Archive

Tag Archives: Racial Conviction

Zack Davies told onlookers that he had carried out the assault on Dr Sarandev Bhambra in revenge for the death of the soldier Lee Rigby

A loner fascinated with far right ideologies and violent video games screamed “white power” as he launched a racially-motivated machete and hammer attack on a dentist of Asian origin, a court has heard.

As he was led away by police, Zack Davies told onlookers that he had carried out the assault on Dr Sarandev Bhambra in revenge for the death of the soldier Lee Rigby, who was killed by Islamist extremists outside a barracks in south-east London.

He also later claimed that the British Isis terrorist nicknamed Jihadi John was an inspiration for the attack, which left 24-year-old Bhambra with terrible injuries to his head, back and hand.

Davies, 26, from Mold in north Wales, was found guilty of attempting to murder Bhambra, who is still recovering from his injuries.

Outside Mold crown court, Bhambra’s family argued Davies had committed an act of terrorism. They said if the men’s ethnicities had been reversed the family had no doubt it would have been reported as an act of terror.

Bhambra’s brother, Dr Tarlochan Singh Bhambra, said in a statement: “Sarandev was singled out because of the colour of his skin. We are in no doubt that had the racial disposition of this case been reversed this would be reported as an act of terror with a wider media coverage.

“We as a family have listened intently to the evidence … and are in no doubt given the racial and political motivation that this should be rightly defined as an act of terrorism. By his own admission Zack Davies had extreme neo-Nazi views and is a member of a white supremacist organisation.”

He said his brother, who was born in Leeds, was a young man of whom his family was immensely proud and who had just started out on his chosen career. “This cowardly assault has left him with life-changing injuries. Sarandev is currently undergoing an extensive programme of rehabilitation.”

Judge Rhys Rowlands sent Davies to a high security hospital for psychiatric reports to be prepared before he sentences him in September.

“I hold the view he is an incredibly dangerous young man. If it is not going to be a hospital order it will be the longest possible sentence,” the judge said. “Dr Bhambra sustained the most dreadful life-changing injuries during a sustained racist attack on an innocent man, a member of a caring profession.”

There was applause from the public gallery as the verdict was returned.

The jury had heard how Davies would sit in his flat playing violent video games for six or seven hours a day. Expelled from school at 11 for bringing in a knife to school, Davies became a loner and admitted carrying a weapon with him every day since he was 15 because of his growing paranoia.

On 14 January he spotted Bhambra on the street in Mold at lunchtime and followed him to a Tesco supermarket, where he attacked him from behind with a claw hammer and 30cm-long machete in front of shoppers and children.

Bhambra was saved after an ex-soldier, Peter Fuller, stepped in to help. Davies told Fuller: “We are under attack,” but Fuller said what he was doing was madness and Bhambra had not done anything.

Davies admitted saying “white power” and “I did it for Lee Rigby,” during and after the attack. He told the court: “I got very fascinated by Jihadi John and was inspired by him. I even had a mask.”

He was described in court as a racist with a fascination for far right ideologies. In interview he told police that maybe the wrong side had won the second world war. The court heard items associated with white supremacy and Nazism were found at Davies’s home, including swastika badges and Combat 18 material. Davies apologised in court to the family of Lee Rigby and to Bhambra.

Asked if he considered it an act of terrorism, DCI Alun Oldfield, of North Wales police, said: “In our view this was an attempted murder, racially motivated.”

Gareth Preston, senior crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Wales, said: “Zackery Davies is a dangerous young man whose distorted and racist views led him to commit a terrifying act of violence. This was an attack against a complete stranger, singled out for no other reason than his ethnicity.”

The Guardian

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

‘I do apologise, I’m actually a married man with kids, but City fans just rub me up the wrong way’

A ‘married man with kids’ who went on a racist, foul-mouthed rant on the tram on derby day faces Christmas behind bars.

Video footage of Ryan John Healey shouting that Manchester City is a ‘tiny club with a tiny stadium, run by p**i’s with p***i money’ was shared widely on social media at the weekend.

The clip was taken by a passenger on a tram travelling on the Bury Metrolink line at 5.45pm on Saturday (December 7), shortly after the game kicked off at the Etihad Stadium.

In the video, Healey, 29, can be heard shouting ’20 times… 20′ – a reference to how many times Manchester United have won the top-flight title.

He is later heard saying: “I do apologise, I’m actually a married man with kids, but City fans just rub me up the wrong way.

“With their s**t stadium and s**t fans.”

In the footage, passengers can be heard repeatedly asking Healey to be quiet.

One is heard telling him ‘you’re a racist’ and ‘you’re disgusting’.

Healey then appears to say: “Nah, it’s run by p**i money.

“You like blowing up the arena do you? That’s what funds you.”

He later adds: “We’ve got more class in the Stretford End than the entire s*******e you can’t fill.

“You’re a f*****g embarrassment to Manchester. You haven’t even got any points to back it up.

“If this was a Salford tram with United fans, you’d have got f****** leathered by now.

“All the tourists on here can take your shopping bags, take your f******g empty seats and f*** off.”

The game, which kicked off at 5.30pm, ended in a 2-1 win for United.

Healey, of Porchester Drive, Radcliffe, Bury, appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (December 12).

He pleaded guilty to a racially-aggravated public order offence and was sentenced to five weeks in prison and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £122.

An application was also made for a Criminal Behaviour Order and Football Banning Order. The court will deal with those matters on January 24.

Chief Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith, of GMP’s Transport Unit, said: “We do not tolerate any form of racism or hate crime and will deal with incidents like this accordingly.”

Healey’s arrest was one of a handful by the force’s new, dedicated transport team.

Chf Insp Bailey-Smith added: “One of the aims of the Transport Unit is to improve public confidence and reduce criminality and anti-social behaviour across the transport systems of Greater Manchester.

“These results prove that even within the first month of being established, the unit are already making a huge impact in improving safety and increasing confidence to those who use public transport.

“The unit works in partnership with local authorities and TfGM to ensure an effective and proactive police presence that can provide a response function to deal with ongoing crimes and incidents affecting public transport.

“My officers are there to keep the public safe, so if you are concerned about anyone acting suspiciously or you require help, don’t be afraid of approaching them.”

Manchester Evening News

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

A racist firebombed an Asian-owned takeaway shop in Rosyth and then bragged about it online.

Charles Johnston wore a mask and waved a machete as he ranted online about Muslims a fortnight later and claimed he had burned down a kebab shop.

However, his identity was revealed after he blurted out his home address.

Johnston was also wearing the same hoodie as when he tried to torch the takeaway in Rosyth, an incident captured on CCTV.

He believed money being taken for kebabs was going towards terrorism.

Johnston, 20, of Tovey Road, Rosyth, admitted the offences in March but evaded justice until his arrest in October and has now finally been sentenced at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. He was jailed for four years.

Depute fiscal Alex Kirk previously told the court Johnston had gone on his bike to the takeaway after midnight, when it was closed and shuttered.

He was carrying a bottle full of petrol and had just bought a lighter from a local garage.

He said the CCTV showed him set fire to the bottle and throw it at the takeaway, filming his actions on his mobile phone.

He said: “The accused is observed holding out his mobile phone as though recording this. He then runs away, retrieving his bike and cycling away.”

Around a fortnight later, Johnston was bragging on the internet.

He said he set the kebab shop on fire and spat on a mosque.

He ranted: “I’m gonna take ISIS in my stride. I set a kebab shop on fire because halal food contributes a 2% tax. Every kebab bought contributes to terrorist organisations.”

Defence solicitor Elaine Buist said in March: “He says he doesn’t have anything against individual Muslims.”

Sheriff Charles MacNair responded: “That is what is said by just about every racist. He clearly is a racist.”

However, when he was brought back to court for sentencing, Ms Buist said, “He now admits that at the time he was holding extreme views.”

Johnston admitted that on May 18 last year at Shalimar Kebab, Queensferry Road, he wilfully set fire to the premises by setting light to a bottle containing petrol and throwing it at the premises.

The fire took effect, damaging the shutters, and the offence was aggravated by religious prejudice.

He also admitted that on June 2 last year, at his home, he uploaded a live video to an online broadcasting service, Periscope, in which he repeatedly uttered racist, offensive and abusive remarks, all whilst holding a machete with his face masked.

He further admitted that on the same day, at Sherbrooke Road, he was in possession of a lock-knife.

The Courier

A man who broke into a Blackpool synagogue with a lump of concrete told police he wanted to ‘blow up’ the holy building.

Andrew Prendergast, 47, smashed a window and a lock to get into the Jewish place of worship on Raikes Parade, Blackpool Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday.

He left bloodstains throughout the building and damaged the alarm system.

When asked by police why he targeted the synagogue, he said: “I wanted to blow them up… synagogue… blow it up. I am proud to be English and don’t want the Jews here.”

Magistrates heard how police were alerted to the burglary at the Blackpool Reform Synagogue by a woman who had seen Prendergast using a piece of concrete to open the front door.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said that officers followed a trail of bloodstains, caused by an injury on Prendergast’s hand, around the prayer area, toilets and offices.

She said: “Eventually they found him hiding behind the altar. He was verbally resistant when officers tried to arrest him. He swore and kicked out and threatened to kick the officer.”

“When he was taken to the police station officers had to put a spit hood on him.”

Prendergast, unemployed, of Raikes Parade, indicated a guilty plea to charges of burglary in a building other than a dwelling with intent to steal, and racially or religiously aggravated damage.

Robert Castle, defending, said: “He apologises and does not seek to avoid responsibility for what he did.

“Nothing I can say will make what happened any better, however, there was no violence towards anyone.There was no planning . It was impulsive and chaotic.”

Presiding magistrate Simon Bridge told Prendergast, who lives just a few yards from the synagogue: “To target a synagogue – a place of worship – shows the scourge of anti-Semitism was obviously there. You have two previous convictions for racially aggravated offences.”

He sent Prendergast to be sentenced by a judge at Preston Crown Court on December 18.

He was remanded in custody in the meantime.

The door of the synagogue had to be boarded up following the anti-Semitic attack.

One woman who lives on Raikes Parade, who did not want to be named, said: “The synagogue is well-used and the driveway is always packed with cars. I saw them at the weekend and I didn’t notice anything wrong with the door then.

“On Monday, the police were here after I dropped the kids off at school. There was an unmarked car and I suspected it was CID because they weren’t in uniform, and three or four police cars. They were there until the afternoon.

“We have lived here for years and we’ve never seen any issues with the synagogue, but there are some houses on this street and around here that aren’t very nice.

“There are some flats that police are often in and out of.”

PC Ian Ashton, community cohesion and hate crime officer, said; “In Lancashire we have quite a small Jewish community based mostly in Lytham, St Annes and Blackpool. I have links with these communities and we don’t generally see a lot of hate crime towards them, but it does go on. We are seeing an increase in hate crime, but that may be because they have people like ourselves that they have the confidence and trust in to report it to. “We treat hate crime very seriously and we look to investigate all hate crimes reported to us, and look for positive outcomes within the victims wishes.”

Lytham St Annes Express

Nasty Michael O’Neill, aged 61, had ‘Hitler number’ tattoo but claimed it was his PIN

Michael O'Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child (Image: Plymouth Live/Mirror)

Michael O’Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child (Image: Plymouth Live/Mirror)

A Nazi made a bizarre racist jibe about Taylor Swift and a black child during a hate campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

White supremacist Michael O’Neill, aged 61, posted a picture of the pop star with her arm around the youngster and claimed she could catch Down’s Syndrome.

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.

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

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

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.

He also denied two similar counts of incitement to religious hatred.

O’Neill was convicted by unanimous verdicts after a four-day trial on all the racial counts but cleared on the two religious counts.

Judge James Townsend released him on bail to be sentenced on December 13 with the aid of a probation report.

But he warned: “All options are open. Given his record of racially-aggravated matters, the starting point is an immediate prison sentence.”

The court heard that O’Neill was continually blocked by the social media giants for posting offensive material.

But he created five Facebook and three Twitter accounts under slightly different names so he could go on spouting filth.

He posted a picture of Taylor Swift with her arm around a black child. It included a close-up image of her hand on shoulder.

O’Neill commented: “Don’t touch the little blacky, you might get Down’s Syndrome.”

O’Neill admitted posting a picture of an axe-wielding Viking, but struggled to explain why he had attached the slogan: “It is time to rise up and cleanse our lands”.

O’Neill, who grew up in Birmingham, also posted a message about Pakistani Muslims.

He added: “The entire tribe needs eradicating, wiped off the face of the Earth like wiping s**t off your shoe.”

O’Neill took to the stand to deny that he had a tattoo of the Nazi slogan 1488 – insisting it was his PIN.

He said that he had the ink done years ago because he kept forgetting the number.

O’Neill said he did not know of its significance in far-right ideology until he joined Facebook four years ago.

The ‘Fourteen words’ represent a white supremacist slogan while 88 refers to the position of the letters HH in the alphabet – standing for Heil Hitler.

He said: “I thought it was the date of a battle, like 1066.”

Unbelievably O’Neill sought to explain away twin SS lightning bolts tattooed on his chest, saying they were Norse symbols. He added he was awaiting for a third bolt to be added.

O’Neill had a particular dislike for the London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim.

He added that he had been involved in a spat on Twitter, saying the Labour politician had called him “every name under the sun.”

But O’Neill posted a story about Mr Khan linking him with rising crime rates.

He added the slogan: “Fetch the petrol.”

O’Neill admitted: “I should not have written it.”

He claimed a mixture of poor memory, ignorance, being drunk and having a dark sense of humour were behind many of his posts.

The defendant admitted he became angry as a former fisherman confined to his home by injury.

O’Neill compared his humour with the edgy satire of Jo Brand – who once called on people to attack Boris Johnson with acid rather than milkshakes.

Seeking to explain why he had posted a message which seems to celebrate a news story of a Scottish man attacking an immigrant, he started to sing the patriotic song “Flower of Scotland”.

He denied inciting anyone to take up violence against racist or religious groups.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Burns put it to him that the books in the house showed that he was well-read rather than naive.

O’Neill replied: “Being well-read does not make you a Nazi, in the same way as voting for Brexit does not make you a Nazi.”

He added that he was not a member of any particular group, but had described himself as a “National Socialist”, which is where the German abbreviation of Nazi originates.

Plymouth Herald

William ‘Billy’ Charlton, of Washington, was branded a manipulative bully by a judge as he was locked up for stirring up racial hatred

Unrepentant racist bully Billy Charlton shouted at jurors “I hope your daughters don’t get raped” and gave his supporters the thumbs up as he was jailed for spreading his toxic lies in a series of public speeches.

Vile and manipulative Charlton hid behind the cloak of respectability of wanting to protect women and children from sexual assault but his true intention was to disseminate hate-filled falsehoods about immigrants, Asians, black people and the police.

The 55-year-old, of Byland Court, Glebe, Washington , was convicted on Thursday of five counts of stirring up racial hatred after a series of speeches in Sunderland.

He was brought back to Newcastle Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced and five members of the jury returned to watch the conclusion of the case.

After spending most of the hearing staring intently at them, he shouted the vile comment towards the four women and a man as he was led away to prison and was told by a judge: “Just leave Mr Charlton”.

He then clapped his hands and gave the thumbs up to his supporters in the public gallery, who clapped as he was taken out of the dock to start a 21 month jail sentence.

Judge Edward Bindloss told him: “Over this three-and-a-half week trial you have been revealed as an intelligent, articulate, skilled public speaker but also a manipulator and bully, in my judgement.”

The judge said Charlton had used an allegation of rape, kidnap and drugging by a female – which was investigated and which police found insufficient evidence of – to spread his racist lies.

“You propelled the campaign (for the female) with rhetoric and misrepresentation and, the jury has found, with racist hatred,” Judge Bindloss said.

Charlton had been warned by senior police officers the comments he was making about the female were wrong, counter-productive and doing damage to the community.

Despite the fact more than 80% of sexual offending in Sunderland was committed by white men, the judge said: “In the five speeches, you conflated all immigrants with rapes and sexually offending, thus peddling racist hatred basted around falsehoods.”

The five speeches took place between November 2016 and July 2017 and drew bigger and bigger crowds, forcing hundreds of police officers to be diverted from their usual duties.

At one event, 800 people were present, including 32 Hells Angels.

Judge Bindloss told him: “Time and again you associated immigrants with sexual offending. This is a pernicious form of racial hatred.”

The judge said freedom of speech is a “fundamental freedom” and told him Charlton: “This is not about politics, it’s about the law. I’ve sought to keep the law and politics separate.

“You are not on trial for your political views or being a member of any party.

“Even your anti-imimigration views, you are entitled to hold.

“The jury has found your speeches were intended to or likely to stir up racial hatred.

“The speeches contributed to a toxic atmosphere by you stirring up racial hatred.”

The court heard that while Charlton was not responsible for them, a number of race-hate incidents were happening in Sunderland around the time of the speeches.

An Asian family had a brick thrown through their window with a note attached containing racist abuse and signed “EDL forever”.

Racist graffiti also appeared and a man was arrested wearing a T-shirt with an anti-Muslim T-shirt slogan.

The court heard Charlton had a previous conviction from 2007 for racially aggravated harassment, for which he was fined.

During his trial, jurors were told about footage from a “white man march” on Newcastle Quayside at which Charlton spoke.

The footage showed other people chanting things such as “white power”, “Hitler was right” “sieg heil” and “keep it white”, the court heard.

At one of the events, Charlton appeared alongside far right extremist Tommy Robinson.

Charlton also made sickening references to the Grenfell Tower fire – saying “it’s not cheap cladding that raped (a female)” and adding it’s “immigrants who are a threat to our children”.

Glenn Gatland, defending, said Charlton had what he considered to be genuine concerns and frustrations which had “boiled over into what can only be described by the jury as racism” and had “overstepped the mark”.

Mr Gatland added: “It’s not a case like Abu Hamza where people are preaching outright hatred on the grounds of racism.

“It starts with a genuine complaint and concern. There are genuine concerns about what he perceives to be a cover up by the police, rightly or wrongly.”

Mr Gatland added that Charlton is “not in particularly good health”, had to give up work because of problems with his knees and will find prison difficult.

He added: “He is extremely upset his 92-year-old mother is not very well, she will not be able to visit him.”

After the case, Chief Inspector Sam Rennison, of Northumbria Police, said Charlton’s actions were an attempt to fuel “hatred and unrest” in the city.

“Freedom of speech is an important element of modern society which we all advocate, but spreading hate and racism is totally unacceptable,” Ch Insp Rennison said.

“Billy Charlton attempted to disguise his racist agenda under a cloak of respectability by claiming to want to protect the women of Sunderland.

“He knowingly targeted a number of ethnic groups and immigrants at high-profile marches in the city centre, and in doing so, stirred up hatred.

“He then pushed that personal agenda further by circulating misinformation on social media for his own gain.

“However, today his calculated behaviour and attempts to spread hatred and unrest in our community have been laid bare.

“We must do all we can to stamp out racism and the spreading of hate. As a Force, we are committed to tackling all forms of extremism which has the potential to threaten the safety and security of the public.

“I am glad that the jury understood and recognised the seriousness of Charlton’s crimes, and he must now deal with the consequences of his actions.”

The Chronicle

William ‘Billy’ Charlton, of Washington, pretended to be wanting to protect women but his true intention was to spread race hate

A vile protester is behind bars after he was convicted of stirring up racial hatred with poisonous lies during a series of public speeches.

William “Billy” Charlton, who spoke alongside far right extremist Tommy Robinson, hid behind the cloak of respectability of wanting to protect women from sexual assault.

But his true intention was to disseminate hate-filled falsehoods about immigrants, Asians, black people and the police, a court heard.

Prosecutors said his words sparked incidents of violence and damage by others attending the marches, including an occasion in which two innocent Asian men were attacked by a group of white men.

During his trial, jurors were told about footage from a “white man march” on Newcastle Quayside at which Charlton spoke.

The footage showed other people chanting things such as “white power”, “Hitler was right” “sieg heil” and “keep it white”, the court heard.

Charlton, 55, of Byland Court, Glebe, Washington , also made sickening references to the Grenfell Tower fire – saying “it’s not cheap cladding that raped (a female)” and adding it’s “immigrants who are a threat to our children”.

He was found guilty of five charges of stirring up racial hatred and faces a prison sentence.

He was remanded in custody ahead of being sentenced on Friday – despite pleading that he had a dog at home on its own.

During the trial, Sharon Beattie, prosecuting, told jurors about a number of speeches Charlton gave around the theme of the protection of women from sexual assault.

She said: “This was his cause and his motivation, as he described it, to protect women in Sunderland from rape and sexual violence.

“No one, one would hope, would argue against that but in reality, say the prosecution, this was an excuse because Mr Charlton is an intelligent man and a good speaker and this supposed cause was hiding his true intention under a cloak of respectability.

“His true intentions, say the prosecution, were to stir people up against immigrants, Asians, black people and the police.”

Miss Beattie said jurors would have to consider the issue of free speech but added that it is not free speech if it is an offence.

She told the jury: “Mr Charlton is not prosecuted for speaking in public, he is being prosecuted for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, intending to stir up racial hatred.”

The court heard that following some of the speeches, there were incidents of graffiti and property being damaged. One property was attack where it was believed a rapist lived but in fact others lived there.

In another incident, an Asian man who happened to live in a particular area, was attacked and when his nephew came to help him, he was also beaten up, the court heard.

Miss Beattie said: “This violence was from people who had been listening to the speech and were involved in a march which preceded it.”

The prosecutor said when one woman attended a demonstration with a placard saying “rape doesn’t have a race”, she had to be escorted away by police for her own protection because of the reaction of the crowd.

Charlton is said to have posted a picture of her on Facebook calling her an idiot.

Miss Beattie said the five charges “arise out of a series of speeches by Billy Charlton” which were streamed on Facebook and picked up by Rebel Media, “used by or linked to Tommy Robinson”.

The jury were told about one march in Sunderland , organised after allegations surfaced about three Turkish men, during which Charlton is alleged to have said: “Standing in Sunderland city centre feels like I’m in Bangladesh” and made reference to “imported rapists”.

In another speech he said “these people who are guests in my town raping and drugging our women, they are monsters, there’s something wrong in this town”.

The court heard Charlton denied being racist but, Miss Beattie said: “He said he doesn’t care about the colour of anyone’s skin but he doesn’t address any other issue other than immigrants.

“85% of people arrested for sexual offences are white in Sunderland – he doesn’t address that either.”

Charlton is also said to have criticised Northumbria Police, saying at one march, in reference to the force’s slogan “proud to protect”: “Proud to protect. Not your children, they are not. Not my children they are not. Who are they protecting?” The crowd responded: “Immigrants.”

Prosecutors say his verbal attacks on the police were designed to tell people the police couldn’t protect them so they had to protect themselves.

Referring to a Facebook post about an allegation made by a woman, Miss Beattie told jurors: “The prosecution say Mr Charlton was not genuinely motivated by concern in relation to these women, he was motivated by an agenda relating to immigrants.

“He was stirring up racial hatred.”

At another march, he is said to have told the crowd his and their children and women “deserve protection from these immigrants”, the court heard.

The court heard about comments Charlton is said to have made to a police superintendent, a month after the Grenfell fire, saying it was “not cheap cladding that raped (a female)”, adding “it’s immigrants who are a threat to our children.”

Miss Beattie said in May 2017, a young student in Sunderland city centre witnessed Charlton abusing Asian people, saying: “Get out of my Sunderland, get out, this is my country.”

The prosecutor told the jury: “There was no suggestion they were committing sexual offences so why would he be shouting at these two males.

“That, say the prosecution, is his real agenda.”

The Chronicle

A police officer whose team helped convict a man of inciting racial hatred during Sunderland city centre demos has said his actions were “totally unacceptable.”


William Charlton, 55, known as Billy, spoke at a number of public rallies between November 2016 and July 2017 after a woman reported she had been raped in the city.

Northumbria Police say that attempting to disguise his personal agenda under a “cloak of respectability”, Charlton used the demonstrations to attack ethnic minority groups and immigrants with racial slurs and insults.

Charlton denied five charges of inciting racial hatred but was today, Thursday, September 26, found guilty of all offences by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Chief Inspector Sam Rennison said Charlton’s actions were an attempt to fuel “hatred and unrest” in the city.

“Freedom of speech is an important element of modern society which we all advocate, but spreading hate and racism is totally unacceptable,” Ch Insp Rennison said.

“Billy Charlton attempted to disguise his racist agenda under a cloak of respectability by claiming to want to protect the women of Sunderland.

“He knowingly targeted a number of ethnic groups and immigrants at high-profile marches in the city centre, and in doing so, stirred up hatred.

“He then pushed that personal agenda further by circulating misinformation on social media for his own gain.

“However, today his calculated behaviour and attempts to spread hatred and unrest in our community have been laid bare.

“We must do all we can to stamp out racism and the spreading of hate.

“As a force, we are committed to tackling all forms of extremism which has the potential to threaten the safety and security of the public.

“I am glad that the jury understood and recognised the seriousness of Charlton’s crimes, and he must now deal with the consequences of his actions.”

Charlton, of Byland Court, Washington, insisted throughout the three-week trial that he did not intend to stir up hate and is not racist.

He was remanded in custody following his conviction and is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court tomorrow morning, Friday, September 27.

Sunderland Echo