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Vaughan Dowd, 55, jailed for 12 months for writing ‘no blacks’ on front door

 Vaughan Dowd. Photograph: Greater Manchester Police/PA

Vaughan Dowd. Photograph: Greater Manchester Police/PA

A man who daubed “no blacks” on the front door of the home of a Salford man and his 10-year-old son has been jailed for 12 months.

A court heard that Brexit and immigration were playing on the mind of Vaughan Dowd, 55, when he vandalised the home of Jackson Yamba, five days after the solicitor and his son moved into their flat in Greater Manchester.

Yamba, 38, said the racist graffiti had left his son, David, afraid to live in his own home after it appeared on three doors in their building on 8 February.

An image of the graffiti, tweeted by Yamba, was shared more than 12,000 times and prompted a wave of support from police, politicians and members of the public.

Manchester crown court heard on Thursday that Dowd, a single man with no children, led a “sad life”, spending his time working then drinking alcohol and watching television.

Brexit and immigration were on his mind at the time, said Dowd’s barrister, Iain Johnstone, who added: “He wishes to apologise to everyone, including the community at large, for the trouble he has caused.”

Judge Alan Conrad QC, jailing Dowd for 12 months, told the defendant his actions were “crude, bigoted and extremely hurtful”.

He added: “This country, in particular this area, the cities of Salford and Manchester, have a long and proud history of diversity and inclusivity. We welcome those who, having a right to come here, do so and when they do, lead decent and productive lives.

“What you did was not welcome in any civilised society. You have experienced anxiety, but then again many people experience anxiety and would not dream of behaving as you did.

“In reality, this was simply an outpouring of racist views held by you for which there is no excuse. It must be made clear that imprisonment will follow offences such as this.”

Superintendent Marcus Noden, of GMP’s Salford district, said: “This was a cowardly and spiteful act, and there is no place for this kind of hatred in Manchester or anywhere else.

“No one should be subjected to this kind of abuse, especially in their own home, and I hope the fact that Dowd must now face the consequences of his actions brings the victim some comfort.

“I also hope this acts as a reminder that Greater Manchester police do not tolerate any form of hate crime, and we will actively pursue those responsible and ensure they are brought to justice.”

The Guardian

Clockwise from top left: Ashley Rowland, James Cocks, Melvyn Parker and Jason Harris were sentenced on Friday over violence during last year's EDL protest

Clockwise from top left: Ashley Rowland, James Cocks, Melvyn Parker and Jason Harris were sentenced on Friday over violence during last year’s EDL protest

AN English Defence League supporter who hurled a fire extinguisher at police officers at “almost point blank range” as violence flared in Birmingham has been jailed.

Ashley Rowland was among up to 300 people involved in bloody clashes with police during a demonstration in the city centre on July 20 last year.

Thirty officers were injured with one needing hospital treatment.

Judge Richard Bond said Rowland was the most heavily-involved of more than 50 defendants due to be sentenced over the violence and had moved between various pockets of trouble.

He chanted racial and anti-religious slogans with others and aggressively confronted officers in Centenary Square.

And Rowland tried to scale a wall outside the International Convention Centre and threw a plank of wood which hit a police officer after he and other demonstrators raided a building site.

Outside the Hyatt Hotel, he picked up three pieces of a metal hotel sign which he also threw at a police cordon, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

At one point four officers became trapped on Broad Street and were surrounded.

Judge Bond told Rowland: “You picked up a fire extinguisher and forcefully threw it at the trapped officers.”

Rowland, 25, of Mexborough, South Yorkshire, had previously admitted a charge of violent disorder and was jailed for 31 months.

Three others were also sentenced for their roles in the trouble today.

Melvyn Parker, 47, of Mansfield, and James Cocks, 35, of Binton Close, Redditch, were both sentenced to two years while Jason Harris, 40, of Eccles, Salford, was jailed for 20 months.

James Cocks was sentenced to two years

James Cocks was sentenced to two years

They had also pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Passing sentence, the judge said the atmosphere before the 2,000-strong demonstration was “highly charged” following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby on a street in London.

The trouble lasted for around two hours and broke out at seven sites as EDL supporters tried to break through a police cordon and reach counter-demonstrators.

The worst violence was in Centenary Square where missiles were thrown, officers were kicked and punched and portable toilets were used as weapons.

Gerry Bermingham, for Rowland, said he had set up a small business since the incident and was trying to rehabilitate himself.

Nigel Stelling, for Parker, said he was “out of control” with drink and drugs when he joined the EDL.

A total of eight men have now been jailed for their roles in the violence.

Yesterday, four other defendants were jailed for a total of more than six years for their parts.

Birmingham Mail

A man has pleaded guilty to scrawling graffiti about Fusilier Lee Rigby’s murder on the RAF Bomber Command War Memorial.

Daniel James Smith
, 21, of Grecian Street North, Salford, admitted writing “Lee Rigby’s killers should hang” on the memorial in central London on June 5 – a monument he did not realise was a war memorial.

Colleen Gildernew, defending, said: “He had no idea that the war memorial was a war memorial.

“He is very disgusted with himself, even more so because of that.”

Smith also daubed “EDL” and “F*** the police” on the memorial in Green Park, prosecutor Izolda Switala-Gribbin said.

Smith was planning on going to Fusilier Rigby’s funeral but was arrested and could not go, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

Ms Gildernew said Smith had applied for a job in the British Army but was unsuccessful “because of his convictions as a young boy”.

The court heard Smith has 44 convictions and has appeared in different courts five times this year.

Ms Gildernew said the experiences of Smith’s two army friends – one who has lost both legs and another who suffers from memory loss as the result of a bomb – had an “emotional impact on him”.

The damage to the memorial, which was created to remember the thousands of RAF crew who lost their lives in the Second World War, amounted to £870.

The memorial was vandalised twice in just over a week following the murder of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich, south east London, on May 22.

District Judge Quentin Purdy described the content of the graffiti inflicted on June 5 by Smith, and its location, as “highly emotive”.

He added that Smith’s actions clearly challenged the “tolerance we all seek to see in society”.

Mr Purdy said people will want to know what the court is doing about people, “brains in gear or not”, who inflict such damage.

The judge said he was prepared to explore all “reasonable options” for Smith moving on rather than being sent back into custody.

But he said a custodial sentence was a possibility, adding “there may be no alternative”.

Mr Purdy told Smith his punishment should “reflect the public’s concern about your criminal conduct”.

He told the 21-year-old his actions “caused offence to many”.

The court was told that Smith has spent the past 11 weeks in Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution and was released only yesterday.

Mr Purdy said it was “slightly worrying” that Smith was released with few arrangements in place.

Smith’s previous convictions relate mainly to shoplifting, Ms Gildernew told the court.

She said he was brought up by his grandmother and had little in terms of family support, describing his childhood as “unsettled”.

The court heard that he left school at the age of 15 with no qualifications, battled cannabis addiction in his teenage years and struggled with homelessness.

Ms Gildernew said Smith, dressed in a colourful T-shirt, was “shaking and very tearful” before the hearing.

Smith also pleaded guilty to causing £510 of criminal damage to a wall of a commercial property in Knightsbridge.

Mr Purdy remanded Smith in custody and adjourned sentencing until Tuesday November 5 at the same court pending further inquiries into suitable arrangements for him.

Cambridge News