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A MAN who spray-painted swastikas around the city and set fire to buildings including a school and a church over the course of a month has pleaded guilty to all charges.

Austin Ross, 23, of Romney Close in Newport, pleaded guilty to 15 counts in total at a brief hearing in Cardiff Crown Court today.

The charges relate to a series of swastikas and racially aggravated graffiti and two arson attacks in Newport between May 2 and May 31 this year.

Two swastikas appeared on a wall and post at the University of South Wales building in Newport city centre during the late May bank holiday weekend.

Alongside one of the swastikas was a message apparently written in support of far right activist Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who co-founded the English Defence League.

Today, Ross admitted nine counts of causing racially aggravated damage to property.

He owned up to damaging the windows of the Riverfront Theatre in the city centre on May 3, the front door of the Bethel Baptist Church in Bassaleg and a school sign belonging to Maindee Primary School on May 4, as well as a footbridge belonging to Newport City Council on May 5.

Ross also targeted Maindee Primary school a second time on May 28, the Gwent Probation Service building on Lower Dock Street between May 27 and May 31, the University of South Wales Newport campus and the walls of the Masonic Hall on May 28.

Four other counts of racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress were admitted by Ross between May 2 and May 5.

The charges read out in court noted his actions were based on the membership or perceived membership of a particular racial group.

He also admitted two counts of arson, setting fire to the front doors and hallway of the Masonic Hall in Lower Dock Street on May 28 and destroying a classroom at Bassaleg secondary school on May 29.

Judge Eleri Rees, addressing Ross’ legal representative Harry Baker, warned that the defendant was “not helping himself” by refusing to cooperate, and added she would order a psychiatric assessment before sentencing.

“A more sinister interpretation can be put on his behaviour because he has not explained his actions,” said Judge Rees.

“It does make it difficult for anybody to second guess that there might be a background that could help explain this.

“He doesn’t help himself in that way.

“I’m going to order a psychiatric assessment and we will set up a time table for sentencing.”

Addressing the defendant, Judge Rees added: “I would encourage you to try to cooperate and reflect upon what could be of assistance to you.”

Ross will now appear in court on August 21 for sentencing.

South Wales Argus.

After a five-year trial, a member of a neo-Nazi gang has been found guilty of 10 racially-motivated murders.

Beate Zschäpe was at the centre of one of the longest trials in modern German history

Beate Zschäpe was at the centre of one of the longest trials in modern German history

Beate Zschäpe was the main defendant on trial over the murder of eight ethnic Turks, a Greek citizen and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007.

The verdict carries an automatic life sentence.

The connection between the murders was only discovered by chance in 2011, after a botched robbery led to the neo-Nazi group’s discovery.

Zschäpe shared a flat in the eastern town of Zwickau with two men, who died in an apparent suicide pact. The bodies of Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt were found in a burnt-out caravan used in the robbery.

Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had formed a cell called the National Socialist Underground (NSU). An explosion at their home – apparently in an attempt to destroy evidence – led to Zschäpe turning herself in.

The NSU’s seven-year campaign exposed serious shortcomings in the German state’s monitoring of neo-Nazis, and led to a public inquiry into how German police failed to discover the murder plot.

Four other defendants were also given jail terms for their role in helping the NSU gang:

Ralf Wohlleben, a former official of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), was sentenced to 10 years for procuring the Ceska pistol with silencer used in nine murders. He was convicted of aiding and abetting murder.

Carsten S was given three years of juvenile detention. He is believed to have been a key contact for the Zwickau cell during their secret life, and was found guilty of handing the gang the Ceska pistol and silencer

André E was given two years and six months for helping a terrorist group. He had visited the Zwickau trio often, sometimes with his children, helping to give the neo-Nazis an air of normality.

Holger G received three years for giving his birth certificate and other ID to Uwe Mundlos, to protect him from the police.
BBC News

A MAN drank 12 pints of cider and called an Asian police officer “a f****** P*** b******” before yelling “I am EDL” in Darlington’s police cells.

Thomas Mason also shouted out in support of imprisoned far-right activist Tommy Robinson after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly following an evening in the town’s Tubwell Tap public house on June 2.

But it was his language towards an ethnic minority police officer which earned him a more serious charge.

The 35-year-old, from South Kirby, Pontefract, appeared before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe yesterday and pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly, and a racially-aggravated public order offence.

Lorna Rimell, prosecuting, said: “Police were called by the door staff at the Tubwell Tap.

“The defendant was in a state of intoxication. Police approached him and he told them to f*** off and said ‘I f****** love England’.

“He was warned three times about his abusive behaviour and language and he told them again to f*** off.

“He was arrested and taken to the police station where he met the PC. The defendant spoke to him in a mocking tone.

“He then said you f***** P*** b****, I am EDL.

“He was chanting EDL, EDL, EDL and also ‘Tommy Robinson’.”

Once he had sobered up Mason, a forklift truck driver, told police he had drunk 12 or more pints of cider and had only a vague recollection of events.

“He said he doesn’t consider himself to be racist,” said Ms Rimell.

“He said he was disgusted when told about his actions.”

The court heard that Mason visited Darlington to offer support to a friend who was going through a difficult time and accepted he had become ‘completely intoxicated’.

Darren Brown, mitigating on behalf of Mason, said the defendant had very recently come out of a 12-year relationship and had two young children aged one and four, and had been drinking as things had started to get on top of him.

He had been using alcohol as a way to deal with emotional trauma, the court heard, and now had to regret the night he spent in a police cell.

Mr Brown added: “He states that he is not a racist person and has no idea why he would say such things. He also doesn’t usually drink because he works nights.”

Magistrates said had the case not been racially motivated it would be been considered a a far more minor offence.

Mason was handed a £300 fine, ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Northern Echo

Andrew Emery, of Bentilee, ‘let his fingers run away with him’ on day of the Ariana Grande One Love tribute concert

Drunken Andrew Emery has been jailed after he made public posts on Facebook calling for ‘mosques to be burned’ in the aftermath of the Manchester bombing.

The 45-year-old dad ‘let his fingers run away with him’ on the day of the One Love tribute concert organised by singer Ariana Grande last summer.

He posted, ‘It is time we started to fight back. The Government won’t do **** because of the PC brigade. Every time we have a terrorist attack we should burn a mosque’.

Three hours later he posted, ‘To all the British murderers and serial killers out there, do us all a favour and concentrate on the Muslim community’.

A further post read, ‘Burn a mosque today and feel better’.

His posts could be read by the wider public and he was arrested after a complaint was made to Humberside Police.

Andrew Emery was jailed after admitting stirring up religious hatred on Facebook

Andrew Emery was jailed after admitting stirring up religious hatred on Facebook

Now Emery has been jailed for two years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Prosecutor Harpreet Sandhu said the comments came on June 4 last year, the day of a tribute concert following the Manchester MEN Arena bombing on May 22 in which 22 concert-goers were killed.

Mr Sandhu said: “The defendant posted, ‘It is time we started to fight back. The Government won’t do **** because of the PC brigade. Every time we have a terrorist attack we should burn a mosque, preferably when it is full’.

“Three hours later the defendant posted, ‘To all the British murderers and serial killers out there, ‘Do us all a favour and concentrate on the Muslim community’.

“He later posted in capital letters, ‘Burn a mosque today and feel better’.”

Mr Sandhu said the defendant’s posts were not confined to his 157 Facebook friends and could be seen by the wider public. The posts led to a member of the public contacting Humberside Police on June 4.

Mr Sandhu added that the posts were not isolated and Emery had made comments on previous dates including, ‘Trump had the right idea trying to stop Muslims entering his country. Maybe we should do it so we would only have to worry about the scum already here’.

The defendant told police he had posted ‘stupid comments’ on Facebook. He added he was not a racist.

Emery, of Aylesbury Road, Bentilee, pleaded guilty to three charges of publishing or distributing written material intending to stir up religious hatred.

Brian Williams, mitigating, conceded the defendant’s comments were ‘abhorrent’.

He said Emery is a hard-working family man and has a teenage daughter who is an Ariana Grande fan.

Mr Williams said: “She wanted to go to the concert but they could not afford to send her.

“At the time he drank too much and his father had just been diagnosed as terminally ill. These offences post date the terrible explosion in Manchester and there was the added factor his daughter could have been there.

“Without thinking rationally he allowed these appalling comments to pour out. He would not have gone in a pub or stood on a street corner and said such things.

“His fingers ran away with him. They were faster than his brain.”

Recorder John Butterfield QC told Emery his posts did a great disservice to those injured and killed in the arena bombing.

He said the defendant’s previous posts demonstrated that the three charges he pleaded guilty to were not isolated or uncharacteristic.

Recorder Butterfield QC said the offences were aggravated by the fact the posts advocated fatal violence, they were widely available to the public and they occurred at such a sensitive time.

He added: “They were hot on the heels of the London Bridge/Borough Market incident on June 3, the day before the tribute concert.”

Stoke Sentinel

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, denied stirring up hatred, saying her blogs were to educate people

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, denied stirring up hatred, saying her blogs were to educate people

A 79-year-old woman who campaigned to be an MP and praised Hitler on a website blog has been found guilty of stirring up racial hatred.

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, a self-confessed white supremacist and anti-Semite, stood as an independent in Stoke-on-Trent in June’s election.

She described Adolf Hitler as a good man and wished Great Britain to be “white only”.

She was found guilty of three charges at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

The jury found her not guilty of a fourth charge of publishing written material with the intent of stirring up racial hatred.

Judge Mr Recorder Julian Taylor said some of the articles contained the “most vile details” he’d ever read and that she should be “thoroughly ashamed” of herself.

Fielding-Morriss, of Stuart Avenue, Draycott in the Moors, Stoke-on-Trent, stood in a by-election in Stoke Central in February 2017 after the resignation of the then Labour MP Tristram Hunt and again in the general election last summer.

She polled just under 250 votes in both elections.

She is the leader and only member of the Abolish Magna Carta Reinstate Monarchy Party, the court heard, and she commissioned a party website she could blog on where she made the inflammatory comments.

In four blogs between September 2016 and September 2017, she included statements about how asylum-seeking Jews were like termites and made comments about mentally disabled migrant children, jurors were told.

Remarks ‘justified’

Fielding-Morriss admitted to police after her arrest she was a white supremacist, a fascist and an anti-Semite but denied stirring up hatred, saying it was to educate people.

Jurors heard she was not on trial for being racist or a fascist but for whether she intended to stir up racial hatred by publishing the comments.

Representing herself, Fielding-Morriss said her defence fell under freedom of expression, set out in the Human Rights Act, and the special defence of public good and being justified in the interest of science, arts, literature and learning.

Although she accepted several posts were insulting, Fielding-Morriss said had no reason to believe that publishing the remarks would constitute an offence.

Her final submission to the jury was: “Don’t mind if you find me guilty as I’ve done my best to save you from extinction.”

Fielding-Morriss is due to be sentenced on Friday.

She was told by the judge he was “strongly considering” a custodial sentence and she should secure herself legal representation.

BBC News

A RACIST who once tried to evade justice by fleeing to America has been jailed for nine months for a hate crime against his neighbour.

Judge Paul Worsley QC told Simon Guy Sheppard, who has several convictions for hate crimes, he had expressed such ‘vitriolic’ and racially aggravated views that he merited the sentence.

The judge also imposed a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order to try to prevent the council tenant repeating such comments.

Sheppard, 61, of Cockrett Court, Selby, had told a jury at York Crown Court he was unhappy that a black man had been allocated a flat in his block of flats.

He said he had “barracked” a Sky engineer working on a satellite dish at the neighbour’s flat about the neighbour’s conduct on June 16, 2017, and used a racist word to describe the neighbour ‘because I was being as nasty as I could be.’

He denied intending the neighbour to overhear, using the same word with a swear word to describe his neighbour and running a hate campaign of racist taunts and actions.

The jury convicted him of using racially aggravated words to the engineer but acquitted him of a two-year racial harassment campaign. Sheppard had denied both charges.

His barrister Stephen Grattage said in mitigation that Sheppard had not offended for a protracted period of time and had medical difficulties.

Opening the prosecution, Martin Robertshaw alleged Sheppard persistently used the racist word whenever he saw the neighbour and matters came to a head on June 16.

Giving evidence, Sheppard agreed with Mr Robertshaw the only objection he had against the neighbour was that he was black and not British, adding he “had ‘taken over a white man’s wife.’

He objected to the “taboo” on using the racist word, claimed being called a “racist” was worse and alleged the “system was completely geared” in favour of black people.

Sheppard was convicted last year of a hate crime by complaining to a Selby council officer that the authority was “fly tipping” by “dumping Africans all over”

In 2008, Sheppard claimed asylum in the USA under freedom of speech law when he skipped bail partway through a trial at Leeds Crown Court for publishing racially inflammatory material.

His asylum bid failed and he was deported back to the UK, where he had been convicted in his absence, and was jailed for nearly four years.

York Press

A racist who made anti-Muslim comments on his mobile to police claimed that he had not intended to make the abusive call, but had sat on his phone.

Jordan Henry, 39, made offensive remarks over the phone to officers just before 7pm on April 28.

Henry, of Ardrossan’s Glasgow Street, appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week and pled guilty to one charge.

The court heard that Henry made a 999 call and said: “Bunch of Muslim b******s” before hanging up. Police called Henry back and he answered saying: “Awright, what’s happening man? When we blowing it up?”

When the police officer identified himself, Henry claimed the call was a mistake and that he had been sitting on his phone. He was then asked to provide his details to which he gave a false name and address. When challenged, he provided the correct information.

Police attended Henry’s address. On coming to the door, he said: “Is this about the phone call regarding the Muslims?” He then stated that it was “only a laugh”.

Later at the police station, Henry made comments such as: “There’s no freedom of speech in this country. Rule Britannia.” During this time his phone rang with Islamic sounding music similar to when Muslims are being called to prayer.

Defending Henry, solicitor Brian Holliman said that his client had been drinking and that he had given false details to the police because he had thought it was his friend “winding him up”.

He added: “He’s made a total mess of this.

“He tells me the first call; the phone had been in his pocket and he had not deliberately called the police. It’s quite apparent when listening to the call, other voices are in the background. It does not appear that it was directed at anyone on the other side of the call. It doesn’t take away that that comment was made.

“It was objectively concerning and alarming. It was a stupid thing to have said and it would have been alarming to the call handler to have heard. He does not hold views relating to religious prejudice.”

Henry was fined £320.

Ardrossan Herald