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Extremist Craig Cooke became obsessed with victim after they went on a date

Craig Cooke, 24, of Hartsbourne Avenue in Belle Vale, jailed for three years and four months after being caught with a kitchen knife and two Molotov cocktails

Craig Cooke, 24, of Hartsbourne Avenue in Belle Vale, jailed for three years and four months after being caught with a kitchen knife and two Molotov cocktails


A Nazi sympathiser went to a man’s home armed with a knife and two Molotov cocktails when he rejected his advances.

Craig Cooke, 24, became obsessed with his victim after they went on a date – harassing him at home, on Facebook and at work.

After police caught Cooke with the deadly arsenal in Huyton , they searched his bedroom and found a Nazi uniform and body armour.

Concerned doctors spent months considering whether Cooke – who has Asperger’s syndrome – should be sectioned indefinitely.

Eventually they decided he was unsuitable for hospital treatment and there were no appropriate mental health unit beds available.

Judge David Aubrey, QC, jailed Cooke, of Hartsbourne Avenue in Belle Vale, for three years and four months at Liverpool Crown Court .

He said: “On occasion you become obsessed and you become fixated with what you perceive is, or may be, an injustice.

The Molotov cocktails Craig Cooke, 24, of Hartsbourne Avenue in Belle Vale, made at home.

The Molotov cocktails Craig Cooke, 24, of Hartsbourne Avenue in Belle Vale, made at home.

“If that obsession remains within you then there is, at the very least, a potential that you could harm others.

“The items you were carrying, incendiary devices and a large kitchen knife, are capable of causing untold injury and misery to entirely innocent people.”

Cooke admitted making and possessing an explosive substance and having a blade in a public place on December 18 last year.

A dog walker called police after spotting him acting suspiciously in an area near Tarbock Road and Marina Crescent at around 9pm.

When officers arrived, Cooke admitted having a large kitchen knife in his jacket and two bombs in his rucksack.

Jonathan Turner, prosecuting, said he confessed: “I had a bomb but I couldn’t go through with it.”

The bottles stuffed with rags contained flammable liquid from Cooke’s shed. He was also carrying a lighter, balaclava and pair of gloves.

Mr Turner said: “Images were taken of the defendant’s bedroom, which showed paraphernalia linking him to Nazism, the English Defence League and White Pride, and body armour.”

Cooke told police he had been drinking and decided to visit the man and show him the weapons to frighten him.

Mr Turner said: “He said he wanted him to feel something, he wanted to shock him and he wanted to punish him in a sense.”

After their date, Cooke contacted his victim repeatedly, going to his home, “bothering him on Facebook” and “even applying for a job at the same place of work”.

Prosecutors did not accept that Cooke only wanted to frighten his victim, having gone to such trouble to make the bombs.

However, Mr Turner conceded the Crown did not charge him with intent to endanger life and he would be sentenced on that basis.

Jeremy Hawthorne, defending, said: “Having manufactured these devices and taken them by taxi to the location in question, he thought better of it. He was standing at a bus stop waiting to go home.”

Mr Hawthorne said his client accepted he “became obsessed” about the man.

Cooke was detained under the mental health act when he was 17 after he was convicted of affray and possessing an offensive weapon.

But when he was released, he stopped seeing his GP and ignored any “alarm bells”.

The court heard Cooke wanted to be sentenced after spending 10 months in custody.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Ian Young said: “It was only thanks to a quick-thinking member of the public that police were alerted to Cooke.

“We would always encourage people to come forward if they think they have seen something they feel is not quite right.

“Thankfully no-one was injured and this man has now been taken off our streets.”

Liverpool Echo

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Clive Ceronne (l) and Ashley Juggins (r) were sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court

Two men who set fire to a Gloucester mosque were former members of the EDL, a court heard.

Clive Michael Ceronne, 37, from Gloucester, and Ashley Henry Juggins, 21, from Cheltenham, had both been on the controversial group’s marches prior to starting the blaze at the Masjid-E-Noor in the city’s Ryecroft Street. Gloucester Crown Court heard today the pair had been driving around and shouting abuse at Muslims on the evening before the arson.

Ceronne was jailed for four-and-a-half years and Juggins for three-and-a-half for the arson.

Prosecutor Peter Coombes told the court the pair had stopped at a garage on London Road, Gloucester at midnight on June 18. They bought vodka, Carling, a petrol can and fuel before targeting the mosque and causing £3,200 of damage.

CCTV showed a car pull up outside the mosque, where evening prayers had finished just an hour earlier, before Juggins, of Brooklyn Road in Cheltenham poured petrol on the step. He then lit a rag before the fuel went up, leaving neighbours and a mystery passer-by having to extinguish the blaze minutes later. Mr Coombes told the court: “It is only though the intervention of the unknown man that the fire did not take hold. It was burning for three to four minutes.”

Ceronne, a former security guard of Redwood Close, Gloucester was arrested later that evening, while Juggins was still a passenger in his Peugeot, on suspicion of drink driving and when he failed to supply a specimen for breath analysis. Hours later Juggins was later stopped in Barton Gate after police officers thought he had thrown something in a road and he gave them the fake name of Bob Marley.

Mr Coombes said in interview Juggins said he and Ceronne had spent the evening before “shouting abuse at Muslims” as Ceronne “did not like Muslims”.

The prosecutor said: “Ceronne used to work for P&L Security and was posted to Hester’s Way Library where they met. “His previous employer said Juggins told people that Ceronne had taken him to an EDL rally and had expressed anti-Muslim views to his boss, but also said he had changed his views now.”

He added research showed his name and address on the British Union of Fascists, a group that styles itself on the organisation banned in the 1940s. On the New British Union website he claimed to have been involved in “far right cults, including the EDL” and was listed as the Gloucestershire district officer for the organisation.

His home was searched and notes about Sharia law being “diatribe” and others stating “EDL forever were found. But defending Joe Maloney said: “He has had time to reflect on his beliefs, which is not to say he will change his beliefs, drastically overnight.”

Defending Dermot Clarke said Juggins was first introduced to the EDL marches four years ago, but had stopped taking part in them. He said:

“He left after two years, because in his own words he describes the meetings as degenerating into no more than throwing things at the police, however he remained in contact with Ceronne. I would be doing him a disservice if I did not mention the influence. He was unemployed, lacking sophistication and befriended by an older man that perhaps had an agenda.”

Both pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The arson came in the wake of the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was killed on May 22 in what is believed to have been an Islamic terrorist attack.

Gloucestershire Echo


BBC News

The attack happened days after an open day was held at the mosque to welcome local people

The attack happened days after an open day was held at the mosque to welcome local people

Two men have pleaded guilty to an arson attack on a mosque in Gloucester in June.

Petrol was poured around the door of the Masjid-E-Noor mosque on Ryecroft Street and set on fire in the attack.

Clive Ceronne, 37, of Redwood Close, Gloucester, and Ashley Juggins, 20, of Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham admitted arson with reckless endangerment to life at Gloucester Crown Court.

The pair are due to be sentenced on 18 November.

The attack happened days after an open day was held at the mosque to welcome local people.

BBC News