behaviour alarmed neighbours in Scott Close in Grimsby, main picture (Image: GrimsbyLive)

Neo-Nazi Nathan Worrell, right, appearing at court and inset after being jailed. His behaviour alarmed neighbours in Scott Close in Grimsby, main picture (Image: GrimsbyLive)

Neighbours of convicted neo-Nazi Nathan Worrell have described his odd-ball behaviour after he was jailed for a string of offences following an anti-terrorist raid on his home.

Worrell, 46, who was so committed to the far right he wore Hitler Third Reich underwear, was described as a ‘bit of a weirdo’ by those living near the home he had converted into a Nazi-inspired shrine.

Worrell was sentenced on Thursday after a jury found him guilty of eight of the 11 charges he was facing under anti-terror laws.

The CPS described the loner as a committed neo-Nazi with a hatred of people who are not white.

His home in Scott Close, Willows estate, Grimsby, was raided and far-right images of the Nazis, Adolf Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan were discovered.

Shocked neighbours had no-idea of his extremist views but are glad to see the back of him because of his disturbing behaviour.

“I thought he was a bit weird,” one said.

“He used to walk out with his underpants on. He was once reading the meter and I’d walk out and he would be in his pants. Sometimes he’d leave his dressing gown open.

“I wouldn’t have suspected it but he was a bit of a weirdo. I thought maybe he was an exhibitionist.”

Tucked away in the corner of Scott Close on the Willows Estate, a tight-knit street in Grimsby that was described by residents as being quiet and unassuming, Worrell stored Nazi paraphernalia including, flags, stickers and fridge magnets.

One went as far as saying there’s never any trouble – not so much as a scratch on a car – and was surprised when she heard of his conviction.

“I never really knew he lived there,” she said.

“I was quite shocked when I read it and that he lived near me. He might’ve been quite lonely.

“There’s never any trouble down here, we’re all close and it’s quiet.”

Stickers saying ‘Diversity Is White Genocide’, ‘Multiculturalism Is Genocide’, ‘White Power Combat 18 in the Area’, and ‘White Pride Combat 18 in the Area’ were displayed around Grimsby in 2017 and 2018. The same images were found in different formats in Worrell’s home where shirts, jumpers and boxer shorts emblazoned with Nazi swastikas and emblems were discovered.

He denied six offences of possessing, publishing or distributing material to stir up racial hatred and five of stirring up racial hatred between 2017 and May last year.

He was convicted after a trial of eight of the offences on majority verdicts of 10 to two in seven of the charges and 11 to one in the other. He was cleared of three matters.

Jenny Hopkins from the CPS said: “Nathan Worrell is a committed neo-Nazi with a hatred of people who are not white.

“From the time he gets up to the time he goes to bed, he surrounds himself with images of Hitler, the SS and the Third Reich.

“The CPS will prosecute right-wing extremists who stir up racial hatred in communities and help keep the public safe.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, added that behaviour like this cannot be tolerated in society and said: “These offences clearly show that Worrell has not learnt or changed his behaviour despite serving a previous prison sentence.

“By obtaining and distributing these hateful messages, Worrell is inciting hatred, potentially threatening public safety and security as well as the stability of the local community.

“We will not tolerate any action which attempts to undermine or divide our communities and will continue to work to counteract the intentions of individuals who seek to do this.”

Judge Paul Watson QC sent Worrell behind bars at Grimsby Crown Court and described him as being someone who was committed to inciting racial hatred, adding that the public would be outraged if he received anything other than a custodial sentence.

“Racial hatred is a sickness in society and those who promote it with abusive or threatening words or behaviour can expect severe punishment,” he said.

“I accept that there is no evidence that any such person did see or take heed of any of this material, no complaint was made about it and there is no evidence that any other person was incited to racial hatred but that was your clear purpose.

“For these offences, individually and cumulatively, only a custodial sentence can be justified.

“The public at large would be justifiably outraged if it were otherwise.”

Grimsby Telegraph

A man who posted neo-Nazi stickers on lamp-posts has been jailed for 30 months.

Nathan Worrell, 46, was found guilty of eight offences of stirring up racial hatred at Grimsby Crown Court.

During the trial, Worrell denied the Holocaust took place and said he had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

He was jailed for seven years and three months in 2008 for possessing bomb-making materials and waging a hate campaign against a mixed-race couple.

Worrell described himself in court as an “ethno-nationalist” and said he did not believe in “diversity or multiculturalism”.

A police raid on his home in Scott Close, Grimsby found clothing, photographs, fridge magnets and pin badges bearing Nazi symbolism.

He posted his home-made stickers with highly offensive comments on lamp-posts and street furniture in Grimsby and Hull.
‘Abhorrent’

Worrell defended his actions in court as freedom of speech

Sentencing, Judge Paul Watson QC said Worrell was “wedded to the cause of far right nationalism and national socialism”.

The judge made it clear he was not sentencing for political views “however abhorrent they may be”.

He told Worrell: “Your conduct went far beyond the limits of freedom of opinion and expression which the law permits.”

Det Ch Supt Martin Snowden from Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “These offences clearly show that Worrell has not learnt or changed his behaviour despite serving a previous prison sentence.

“By obtaining and distributing these hateful messages Worrell is inciting hatred, potentially threatening public safety and security as well as the stability of the local community.”

BBC News

A white supremacist who admired Hitler and wanted to “hang the black race” was jailed and released after breaching the terms of his prison sentence by attending a National Front rally.

Lawrence Burns from Cambridge during his appearance at Crown Court in Cambridge last year

Lawrence Burn

Lawrence Burns, 25, of Coldham’s Lane, Cambridge, was found guilty of inciting racial hatred in a series of inflammatory Facebook posts in 2014.

He also “shared images of Hitler” and, later on, gave an inflammatory speech at a memorial demo for a US white supremacist.

Burns was jailed for four years, but the sentence was reduced to two-and-a-half-years by the Court of Appeal the same year because of his young age and “poor educational background”.

Cambridge Crown Court heard today (August 1) that after being released, he was spotted at a National Front rally on November 11 last year.

As part of his March 2017 sentence, he was also given a criminal behaviour order (CBO) which prevented him from attending rallies without notifying authorities three days before – which was still active after he was released.

He had not told the authorities he was going to be at the rally.

Burns was then imprisoned for breaching this condition in January this year, and had been in custody since.

A “foolish error”

At sentencing this afternoon, Burns admitted breaching the order – but his defence counsel Adrian Davies told Judge Jonathan Cooper it was not intentional and was a “foolish error.”

Mr Davies said Burns had complied with the CBO by not attending a political meeting after the rally.

In passing his sentencing, Mr Cooper said he was “sceptical” of Burns’ excuse – being the same judge who sentenced him in March 2017.

Mr Cooper said he considered Burns an “intelligent young man” after observing him during the trial.

Addressing Burns, he said: “I am going to impose a sentence upon you which will be a prison sentence which will result as a guarantee in your immediate release. If not today, tomorrow.

“I said to you at the time of the original sentence how important freedom of speech was, and also the expression of political opinions and that the CBO imposed was not in itself designed to thwart the proper exercise of those freedoms.

“It was made clear the CBO did not prevent you from attending political meetings, permission to attend political meetings, it required notice in order to monitor your conduct.

“So I am mindful of the fact that in this case the demonstration wasn’t illegal, nothing said was illegal, nothing said or done by you would have been a criminal offence apart that it breached the order.”

Burns was sentenced to six weeks in prison, half in custody – which he had already served on remand after his initial sentence expired on June 20.

He was therefore released from prison. The criminal behaviour order stood in place.

Burns was handed a printed sheet of the conditions so he could not make the excuse again.

Cambridge News

A ‘well-respected’ member of the NEC staff was starting a five-year jail sentence today after being caught in possession of a stun gun and CS gas spray.

Craig Totney, left, and some of the weapons police seized

Craig Totney, left, and some of the weapons police seized

Craig Totney was also a follower of Blood & Honour, a neo-Nazi music promotion network and political group founded in 1987.

It is banned in some countries but not the UK and is composed of white nationalists with links to Combat 18.

The group organizes white power concerts by Rock Against Communism bands and distributes a magazine of the same name.

Totney, aged 40, was stopped on arrival at Birmingham International Airport from Germany by officials who seized his phone for analysis on May 22 last year, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
Halesowen raid

This led to a raid on his home in Bournebrook Crescent, Halesowen, by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit on November 13, said Miss Sophie Murray, prosecuting.

The swoop recovered a CS gas spray and stun gun together with fireworks, a baton, stab vest, machete, three knuckledusters and a Samurai sword.

These were all capable of being used in violent incidents but there was no evidence that they had been, the court was told.

The CS spray and a Taser were found at Totney’s home, while the torch Taser was at Hollingsworth’s home

National Front stickers, a Nazi arm band and right wing magazines were also recovered.

There were pictures of Hitler and right wing memorabilia among the phone data that further revealed Totney had been communicating with 32-year-old Ruth Hollingsworth, a woman he knew socially but one who classed herself as a ‘leftie.’

Among the subjects discussed was his offer of a Taser disguised as a torch, allegedly acquired via the internet from Lithuania.

She said she would not mind having one for her personal protection although she realised it was illegal.

Ruth Hollingsworth was given a suspended prison sentence

Hollingsworth turned down the additional offer of a knuckleduster, it was said.

Police raided her home in Cecil Road, Selly Park, Birmingham, on the same day as Totney’s house was searched and found the weapon still in its box with enough power to issue several charges.

The prosecution accepted she had been persuaded to take it by her co-accused who had tested a Taser on himself, the court heard.

Judge Nicholas Webb said Totney had been a highly regarded employee of the NEC but the evidence indicated he knew what he was doing with the weapons was illegal and a long sentence was required to deter others.

Totney, of previous good character, admitted possession of a CS gas spray and stun gun and transferring a stun gun to Hollingswood, who admitted possession of the weapon.

She received a two-year jail term suspended for two years with 150 hours unpaid work.

Express & Star

Racist assault: Mark Brown

Convicted: Mark Brown.

The former leader of the National Front in Northern Ireland has been convicted of a “vile” racist attack on a taxi driver in Co Antrim.

Mark Brown (31), of Skerryview in Craigahullier near Portrush, was also found guilty of not paying an £18.40 taxi fare.

Brown had contested the charges but was convicted at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday.

Deputy District Judge Peter Magill said it was a “racially-motivated” offence and the defendant had “clearly expressed vile racist comments” regarding taxi driver Ricardo Alavijeh (56).

Mr Alavijeh, who is understood to be originally from the Middle East, told the court Brown punched him on the head in his car, but because he was wearing a cap he wasn’t seriously injured. He said he drove up the road to phone the police and noticed Brown “running after me”.

“I was very worried, I was panicking,” he said.

He told the court Brown was also “being racist towards me”.

The taxi driver said he had initially received a call under a different name and wasn’t at first aware it was Brown.

Brown’s barrister claimed the driver “decided to make trouble” for Brown by falsely accusing him of assault and not paying the fare. The lawyer said Brown had tried to pay the taxi fare.

Mr Alavijeh told the court: “As a taxi driver dealing with drunk people and people under the influence of drugs there are a lot of incidents of racial abuse in Coleraine. I don’t even bother phoning the police unless it is serious.”

Statements from police officers said that when arrested, Brown made several remarks including references to “Muslim c***”, “jihadi bombing b******s” and “dirty Paki b******”.

Brown claimed the driver had a “grudge” against him and the allegation that he punched Mr Alavijeh was “a tissue of lies”.

He told the court that he had ordered a taxi to take him from his partner’s home, where he drank two bottles of wine, to his parents’ home. When he realised the driver was Mr Alavijeh he wasn’t going to use the taxi, but was told to get in.

Brown claimed he had got out of the car intending to pay with a £20 note, but the taxi driver then drove off.

Brown admitted he had made remarks to police and said it was because he was “agitated and frustrated” at being arrested.

He told the court he had no exact memory of what he had said to police and added: “I apologise for the nature of the words.”

The court heard Brown had been convicted in 2009 of similar offences against Mr Alavijeh.

Convicting the defendant of the 2018 offences, Judge Magill said that having seen and heard from both men in court he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of Brown’s guilt.

The judge said he did not believe Mr Alavijeh would make up a false account for no reason which he would then have to tell to police and a court.

Judge Magill said Brown had “clearly expressed vile racist comments”. He said it was a “racially motivated offence”. He said he needed a pre-sentence report on Brown and adjourned sentencing until February.

Belfast Telegraph