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Sonya Wadsworth, 41, made Tyson sink teeth into Varun Ditta’s leg while saying ‘Haha you can’t do anything to me, p**i go home’

A woman used her dog as a “weapon” to maul an Asian shopkeeper in a racist incident after she was accused of shoplifting at his grocery store.

Sonya Wadsworth, 41, was convicted at Manchester Magistrates Court of racially aggravated common assault, racially aggravated harassment and having a dog dangerously out of control.

The court heard Wadsworth had deliberately let her Staffordshire Terrier off the lead and encouraged it to bite Varun ‘Jimmy’ Ditta when she was confronted for putting children’s sweets in her coat pocket.

The animal, named ‘Tyson’, sank its teeth into Mr Ditta’s thigh as Wadsworth laughed and said: “Haha you can’t do anything to me. My dog will bite you, p**i. Go home.”

She also called him a “p**i bastard,” manhandled Mr Diitta’s work colleague and said: “What are you doing here? Go back to your own country.”

Sonya Wadsworth was convicted of training her dog as a ‘weapon’ to maul an Asian shopkeeper (Image: Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

Mr Ditta was wearing thick jeans but suffered bite marks on his left leg as a result of the attack

Later when asked about the attack Wadsworth, from Wythenshawe , Manchester, claimed the animal was acting in “self defence” and added: “My dog was just scared at seeing his mummy assaulted.”

It is believed the dog has died since the attack which took place on the afternoon of August 28, 2018.

The 3pm incident occurred when Mr Ditta and his colleague Mansoor ‘Max’ Wahid who were working at the Around A Pound Plus store in Wythenshawe.

Mr Ditta told of overhearing Mr Wahid and Sonya arguing over the shoplifting accusation.

“When I heard this I came toward them and asked what happened but she was using abusive language to Max. She was saying “you are a p**i. What are you doing here? Go back to your own country,” Mr Ditta told the court.

He said Wadsworth took items out of her pocket and then threw some, including children’s sweets on the floor.

“She was being very aggressive and using abusive words and calling us ‘p**is’. Max kept saying ‘stop this Sonya. I don’t need a fight with you. Just go home now.’

Mr Ditta said she grabbed his colleague by his collar and began pushing him.

She then unleashed her dog from where he was tied to a pole outside the shop.

Mr Ditta said: “The dog was definitely trained and she was holding the lead of the dog and using it as a weapon.”

He described it as “aggressive,” telling the court how customers had previously complained about it.

“This was a dangerous dog and it was making me and Max feel that it was about to attack. Sonya was laughing and encouraging the dog to bite me.

Mr Ditta said she let the dog loose in the shop and it bit him on the thigh.

“I was wearing thick jeans and I still got a deep bite mark from it. I was outside the shop asking her to go home. She was drunk that day and I just wanted her to leave.

She was laughing “Haha, you can’t do anything to me my dog will bite you – p**i go home.’

“I was just thinking why is she doing this. It made me upset and fearful.”

Mr Wahid told the hearing she had begun shouting him after he accused her of shoplifting and said he would call the police.

“She began shouting ‘go back where you came from – where do you come from?’. She was being argumentative and kept saying: ‘You people’.”

Mr Wahid said he picked up a basket to defend himself when he saw her go to get the dog, describing Wadsworth as using the animal as a weapon.

“She set the dog on Jimmy and called him a ‘p**i b*****d’.”

Wadsworth denied wrongdoing.

She told the court: “I go every day to that shop and support my local businesses but the owner has never liked me.

“I’m always polite and courteous and I’ve never shoplifted a day in my life.

“On that day I go in and the shopkeeper says ‘I don’t like you. I don’t like your dog. I don’t serve you. I don’t like you at all’ and I said ‘well I don’t particularly like you either but you don’t need to like customers you just take their money.’

“I mean that’s not very good business acumen is it. I asked ‘what’s the problem, what have I done.’

“I’d already put the toffees in my pocket by that time and tried to hand them a tenner. I even said ‘okay look just take the tenner and I will come back to get change later’ but he just kept saying no.

“I was being diplomatic. I’ve been going there for two years. This was embarrassing for me as well and people were in the shop. I was very resentful at being treated like this and I picked up the toffees and threw them.”

She clamed Mr Wahid had grabbed and shoved her, then hit her with a mop handle.

She said she got her dog from outside because it was acting defensively, and claims the shopkeepers hit and booted the animal.

“I thought I pulled him back just in time but now I realise he must’ve bitten Jimmy. My dog was really scared and anxious though that’s how all dogs would react.

“I’m a responsible citizen. I’ve taught my dog right and I was actually proud of him that he initially tried to stop himself reacting. They’ve come towards him and he’s been defensive not aggressive.

“I didn’t use racist language at all. I never would and I did not tell my dog to attack on command. The dog was using self defence.

“I’m a diplomatic person. Very politically correct. Very polite. Very intelligent. They are all liars. I was forced into this situation. I did not use my dog as a weapon – my dog was just scared at seeing his mummy assaulted.”

Wadsworth will be sentenced later this month and was bailed pending the preparation of reports.

Daily Mirror

Ellie Burns attacked two shoppers in Yorkshire market just 25 days after appearing in court for racist assault of taxi driver

A care assistant has been jailed for 20 months after attacking two shoppers and ripping one’s hijab off.

Ellie Burns launched the assault after she had heard the pair complain a song she was singing was racist.

The 21-year-old spat at one victim before punching her, pulling hair and forcing off her headwear, Bradford Crown Court was told on Monday. She then slapped and pushed over the second woman.

Giles Bridge, prosecuting, said the incident, at the city’s Kirkgate Market, had left both victims deeply distressed.

He added that Burns, herself from Bradford, had then scratched a police officer called to the scene.

She pleaded guilty to two offences of racially aggravated common assault and of assaulting a police officer.

The attack, on 29 April, happened just 25 days after she had received a suspended prison sentence for vodka and cocaine-fuelled attacks on a taxi driver and five police officers.

In that earlier incident, she had hurled racist abuse at the driver and punched him in the face before assaulting five arresting officers.

Camille Morland, Burns’ barrister, said she was suffering serious emotional trauma and struggling with struggling with issues of substance misuse and aggression following an abusive relationship.

“When sober and calm, she is insightful and thoughtful,” Ms Morland said. “When she is intoxicated, it is another story.”

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall activated ten months of the suspended sentence and jailed Burns for another ten months for the new offences.

The Independent

A yob who made headlines when he ripped a woman’s niqab from her face in Sunderland has been jailed after attacking a former female friend with a hammer.

Peter Scotter, 58, hit the woman on the head with the tool in a pub in Sunderland, causing a 5.5cm laceration to the top of her head after she spurned his advances.

At the time of the attack Scotter was on licence for racially aggravated common assault after he tore a headscarf from a Muslim woman in The Bridges shopping centre.

Scotter had told his victim, “you’re in our country now, get out”, and, “our Britain, you live by our rules”, as racial tension in the country ran high in the days after Britain voted to leave the EU.

He was jailed for 15 months before being released on licence.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how at around 10pm on September 3 last year Scotter entered The Charltons pub in Sunderland.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, told the court the victim regarded him as a friend until he asked her to be his girlfriend, after which she avoided him.

Mr Hadfield said: “She was standing at the bar and recalls the defendant spoke to her.

“What she felt was a painful blow to the top of her head and when she looked up what she saw was the defendant with a hammer in his hand.

“She was struck with a hammer, one blow, when they were face to face.”

Scotter was then escorted out by other people in the pub.

Mr Hadfield told the court that in her victim impact statement the woman had said she had done absolutely nothing to deserve the attack, felt he could have “killed her” and was now anxious to leave her home.

On July 3 2016 Scotter, who at the time had 70 previous convictions, had approached a 29-year-old Muslim woman while she waited for her husband outside a shop.

He then reached out and pulled her niqab veil from her head and threw it on the ground – exposing her face to the public.

The court heard how Scotter shouted, “take that off, you stupid Muslim”, along with other racist slurs and the victim was left exposed and scared by what happened to her.

In relation to the most recent case Anthony Hawks, defending, said: “It is important that the events be looked at against the background.

“The background is that despite what the complainant says, it is she who wanted to have a relationship with the defendant who is married. He declined that.”

Mr Hawks said that Scotter said she had begun a campaign, including posts on social media against him, which lead him to believe that she was responsible for intimidating his mother.

He told the court: “That’s what caused the red mist to descend and for him to behave in the way he did.

“Nothing can justify what the defendant did, it was a cowardly and disgraceful thing to do and the defendant knows that.”

He added that Scotter is working and has stayed out of trouble for the last year since the incident.

Scotter pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and having an offensive weapon at an earlier hearing.

Mr Recorder Andrew Dallas sentenced Scotter, of Hendon Close, Sunderland, to 12-months imprisonment and said: “This was an extremely serious incident.

“It was not spontaneous, it was premeditated.

“You have an appalling record, especially for violence.”

Mr Recorder Dallas also put a five-year restraining order in place, preventing him from contacting the victim and ordered Scotter to pay a victim surcharge.`

Sunderland Echo

Steven Bishop, 41, had become fixated on the youngest victim of Manchester Arena attack

A violent racist with a history of mental health problems who admitted a terrorist offence and stockpiling equipment to bomb a mosque has been jailed for four years, one of the lowest sentences for someone plotting a potentially deadly attack.

Steven Bishop, 41, amassed commercial grade fireworks and other equipment as he formed the intention to build a homemade firebomb he would remotely detonate to attack the Morden mosque, in south London. He may serve just over another year in prison before his release on licence.

He claimed his plot was “revenge” for the Manchester arena bombing in 2017 in which 22 people died, but was stopped in October 2018 after a counsellor he saw for addictions reported Bishop to police after he told her of his plans.

Bishop had pleaded guilty earlier this week at Kingston crown court to two offences, one under the Explosive Substances Act 1883 and the other, having material useful for terrorism.

Concerns have been raised about the length of sentence, as British authorities try to show they take extremist rightwing violence as seriously as Islamist attacks.

Lord Carlile, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, told the Guardian: “It is one of the lowest sentences for this kind of offence.

“I would expect the prosecution would consider appealing this sentence on the grounds that it is unduly lenient. I would be surprised if that was not the view of the Crown Prosecution Service.”

A spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain said: “There will be deep concern amongst many that this man was given a relatively light sentence even though he was poised to murder people.

“We learned from the case that Mr Bishop was driven by a hatred of Muslims. We hope we will be able to learn how the punishment fits this particularly serious crime.”

The Guardian understands the length of sentence also caused surprise among counter-terrorism investigators.

When detectives from Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command searched Bishop’s room in October 2018 they discovered fireworks as well as fuses, a remote control and igniter. He had also ordered a firing device.

He had placed virtual private network (VPN) apps on his phone to hide his online activity, which included researching explosive detonators and the target which was the Morden mosque.

Bishop, who had significant mental health problems, had stashed parts for making improvised incendiary devices at his mother’s home, hidden in a suitcase in the garden shed.

Bishop made notes detailing recipes and methods to make explosive substances.

The sentence was passed by Judge Lodder QC, who is experienced in similar cases.

In 2015 the same judge sentenced Trevor Mulindwa, an Islamist terrorist with mental health problems to six years for wanting to flee abroad. Mulwindwa, who had been treated in a mental health unit, had talked of being a suicide bomber, but had not bought bomb parts.

Sentencing Bishop, Lodder said: “The detonation of one or more of these fireworks at Morden mosque may have risked the lives of those nearby.”
“It is submitted that you are so far out of your depth that it is absurd and that the mosque was never truly in danger. In that context you are contrasted with a determined and dedicated terrorist. But terrorist acts are not limited to those who do not have similar vulnerabilities to you.”

He added: “The seriousness of the offending is reduced by your medical history, but I do not find that your condition at the time of offending was substantially reduced by mental disorder or learning disability.”

Prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds told the court: “Much as he never formed the final intent actually to carry out the act against the mosque at any particular point, he accepts that he carried out acts preparatory to it, and in contemplation of it.”

Bishop has had lifelong psychiatric disorders including paranoid schizophrenia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, a possible learning difficulty and also has experience of drug abuse. His 18 previous convictions include racially aggravated common assault.

Bishop’s barrister, Timothy Forte, denied his client’s action were fuelled by extremist rightwing beliefs. His web browsing history showed him viewing a pro-Brexit site and one instance of far-right material. Forte said he was moved by a victim of the Manchester attack, Saffie Roussos, aged 8: “It is only ever about Saffie. There is no expression of anti-Islamic feeling.”

“He’s not seeking to obtain a white Britain or a Muslim-free country. He was seeking in his non-functioning manner to exact revenge for the death of an eight-year-old girl and the crown can’t demonstrate an ideological cause.”

Bishop received benefits of around £1,200 a week and used the money to buy and consume drugs.

Bishop pleaded guilty to possession of an explosive substance with intent, in breach of the Explosives Act. The charge he admitted said that Bishop had by “29 October 2018, unlawfully and maliciously made or had in his possession or under his control an explosive substance with intent by means thereof to endanger life, or cause serious injury to property”. He received four years imprisonment for that charge, and an additional one year on licence because the offence was connected to terrorism.

Bishop also admitted an offence under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He accepted he had “made a record of information of a kind likely to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”. He received two years for that count, to run at the same time as the explosives offence.

The Guardian

An investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command has led to the conviction of a man who was gathering together fireworks and other components to make an improvised incendiary device he was planning to use to target a mosque in south London.

Steven Bishop, 41 (28.11.77) of south London pleaded guilty at Kingston Crown Court on 8 April to possession of an explosive substance with intent, contrary to section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

He previously pleaded guilty to collection or making a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act (TACT) 2000. He is due to be sentenced on 10 April.

Bishop was arrested by Counter Terrorism detectives on Monday, 29 October 2018, at his address in south London. Officers attended the address after police were contacted by one of Bishop’s key workers when he showed her images of items he was collecting for the purpose, he said, to build ‘a bomb’, and told her that he was intending to target a mosque.

Commander Clarke Jarrett head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command said: “From our investigation it was clear Bishop stockpiled a quantity of fireworks and other component parts with the intention of creating a device that he was intending to use to target a mosque. Thanks to the diligence of his key worker in alerting us we were able to intervene before he could progress with his plans any further and crucially, nobody came to any harm.

“This example shows that information we get from the public really can help to protect the public and save lives. If you have any information about suspicious or terrorist activity, then please ACT and call police on 0800 728 321.

“Given Bishop was focussed upon a mosque, and in light of recent events in New Zealand, we also know that Muslim and other faith communities may be feeling particularly concerned and vulnerable. Specialist officers continue to provide support and protective security advice to mosques, and indeed all places of worship across the UK on how to best keep their buildings and visitors safe.”

After the concerns over Bishop were raised to police, officers initially attended his address and Bishop claimed he was just planning to let fireworks off at his mother’s address in south-west London. However, further enquiries were carried out and on 29 October 2018 Bishop was arrested at his mother’s home address. When detectives searched his address, they found several fireworks – some of which had been tampered with, as well as other equipment associated with making homemade incendiary devices, including fuses and remote control and ignitor. A firing device was also delivered to Bishop’s address two days after his arrest.

Officers identified that Bishop had bought a smartphone on 18 October 2018. The first searches made on the phone were for instructions on how to access the ‘dark web’ and he carried out research on how to conduct covert internet searches.

Further analysis of his device showed Bishop visited sites and viewed videos about the Manchester, London Bridge and Paris terrorist attacks. Detectives found a comment Bishop had posted on 24 October 2018 in relation to a video on Facebook about the victims of the Manchester Arena attack which ended with him saying: “don’t worry something bad is going to happen soon mark my words”.

Two ‘VPN’ apps were downloaded on to the phone – the apps are designed to hide which internet sites and online information the user has been accessing. However, when they opened one of the apps, officers found a page was still open, which showed Bishop had been researching further details on explosives detonators. Bishop had also carried out a number of online searches for Morden mosque.

Police searched Bishop’s mother’s address where they found wrapping that matched the fireworks at his home address. In the garden shed, detectives found a red suitcase inside which they found component parts which could be combined to create an improvised incendiary device.

Furthermore, detectives also found a number of hand-written notes by Bishop with detailed information on how to make various explosive substances, as well as information on how to access the dark web. The notes were deemed to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

After questioning and whilst further enquiries were being carried out, Bishop was charged a week after his arrest on 5 November 2018 and subsequently pleaded guilty to the offences above.

Following the guilty plea, Bishop was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on Wednesday, 10 April at Kingston Crown Court.

Met Police

Steven Bishop changed his plea as his trial had been due to start

Steven Bishop changed his plea as his trial had been due to start


A man has admitted planning a bomb attack on a south London mosque.

Steven Bishop, 41, admitted buying fireworks and possessing instructions on how to make an explosive.

Bishop, of Thornton Heath, was believed to have been targeting Morden Mosque when his home was raided by police on 29 October last year.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday after changing his plea on the opening day of his trial at Kingston Crown Court.

He had originally been charged with preparing an act of terrorism, but prosecutors accepted a plea to a charge of possession of an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or property on Monday.

Bishop previously pleaded guilty to possession of information likely to be useful to a person preparing an act of terrorism, specifically a handwritten note on how to make explosives.

When he was arrested he told the police he wanted revenge for the death of eight-year-old Saffie Roussos who died in the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.

The court heard Bishop has a history of mental health problems and a number of psychiatric reports had been prepared ahead of his trial.

He was remanded in custody until Wednesday,

BBC News

A THUG with ‘entrenched racist views’ has been jailed for lashing out at a colleague just after he was sacked for months of ‘bullying and intimidation’.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Charlie Jeans, 23, pictured right, used a racial slur towards his colleague and answered the work phone to his boss saying ‘white boys’ only’

Charlie Jeans, 23, of Thruxton Road, Havant, was jailed for 10 months at Portsmouth Crown Court for a racist attack

Charlie Jeans, 23, of Thruxton Road, Havant, was jailed for 10 months at Portsmouth Crown Court for a racist attack

A shocked line manager at his work, Havant Borough Council contractor Norse South East, reported the racism and Jeans was sacked. But the dad-of-two, of Thruxton Road, Havant, ‘lost control’ when he saw the target of his racist abuse sitting in a works van with a colleague near the depot – and smashed the vehicle with a baton.

Judge Jane Rowley said: ‘This was an incident which was ugly where you deliberately approached the (victim)’s vehicle, you called him racist abusive names which I do not care to repeat. ‘You returned to your vehicle to arm yourself with a weapon – a foot-long cosh. You set about causing maximum damage to his vehicle.’ Shards of glass flew from smashed windows of the van at the two occupants during the incident on November 22 in Southmore Lane, Havant.

Jailing him for 10 months, the judge said: ‘A clear message needs to go out to people like you who harbour such views. ‘Your views will not be tolerated in 21st century multicultural Britain where our successes as a country have been forged by the endeavours of people of many cultures, races and religions.’

Jeans, who has 18 convictions for 32 offences, was charged with having an offensive weapon, racially-aggravated common assault, assault, racially-aggravated criminal damage, criminal damage and racially-aggravated causing fear of violence. ‘I see this behaviour at the highest level of racism. There can be no excuses for your actions,’ the judge said.

Jeans admitted the racist offences only on the second day of his trial in May, after two people from the company had given evidence. The judge added: ‘You chanced your arm in this case, you had an expectation that you were living on borrowed time, that quite possibly work friends or colleagues would not turn up to give evidence – witness summonses had to be issued. ‘When they did the decent thing it was clear to me that they were significantly embarrassed by your racism and bullying, intimidating behaviour towards the victim over the many months leading up to you losing your control and smashing up his vehicle and causing him great fear when you assaulted him in November 2017.’

Damian Haye, for unemployed Jeans, said: ‘This should be treated as an isolated incident, reflecting the loss of control and not a return to former ways.’

Portsmouth News