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A convicted football hooligan has admitted his involvement in an attack where a bacon sandwich was thrown at a Bristol mosque.

Kevin Crehan, 34, of Stockwood Crescent, Knowle, was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence following the incident at Jamia Mosque in Green Street, Totterdown, last month.

In a five minute hearing at Bristol Crown Court he pleaded guilty to the charge, accepting a religiously aggravated offence to cause Nasir Ahmed harassment, alarm or distress.

Judge Martin Picton adjourned his case, pending a probation report, until March 24.

He bailed Crehan on condition he co-operates with the probation service.

Crehan’s bail also prevents him from going on the pavement outside, or within the boundaries of, any mosque in England and Wales.

The judge told him: “You have to understand this case carries custody.”.

On Sunday, January 17, a flag was said to be hung on a fence outside the mosque stating: “No mosque wanted here” and “Bristol United Patriots”.

Elderly worshippers attending the mosque were abused and bacon was thrown.

Self-styled anti-Muslim group, Bristol United Patriots, operate across the city but have publicly denied having anything to do with the attack.

It is not Crehan’s first brush with the law, which has included assaulting a police officer.

In 2010 he was sentenced to seven months in prison for breaching a three year football banning order.

At the time Bristol Crown Court heard the then 28-year-old was caught with a sawn-off pool cue down his trousers.

Crehan admitted four breaches which included failing to report to a police station during the World Cup and being inside an exclusion zone before a Bristol City versus Milwall match.

The court heard he had been banned from being within a mile of Bristol City’s Ashton Gate ground.

Crehan pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon and stealing a DVD.

Regarding the mosque attack Alison Bennett, 46, Mark Bennett, 48, both of Spruce Way, Patchway and Angelina Swailes, 31, of West Town Avenue, Brislington have all been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

The Bennetts and Swailes have been released on bail with a condition not to enter or go within 100 metres of any mosque.

They are due to appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on February 25.

Bristol Post

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BC

Darren Mark Lumb, who has previous links to the BNP and EDL, verbally attacked the MP in January this year in West Yorkshire

A constituent has pleaded guilty to mounting an antisemitic verbal attack against Labour MP and shadow communities secretary Jon Trickett.

On 23 January 2015, Darren Mark Lumb, 47, stopped the the MP for Hemsworth in West Yorkshire in the street and launched into an antisemitic tirade against him.

During the trial on Thursday at Leeds crown court, Lumb changed his plea to guilty to one count of religiously aggravated harassment and stalking with fear of violence, and one count of breaching an asbo.

umb – who has been known to Trickett’s office for a decade – was released on bail on the condition that he did not approach the MP or any member of his staff and he will return to court on 3 March for sentencing.

Lumb has previously had links to the British National Party (BNP), the English Defence League (EDL) and the National Front, and served as BNP organiser for Wakefield and later West Yorkshire.

He has previous convictions for assault and disorder and was convicted in 2011 of using racially aggravated threatening or insulting words and behaviour after he reportedly called a petrol station worker “a black bastard”.

Lumb, who lives in South Elmsall, stood as a BNP candidate for South Elmsall and South Kirkby in the Wakefield Metropolitan district council election in 2011, where he won 441 votes, 2.6% below the Conservative candidate.

A friend of Trickett’s said the MP had been left shocked and shaken by the incident and that “he hasn’t experienced rage like it in his life”.

Jon Trickett has been MP for Hemsworth since 1996. He served as the parliamentary private secretary to prime minister Gordon Brown from 2008 to 2010 and was then promoted to the shadow cabinet by Ed Miliband in 2011.

Trickett was one of 36 MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election and was made shadow secretary of state for communities and local government in the shadow cabinet reshuffle following Corbyn’s landslide victory in September 2015.

The Guardian

Darren Stokoe and Stephen Brown leaving Sunderland Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to offences commited at an anti-mosque protest in Millfield, Sunderland

Darren Stokoe and Stephen Brown leaving Sunderland Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to offences commited at an anti-mosque protest in Millfield, Sunderland

SIX men have admitted charges after left and right-wing groups clashed at a demonstration in Sunderland.

They were arrested following a protest against plans to covert a former council depot in Millfield into a mosque.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told Sunderland magistrates that demonstration began at 12.30pm on October 6, with both sides shouting at each other.

“The right-wing group was the most hostile,” she said. “Trying on several occasions to breach the police line to get at the left-wing demonstrators.

“The demonstration lasted about one hour before both groups moved away.”

Three Wearsiders were arrested following the clash.

Stephen George Brown, 32, of Palmerston Road in Pennywell, admitted a public order offence and religiously-aggravated harassment.

Mrs Beck said that at about 3pm, after the main demo had ended, he drew his first back and ran at a group of between 30 to 40 Asian men in Stewart Street.

He was charged with the second offence in November, after police viewed CCTV from the incident and heard him using anti-Muslim abuse.

Defending, Heather Bolton said Brown had friends and family living near the site of the mosque and he had aired his concerns about it at public meetings.

She added: “Both groups were chanting at each other and it appears that the other group made threats of violence and were making gestures of throat cutting.

“He accepts that he did retaliate in reaction to that and did make a comment in relation to Allah.”

Darren Stokoe, from Patrick Road, Pennywell, also pleaded guilty to a public order offence.

Mrs Beck said he was spotted by officers throwing an object at supporters of the mosque.

Mitigating, Mrs Bolton said Stokoe had been drinking in Millfield, came across the demonstration and decided to join in.

“He cannot recall throwing any object,” she added. “But accepts that he has.”

Both cases were adjourned for sentencing until April for Probation Service reports.

Anthony Farrer, 37, of Cleveland Road, was given a six-month conditional discharge after admitting throwing an egg at anti-fascists.

Also involved was Ronald Wood, 39, of Lonnen Drive in Swalwell, Gateshead, who was fined £110 after admitting racially-aggravated harassment.

Dean Spence, 23, of Yew Close, Spennymoor, admitted disorderly conduct, but denied throwing a firework, and was fined £73.

Shaun Bunting, 34, of Fenhall Green, Newton Aycliffe, was fined £133 after refusing to comply with a police notice to leave the area.

His solicitor, Jason Smith, said the offence took place outside The Chesters pub after the protest.

l Three men yesterday denied charges against them relating to the protests.

Simon Bigg, 47, of Todd’s Nook, Elswick, Newcastle; and William Smith, 44, of McLurian Crescent, Renfrewshire, Scotland, will stand trial in May accused of committing a public order offence.

Gary Biggar, 41, of Clarke Street, Kilmarnock, Scotland, denied racially-aggravated harassment and was released on bail until May.

Sunderland Echo

Liam Ferrar outside Leicester Magistrates Court, where he was sentenced for leaving a pig's head on the steps of a Muslim community centre

Liam Ferrar outside Leicester Magistrates Court, where he was sentenced for leaving a pig’s head on the steps of a Muslim community centre


Liam Ferrar, 24, admitted leaving the frozen head outside a Muslim community centre in Leicester on Boxing Day last year

An office worker who left a pig’s head on the steps of a Muslim place of worship has been spared a jail sentence.

Liam Ferrar, 24, admitted leaving the frozen head outside a Muslim community centre in Leicester on Boxing Day last year, in a religiously motivated attack.

Ferrar, of Brook Road, Leicester, pleaded guilty last month to causing religiously aggravated harassment by leaving the frozen pig’s head on the steps of the city’s Thurnby Lodge Community Centre.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, after the court heard he had written a letter of apology to his victims and was disgusted by his actions.

Sentencing Ferrar at Leicester Magistrates’ Court, District Judge John Temperley described the offence as being “to some extent planned, premeditated and targeted”.

The district judge told Ferrar: “You were well aware of the significance of your actions.

“You knew that what you did would cause great distress, indeed that was your intention.”

The court heard that Ferrar was under the influence of alcohol when he placed the pig’s head – which had been stored in a freezer for several months – in an area where it could not be avoided by adults and children arriving for prayers.

Stressing that the offence had taken place against a background of protests at the community centre’s use as a place-of-worship, District Judge Temperley added: “It is easy to imagine the shock, distress and disgust (those who discovered the pig’s head) would have felt.

“The witnesses statements I have read bear testimony to the serious impact of your actions, but the harm you caused goes further.

“Others in the local community and beyond would also have been affected when news of this incident spread, prompting profound alarm, fear and insecurity.

“It should have been obvious that what you did was intimidatory and would only serve to enflame an already tense and volatile situation.”

Suspending the 12-week prison term because of Ferrar’s personal mitigation, including his previous good character, the district judge accepted that the defendant regularly gave his time and energy to local good causes.

District Judge Temperley told Ferrar, who was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid community work and pay £85 in costs: “The character references I have read do you great credit.

“I also accept that you have demonstrated genuine remorse and regret for your actions. You co-operated with the police and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

Louise Cox, prosecuting, told the court a group calling itself Forgotten Estates had stepped up protests at the community centre last summer.

Defence solicitor Stephen Morris said the protest group, of which Ferrar was a member, aimed to highlight the lack of facilities in the Thurnby Lodge area.

Claiming that his client had chosen to distance himself from Forgotten Estates in September last year, Mr Morris said: “The behaviour by Mr Ferrar on this occasion is out of character – he is not somebody who displays racist tendencies.”

The Independent

Andrew Ryan photo

A Carlisle man who burnt the Koran in the city centre could be facing up to two years in jail.

Andrew Ryan, who claims to be a member of the English Defence League, appeared at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court today.

He pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated harassment and theft – of the Koran from Carlisle Library.

The court heard he had burnt the Koran on January 19 because for the Muslims, the book is their ‘Holiest of Holy.’

He said he had been viewing internet clips of extremist Islamic preachers and protesters earlier in the day then ‘lost it’.

Ryan, 32, of Summerhill, went to the library and booked out a copy of the Koran using a card he had only applied for the day before.

He then went to the monument on English Street and in front of shocked witnesses started shouting abuse about the Muslim faith.

One of them was his former probation officer.

Ryan managed to set fire to the book on his second attempt, after a friend passed him a lighter, then threw it on the ground and walked away.

After arrest he told police that he knew his actions were likely to stir up religious aggravation.

He also spoke of ‘Asian gangs’ and his anger at Islam.

Ryan has a number of previous convictions for public order offences and assault.

Defence solicitor Lauren Heesley said he was protesting against Muslim extremists not Islam as a faith.

She told the court that he did not judge people by their race, religion or sexual orientation.

Ms Heesley claimed that his conviction for racially abusive chanting at a football match had been a misunderstanding.

She said he had been shouting abuse at the referee, as ‘the man in black’, rather than a player.

At this point Ryan started sniggering and his supporters in the public gallery openly laughed.

Ms Heesley said Ryan has a military background which he is proud of, so images of extremist Muslim protesters burning poppies had made him want to take revenge.

The case was adjourned until April 14 for pre-sentencing reports and Ryan was granted bail.

Magistrates did not discuss what punishment they were considering imposing but the offence carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

As he left the courtroom, Ryan punched the air and said ‘no surrender’ to cheers from his supporters.

Cumberland News

An ENGLISH Defence League supporter who chanted “Muslim bombers off our streets” has been jailed for eight months.

Daniel Parker, 39, was with a group who, according to a judge aimed “vile and disgusting” abuse at a religious leader.

The group had been on an EDL march in April when they began throwing stones outside Barnsley Muslim Community Centre.

The imam came out to find EDL supporters shouting abuse including “Why don’t you go back to your country?”

Prosecutor Louise Gallagher told Sheffield Crown Court that the imam heard a loud bang on the window as he was about to lead prayers and then went outdoors, where he “found the language abusive and racist.”

When arrested, Parker, of Prince Arthur Street, Barnsley, told police he was shouting “because he was drunk and an idiot”. He admitted an unusual offence of religiously aggravated harassment.

His barrister Tina Dempster said he was the only one of the group arrested and, if he had not admitted chanting, would probably not have been charged.

Judge Roger Keen said Parker was of previous good character.

But he added: “You and others ought to understand that that sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and people like you will go to prison.

Yorkshire Post

Darren Conway.

Darren Conway.

THE OFFENSIVE actions of a Gainsborough man were blasted by a judge as he was jailed for displaying inflammatory racist posters in the front window of his flat.

Darren J Conway covered the window of his Heaton Street flat with posters, literature and photographs which attacked the Prophet Mohammed and the Muslim religion.

When police searched the 44-year-old’s flat, they also found 16 cannabis plants growing under a heated lens in his bathroom.

He had previously been found guilty of the charges at Magistrates Court, and appeared at Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday 6th March for sentencing.

Conway, a former BNP member and supporter of the English Defence League, attracted comments from passers-by and workers at nearby businesses with his offensive display.

Mr Lowe, prosecuting, described a number of the 17 posters and other such material displayed that were ‘undoubtedly offensive to members of the Muslim and Islamic faith’.

Among the slogans on show from his ground-floor window were ‘Jihad works both ways’, ‘no surrender’, ‘Muslims are the most hateful of them all’ and a letter confirming that he was a member of the BNP.

A passer-by reported Conway after being disturbed by the pictures of mutilated Muslims with graphic and obscene messages and imagery.

In Conway’s defence, the court heard how he had no history of racism and he was a carer for his ailing, elderly father who had suffered from multiple strokes.

Conway claimed that he put the posters and other literature in his window simply to attract the attention of the letting agent for his flat with whom he was in dispute, claiming that he had been left for months without electricity in three rooms and described the flat as uninhabitable with mould on the walls.

When sentencing Conway, Hon Judge Heath slammed his offensive behaviour.

“You put 17 offensive pieces and posters in the window of your ground-floor flat where they were there for all to see,” he said.

“To describe the material that you put in your window as grossly offensive would be an understatement, to Muslims and right-thinking members of the public.”

Judge Heath continued: “There is no place in a civilised society for conduct of that sort and the only sentence is an immediate custodial one.”

Conway was sentenced to three months for the production of cannabis and 12 month religiously aggravated harassment.

Dinnington Today