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A dad hurled racist abuse at his child’s school teacher after they were injured in a playground accident, before returning to the school the next day armed with an axe, a court heard.

Stephen Cosgrove, 36, targeted the teacher, who is black, verbally attacking him with racist and homopohobic slurs after his child’s arm was broken.

The next day, on February 8, he turned up at the gates of Brownhills School in Walsall, West Midlands and continued his rant towards teachers while holding the terrifying weapon.

Stephen Cosgrove has been jailed for a year for racially abusing his child’s black teacher at school and turning up at the gates with an axe

Stephen Cosgrove has been jailed for a year for racially abusing his child’s black teacher at school and turning up at the gates with an axe

Unemployed Cosgrove, of Walsall, has been jailed for a year and handed a restraining order for the public order offences.

He has been ordered not to contact any employee of Brownhills School and not to go within 100 yards of the building.

n a victim impact statement, the teacher, who has not been named, said: ‘I am a black teacher and this is my fifth year in my teaching career.

‘I have never experienced extreme racial abuse, violent threatening behaviour and intimidating far right views from parents at school, as demonstrated by Cosgrove.

‘The constant thought of his threatening acts of violence has caused me to avoid going out publicly due to the overwhelming fear of being injured or assaulted, which has left me feeling vulnerable.’

PC Paul Watts, from West Midlands Police, said after the case: ‘Both the aggressive incidents were witnessed by students at the school, who heard the swearing and racist language.

‘What Cosgrove did was unacceptable and created fear for not only pupils, but the teachers who had to face him.

‘I am glad we have brought this man to justice and hope it can serve as an example that we will not tolerate this type of abuse in our community.’

Metro

A man who deliberately drove at worshippers leaving an Islamic community centre has been jailed.

Three people were hurt when Martin Stokes drove into crowds leaving the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini centre in Cricklewood, north London on 19 September 2018.

Stokes, of Wembley, admitted dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and harassment.

At Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday he was jailed for five years.

Police said 25-year-old Stokes and others had parked outside the community centre on Horseshoe Close after a night of drinking.

The group were asked to move on by event stewards, who said they were causing a disturbance as there was a private event taking place.

Martin Stokes, 25, has been jailed for five years ( Metropolitan Police )

Martin Stokes, 25, has been jailed for five years ( Metropolitan Police )

In response, Stokes shouted racist abuse and then deliberately drove at worshippers leaving the community centre, before fleeing the scene, according to Scotland Yard.

Three people were injured, including a 50-year-old man who was hospitalised for three weeks due to serious hip and leg injuries.

Mohammed Al Bayati, from the Al Hussaini Association, said: “Our members were subject to racist and anti-Islamic taunts followed by a violent attack.

“The attack, against men, women and children and which resulted in serious injuries to the victims, took place at night during Muharram, a sacred month of the Islamic calendar.”

After sentencing, Det Sgt Kelly Schonhage said: “Stokes selfishly drove his car at a group of innocent pedestrians and had no regard whatsoever for their safety.

“It is very fortunate that no lives were lost in this incident and we are pleased that Stokes has now been brought to justice.”

Stokes was also banned from driving for seven-and-a-half years.

Michael O’Donnell, 20, and Thomas McDonagh, 20, both from Wembley, were charged in connection with the incident but their cases were discontinued.

BBC News

Martin Stokes hurled ‘racist and anti-Islamic taunts’ in religiously aggravated attack

Martin Stokes, 25, has been jailed for five years ( Metropolitan Police )

Martin Stokes, 25, has been jailed for five years ( Metropolitan Police )

A man who deliberately drove a car into a group of pedestrians outside a Muslim community centre has been jailed for five years.

Martin Stokes, 25, injured three people when he hurled “racist and anti-Islamic taunts” while he veered into the group outside the Hussaini Association hall in Cricklewood, northwest London, last September.

One man, in his 50s, sustained a serious leg and hip injury that kept him in hospital for nearly a month, the Metropolitan Police said.

Harrow Crown Court was told how at about 12.30am on 19 September Stokes and others were smoking and drinking inside a car parked in a lot close to the community centre.

Stewards for a private event being held there asked them to move on.

But in response “Stokes shouted racist abuse and then deliberately drove his car into a group of people who were leaving the community centre” before speeding away, the Met said.

He was arrested on 23 October following an investigation by Brent police.

On Wednesday he was jailed for five years and banned from driving for seven and a half years.

Stokes, of Lynton Close in Wembley, had admitted dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and a religiously aggravated offence.

Mohammed Al Bayati, from the Al Hussaini Association, said: “Our members were subject to racist and anti-Islamic taunts followed by a violent attack in which a vehicle was deliberately driven onto the pavement and aimed at the crowd of worshippers leaving the mosque.

“The attack, against men, women and children and which resulted in serious injuries to the victims, took place at night during Muharram, a sacred month of the Islamic calendar.”

The Independent

Laura Heywood begged magistrates not to send her to custody but they were appalled by her ‘horrendous’ record

A woman who hurled racist abuse at takeaway staff and a police officer has been jailed despite begging magistrates to give her another chance.

Laura Heywood blamed her “abusive and controlling” boyfriend for the heavy drug abuse which led to her offending.

Appearing live via a video link from HMP New Hall, the 24-year-old pleaded with Kirklees magistrates not to hand her a custodial sentence after pleading guilty to a string of charges.

She told them: “I’m begging you to take this risk on me – please don’t send me to prison.”

But magistrates were unmoved to grant her request after hearing details of offences including her vile abuse of two takeaway workers – one a teenage boy- where she threw cans of drink at them.

The incident at Dixxi Express in Batley happened on May 4 last year.

Drunk Heywood was at the nearby bus station with a friend and they walked into the St James Street takeaway.

Prosecutor Alex Bozman said: “They were racially abusive to two staff members, describing them as ‘P**i b******s’.

“Cans were then thrown at both gentlemen, hitting them and the contents spilling all over their clothing.

“One of the staff members was 16 and shocked to be assaulted at his place of work as he’d never experienced anything like that before.

“The other victim said that he was angry and that it was an unprovoked attack and there was no reason why they’d been targeted.”

Police were called and caught Heywood and her friend trying to board a bus. Heywood was described as aggressive and refusing to leave the vehicle.

When she was finally put into the police van she directed racist abuse to a female officer during the journey, calling her a ‘black b****d’ and’ n****r’ and telling her: “You’d be used as a footstool.”

Mr Bozman said: “The officer found her attitude and insults rather vile and stated that nobody has the right or authority to aim abuse at her.”

Magistrates were told about another incident at Laurel Drive in Birstall on June 3.

The victim had parked her Ford Fiesta there to visit a friend when Heywood came out into the street carrying a bottle of fizzy drink.

She shouted: “Whose is this car?” and she replied that it belonged to her. Heywood responded: “I don’t give a f**k anyway, I’m going to put it through.” She then threw the bottle at the vehicle, causing a dent.

Heywood went on to damage a police vehicle on November 6 when they were responding to reports of a domestic incident at an address in Common Road in Batley.

As her boyfriend was arrested from the property she picked up an item and threw it at a marked police car, causing a dent in the vehicle.

Then on December 30 Heywood was caught stealing a bottle of wine from the Hanging Heaton Food Store.

She pleaded guilty to two charges of racially-aggravated assault, racially-aggravated harassment, two counts of criminal damage, theft from a shop, being drunk and disorderly in public, three charges of failing to surrender to court and committing a further offence while subject to a conditional discharge.

Her solicitor Paul Blanchard described her as having a Jekyll and Hyde personality, adding that alcohol she consumed at the time of the offences would have clouded her judgement.

He explained: “The background to her most recent offending is combined with a relationship she has formed and during the relationship she has become involved in the consumption of Class A drugs.

“She’s made some ridiculously bad decisions and doesn’t deal with situations well.

“She hasn’t dealt with her child being adopted and resorted to the consumption of alcohol to block out the reality of situations.

“She’s a lovely, lovely person but has got her demons which unfortunately at times come to the top.

“Something has to change but the only person who can change is Laura Heywood.”

Heywood read a letter to the court in which she pleaded with magistrates not to jail her.

She said: “I know I need to grow up and sort my life out. I just need some support.

“I’ve now got out of my controlling and violent relationship and I’m begging you to take this risk on me.

“I know I’ve got a long, hard journey but I know I can do it. Please let me prove you wrong and make my family proud.”

But bench chairwoman Kathryn Beney slammed her ‘horrendous record’ and said she and her colleagues felt that custody was their only option.

They jailed Heywood, of Laurel Drive in Batley, for a total of 24 weeks.

Upon her release she will have to pay £100 to both of the takeaway employees she assaulted and abused.

Huddersfield Examiner

James Forrest, aged 22, of Tilbury Grove, Leeds.

James Forrest, aged 22, of Tilbury Grove, Leeds.

A man who head-butted a British Transport Police (BTP) officer before racially abusing another official while drunk at Leeds Station during a Bank Holiday weekend has been jailed.

James Forrest, aged 22, of Tilbury Grove, Leeds, appeared before a West Yorkshire Magistrates’ court on October 5 and was handed an 18-week prison sentence.

Forrest was highly intoxicated at Leeds railway station and was acting in a highly anti-social manner shortly after 11pm on August 31.

A BTP officer on patrol at the station then approached Forrest and told him to leave.

But the defendant became aggressive and verbally abusive, calling officers “rats” and other derogatory terms.

As Forrest was being arrested for being drunk and disorderly, he then attacked the BTP officer by head-butting him.

When more officers were called to assist, Forrest “unleashed a torrent of verbal and racist abuse both at the station and at custody,” according to BTP.

He was caught on a body camera saying “I am racist and proud”, the force added.

Forrest pleaded guilty after he was charged with being drunk and disorderly, assaulting a constable in the execution of their duty, a racially aggravated public order offence and for failing to return from police bail.

As part of his sentence, Forrest was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

Sergeant James Finch from BTP, said: “Forrest’s behaviour and language was completely disgusting and I am pleased the judge handed him a prison sentence. Not only did he racially abuse some of my officers, he also assaulted one of them by violently head-butting him.

“Thanks to the overwhelming evidence against Forrest, including body-worn footage, he was forced to plead guilty to the four charges.”

Yorkshire Post

A racist neighbour who placed a racist doll, vile messages and a camera in the window of his Sheffield home has been warned he could face jail.

Glynn Fairclough, of Retford Road, Handsworth, admitted charges of harrassment and racially aggravated harrassment at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The court heard he placed racist messages and a golly doll in his landing window facing the home of his neighbour.

He also threw litter and empty cans into her home over a period of 10 weeks between June and August this year.

Fairclough, 52, pleaded guilty to both charges and District Judge Paul Healey warned him he could face prison.

Judge Healey said: “You subjected the victim to a torrent of racist abuse over a period of time. Because you are charged with racially aggravated element to the offending I am allowed to commit the case to the Crown Court.

“You have a real risk of facing an immediate prison sentence.”

Judge Healey adjourned sentencing for three weeks so that a pre-sentence report can be prepared.

Fairclough was released on conditional bail until his next appearance on October 17.
Sheffield Star

A thug hurled foul racial abuse at a takeaway restaurant worker and assaulted his mother’s girlfriend.

Daniel Habberjam had 10 months added to the two-year prison sentence he is currently serving for a violent street attack on a former girlfriend in front of her three-year-old daughter.

Leeds Crown Court heard Habberjam was drunk when he entered a takeaway in Pontefract town centre on June 26 last year and accused a member of staff of being a “nonse”.

Habberjam shouted foul-mouthed racist abuse at the victim and accused him of having sex with an underage girl.

Habberjam also said: “Get out of our country, you do not belong here.”

The 30-year-old smashed a car window outside the premises as he left.

Robert Yates, prosecuting, said Habberjam attacked his partner’s mother days later at her home in Pontefract.

He threw her onto a sofa and grabbed her throat during the incident before being stopped by his partner.

Habberjam, of Cromwell Crescent, Pontefract, pleaded guilty to assault, criminal damage, racially aggravated threatening behaviour and breach of a criminal behaviour order.

The court heard Habberjam has previous convictions for violence.

He was given a two-year sentence earlier this year for punching his former partner in the street and throwing her to the floor. Christopher Morton, mitigating, said Habberjam had admitted the offences at an early stage.

Mr Morton said his client was now single, employed and expected his prison sentence to be increased. Sentencing Habberjam judge Christopher Batty said: “You have got an awful record for violence and abuse and damage.”

Wakefield Express