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Dominic Howe admitted having a Samurai sword in the street.

Dominic Howe admitted having a Samurai sword in the street.


A MENTALLY ill man, armed with a samurai sword, was on the way to avenge his uncle’s death when he was stopped by police in South Tyneside, a court heard.

Dominic Lewis Howe has been banned from South Tyneside for six months after being found with the 18-inch weapon while under the influence of drink and drugs.

The court heard a resident had raised the alarm after spotting the 20-year-old staggering along Sheridan Road, South Shields, at about 8am on Monday, with the handle of the sword sticking out of his trousers.

Howe was arrested and, after he’d sobered up, told police he had been on his way to find the man who had supplied his uncle with the drugs he used to kill himself with an overdose.

Yesterday, Howe, of Percy Road, Whitley Bay, appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “He told police he had been drinking. He had gone to watch Newcastle play and had been drinking.

“He had also taken cocaine and ended up in a friend’s house in Whiteleas.

“He continued drinking and began to think about his uncle, who died of a drugs overdose. He wanted to find the man who sold his uncle the drugs, and he went out with the intention of trying to kill that person.

“All that was on his mind was revenge.” The court was told that Howe has been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and is hoping to receive medication in order to treat the illness.

Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “Looking at the reality of the situation, the defendant was extremely intoxicated and was staggering around with the sword down his trousers.

“In all probability he presented more of a threat to himself than to anyone else.

“There was no suggestion he was waving this sword around.

“This was something that was going to end with him being arrested by police before anything was going to happen. He wasn’t in any state to do anything.”

Magistrates warned Howe, who pleaded guilty to being in possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, that they were considering sending him to jail.

However, the court heard from the probation service that sending him to prison would be detrimental to his mental health condition.

Chairman of the Bench, Robert McDonald, said: “The bench has spent considerable time discussing how to deal with you for what is a very serious offence.

“Carrying that weapon in itself is dangerous. However, you did not produce it or threaten anyone, which is something we have taken into account.

“We were very close to sending you to prison.”

Howe was jailed for 12 weeks, suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision and banned from South Tyneside for six months.

Shields Gazette



Four men jailed over a back lane attack which left an uncle and nephew fearing they would be killed were like “a marauding pack”.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the disturbance happened in the lane behind Peel Street, Hendon, and followed on from a demonstration in support of an alleged sex attack victim last September.

Sean Ruffell.

Sean Ruffell.

Two Asian men were drawn into the back lane by the sound of their cars being damaged, including a brick being thrown through a window, with repairs running to £1,100.

The court was told they could hear the word “dirty” being shouted underneath the shutters of a back yard, as well as comments relating to colour and Muslims.

A number of the eight men involved in the fight which broke out – which involved a garden fork and another tool – were wearing hi-vis jackets bearing the word “warden” on them which had been seen at the march.

Prosecutor Vince Ward described the men as a “splinter group” from the demonstration and added: “It’s clear from the context of this situation that this was a racially motivated attack.”

Witnesses told police they saw the men being kicked and punched, even when they were on the ground and clearly unconscious.

They were both taken to hospital by ambulance after police arrived on the scene. The uncle was left in need of stitches, with injuries to his head and right eye and bleeding from his gums and chin, while his nephew had a cut to the back of his head and forehead and injuries to his chest.

The uncle told officers: “I thought they were going to kill me” while his younger relative said: “I didn’t think anything like this could happen in England.”

Philip Hackers, 38, previously of D’Arcy Court, Hendon, and now of Oak Avenue, South Shields; Gary Hutchinson, 45, of Gilbert Court, Sunderland; Sean Ruffell, 26, of Athol Road, Hendon, and Darren Kerr, 26, of Gartland Avenue, Grindon, were each jailed for 27 months after they all pleaded guilty to affray.

Daren Kerr

Ruffell was jailed for a total of five years, with another four months given after he admitted possession of an offensive weapon – a knuckle duster found on him when he was arrested while he was involved in a fight in Mowbray Park in the aftermath of the demonstration – and 30 months for three counts of possession of drugs with intent to supply, dating back to a raid on his home in 2014.

Hutchinson faces another two months in jail for two shoplifting incidents from supermarkets while on bail for the affray.

Hackers also admitted possession of amphetamine on the day of the march, but faced no further punishment.

Recorder Nicholas Barker told the men: “After the demonstration it’s clear all four of you and four others decided on a course and were intent on finding trouble and that was the driver for distorted and prejudicial views towards Asian heritage.

Gary Hutchinson

“At this time you were a marauding pack.

“You were prepared or intent on meting out violence in any way that met your perverted ideas.”

The court heard alcohol had been consumed around the march, which had played a part in the outbreak of violence.

Ruffell’s ex-partner Jerri Butler, 27, of St Lucia Close, Hendon, who was not connected to the march in any way, was given 16 months imprisonment for possession of cocaine with intent to supply and 12 months in jail for possession of cannabis with intent to supply – the same charges as her former boyfriend – suspended for two years.

The court heard she had been working at a youth and community centre while the offending happened and had to leave her job as a result of the charges.

Phillip Hackers
Sunderland Echo

Brutal Damian Sweet and Liam Snaith have been jailed for 10 years after leaving the victim with his ‘ear hanging off’ in shocking attack

L-R; Damian Sweet and Liam Snaith, who have both been jailed for 10 years for false imprisonment and GBH with intent

L-R; Damian Sweet and Liam Snaith, who have both been jailed for 10 years for false imprisonment and GBH with intent

Two savage thugs tied up a man, slashed him with knives and poured vodka in his eyes during an horrific episode of violence in the victim’s own home.

Sick Damian Sweet and Liam Snaith left Jordan Hopkins with his ear “hanging off” and in need of stitches and staples when they subjected him to the sickening onslaught for no reason.

The pair had turned up with a bottle of Frosty Jacks cider at the victim’s home one night last August and he let them in thinking they were his friends, a court heard.

But, they soon turned violent and bound the 23-year-old with cables before launching their sickening attack.

During the shocking ordeal, Mr Hopkins was slashed with a Stanley knife, kicked, punched, taunted, humiliated, headbutted and had booze poured in his eyes, a court was told.

When they finally stopped, the victim, who had been in and out of consciousness, was left with swelling, cuts and bruises on his face and body, a bite mark on his arm and a broken collarbone.

He was taken to hospital and treated with staples, stitches and glue.

Now, Sweet, 19, and Snaith, 23, both of Whitehead Street, South Shields, have been jailed for 10 years each after pleading guilty to false imprisonment and causing grievous bodily harm with intent at Newcastle Crown Court.

Sentencing them, Judge Penny Moreland said: “This was a sustained assault by the two of you on him and you used a weapon to cause him injury.

“There are a number of aggravating factors, you were both under the influence of drink or drugs, there were two of you in his flat, attacking him together, this occurred in the complainant’s own home and it included gratuitous degradation by squirting and drenching him with drink.”

In a victim statement, Mr Hopkins told the court that, after the attack, his eyes had been so swollen, he could hardly see and he’d been left suffering from nightmares and flashbacks.

He said: “My right ear was sliced and cut so it was hanging off and had to be glued.”

Mr Hopkins added: “I am forever looking over my shoulder.

“I have flashbacks of the assault when I go to bed, nightmares of the ordeal and I wake up in a cold sweat. The people that attacked me were supposed to be my friends. Now, I find it hard to trust anyone.”

The court heard Mr Hopkins’ physical and mental health have also suffered because of the attack.

Mark Guiliani, prosecuting, said the incident happened on August 6 when Mr Hopkins had been out with friends and was about to go to bed.

His attackers, who he had got along with as pals in the past, then turned up carrying the Frosty Jack cider.

Mr Guiliani said Mr Hopkins could tell immediately that the pair were under the influence of something and were acting “out of character”.

Snaith then locked Mr Hopkins’ front door and put the key in his pocket, the court was told.

Snaith and Sweet then used electrical cables to tie up the victim and bound his hands and legs together.

The court heard Snaith then produced a Stanley knife and slashed Mr Hopkins across the left eye after asking him if he “had ever been in a hostage situation before”.

Mr Guiliani said: “As soon as he did this, blood started to pour down the complainant’s face. The knife was then passed to Sweet.”

The prosecutor said Sweet then started to carve a pattern on the victim’s face and told him “you will remember me” before slashing his cheek.

Mr Guiliani added: “He said although he could feel the cuts, he couldn’t feel any pain. He contributes this to shock.”

The court heard the victim was untied and dragged into the bathroom, beaten, and then tied up again in the living room.

Mr Guiliani said: “Liquid from a bottle was squirted into his eyes, which caused him to clench his eyes. He thought it may have been vodka and coke, the liquid was dark in colour.

“Then, one of the bottles of Frosty Jacks was poured over his head. By this stage, the complainants eyes were swollen so much they were heavy, he was struggling to keep them open.”

Mr Hopkins drifted in an out of consciousness and was later taken to a different flat, where paramedics were called.

Paul Rooney, defending Sweet, who has no past convictions, said: “He says he is disgusted with himself. He cannot understand why he did what he did and he wishes to apologise to him.”

John Wilkinson, defending Snaith, who has convictions for disorderly behaviour, said: “He had consumed drink and a large amount of drugs on the day we are concerned with, which perhaps explains, though does not excuse, the bizarre behaviour he entered in to with his co-accused.”

The Chronicle

snaithSnaith

troll

An internet troll jailed for making death threats and threatening to blow up a mosque has been banned from contacting his victims for five years.

John Nimmo, 28, emailed Labour MP Luciana Berger calling her “Jewish scum” who would “get it like Jo Cox”.

Nimmo was jailed for 27 months last week after admitting nine offences under the Malicious Communications Act.

An order prohibits him from contacting his victims’ close relatives or using a false identity to post comments online.

Nimmo, from South Shields, South Tyneside, faces an additional five years in jail if he breaches the order.

He has also been ordered to give mobile phone, laptop and tablet passwords to police, along with details of his internet usage.

Nimmo had emailed Liverpool Wavertree MP Ms Berger, telling her to “watch your back Jewish scum”.

He also admitted sending emails to an anti-hate crime group in which he threatened to blow up a mosque.

Ms Berger has said she had been left in “huge distress” and “extremely concerned” for her safety.

Nimmo was jailed for 27 months last week after admitting nine offences under the Malicious Communications Act.

He had previously been jailed in 2014 for sending abusive tweets to MP Stella Creasy and feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.

BBC News

troll

An internet troll who made anti-Semitic death threats to a Labour MP and threatened to blow up a mosque has been jailed for 27 months.

John Nimmo, from South Shields, sent two emails to Luciana Berger, in which he said she would “get it like Jo Cox” and “watch your back Jewish scum”.

Emails to an anti-hate crime group also including threats to blow up a mosque.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 28-year-old had earlier admitted three charges relating to online threats.

One of Nimmo’s messages to Liverpool Labour MP Ms Berger included a picture of a large knife and came just three weeks after MP Jo Cox was killed, the court heard.

Nimmo was jailed in 2014 for eight weeks for sending abusive messages on Twitter to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and MP Stella Creasy.

Ms Criado-Perez had led a campaign using social media for a female figure to appear on a Bank of England note.

BBC News

One man has been jailed and another charged over the Dover riots as the first anniversary approaches.

Brian Stamp was sent to prison for 16 months today after hitting someone with a flagpole and throwing objects at rival protesters.

Meanwhile Shaun Grimsley has been charged with violent disorder and will appear in court next month.

Canterbury Crown Court heard that Stamp, 34 and of Talbot Road, South Shields travelled to Kent to take part in a pre-planned political demonstration in Dover last January 30.

Members of the far right, including the National Front and South East Alliance, arrived in the town to march and ended up clashing with left wing protesters who had also flocked in.

Police afterwards uncovered footage of Stamp throwing objects at members of an opposing group in Effingham Street.

The street was the setting for one of the ugliest scenes of the day when both sides hurled missiles at each other from either end.

He was later seen assaulting an opposing demonstrator with a flagpole, causing the pole to break, in Folkestone Road.

He pleaded guilty to one count of violent disorder.

Det Con Kirsty Bricknell, the investigating officer for this case, said: “Stamp was taking part in a pre-planned demonstration but, instead of using it as a platform to lawfully voice his opinions, took it as an opportunity to take part in violent disorder.

“The behaviour of Stamp, and numerous other offenders who took part in the disorder, caused a significant amount of disruption for residents in Dover and left a number of people fearing for their safety.

“Despite not being in Kent, and returning to his home in the South Shields, Stamp was unable to avoid arrest.

“ This sentencing shows that Kent Police has the resources to identify offenders from across the UK and that geographical distance is no barrier to us bringing them to justice.”

In a separate development Grimsley, of Foxglove Walk, Hednesford, Staffordshire, was arrested last Thursday after a warrant was executed at his home.

He has since been bailed to attend Folkestone Magistrates Court on Wednesday, February 8.

Det Insp Bill Thornton, from Kent Police, said: “We are continuing to work tirelessly to identify suspects for offences committed before and during the demonstrations in Dover.

“This latest charge shows that we work closely with police forces across the UK to make sure these arrests are made.”

Every since that violent day police have been hunting down perpetrators and had made 80 arrests by November.

A number of other convicted rioters have already been jailed.

Kent Online

John Nimmo, previously jailed for abusive messages, sent emails to Luciana Berger telling her she would ‘get it like Jo Cox’

John Nimmo was told he would be sent to crown court for sentencing due to the seriousness of his crimes. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

John Nimmo was told he would be sent to crown court for sentencing due to the seriousness of his crimes. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

An internet troll is facing jail for a second time after making antisemitic death threats to a Labour MP in which he told her she would “get it like Jo Cox”.

John Nimmo, 28, from South Shields, sent two emails to Luciana Berger where he told her to “watch your back Jewish scum”. The second message to the 35-year-old MP for Wavertree, who is running to become mayor of Liverpool, also included a picture of a large knife.

The messages came just three weeks after MP Jo Cox died after being shot and stabbed following a constituency meeting.

Nimmo was previously jailed in 2014 for eight weeks for sending abusive messages on Twitter to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and MP Stella Creasy.

His first message made reference to Joshua Bonehill-Paine, who had been charged with a racially or religiously aggravated hate crime against Berger.

Sent at 7.54pm on 6 July, it said: “Justice for Joshua Bonehill-Paine will be sweet, he has friends everywhere. Watch your back Jewish scum, regards your friend the Nazi.”

He then followed it up two days later with: “You will get it like Jo Cox did, you better watch your back Jewish scum” just as Berger was leaving her office in the early evening.

South Tyneside magistrates court heard a statement from the former shadow minister for mental health in which she said it had caused her “great fear and anguish”. She said the incident had left her in a state of “huge distress” and “it caused me to feel physically sick, being threatened in such a way.

“I was extremely concerned for my safety and I felt completely under threat. I had previously received antisemitic messages and threats but the reference to Jo Cox was terrifying,” she said. “The biggest concern was not knowing who this was, for all I knew the offender could have resided next door to me.”

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, told the court that Nimmo had been on bail at the time for emailing Tell MAMA, a group that supports victims of anti-Muslim hate, saying he would burn down a mosque.

Chairman of the bench Ian Alexander told him that the seriousness of the offences meant they would send it to crown court for sentencing.

Along with Isabella Sorley, Nimmo previously pleaded guilty at Westminster magistrates court in 2014 to abusing Criado-Perez and Creasy. The abuse came after Criado-Perez led a campaign using social media for a female figure to appear on a Bank of England note. It included Nimmo telling Criado-Perez to “shut up” and made references to rape, followed by: “I will find you (smiley face)”.

Paul Kennedy, for the defence, had argued for a suspended sentence, saying “he says these things for attention”.

“He does not desire to carry out these threats,” he said. He previously admitted two charges of sending malicious communications to Berger and the case will next be heard at Newcastle crown court in August.

Nimmo was remanded in custody.

The Guardian