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A WELL-known hard man has been jailed after being convicted of an offence relating to the ride-by shooting of a nightclub bouncer.

John Henry Sayers was given a three-and-a-half-year sentence at the Old Bailey on Friday after being convicted of perverting the course of justice, a court official said.

During the trial, jurors were told the defendant was “a man to be feared” who had “acquired and promoted a reputation” and would not allow his name to be disrespected.

He had initially been accused of ordering the attack on doorman Matthew McCauley outside the Tup Tup Palace on June 6 2015, but was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder, alongside co-defendant Michael Dixon, 50. Both men are from Walker, Newcastle.

Prosecutor Simon Denison QC had claimed Sayers ordered the attack after his son was turned away from the Newcastle nightclub weeks earlier, but this was rejected by the jury.

The 54-year-old was also cleared of conspiracy to possess a shotgun with intent to endanger life, while Dixon was found guilty of the same offence and given a life sentence with a minimum of eight years, the court official said.

Sayers and a third defendant, Michael McDougall, 50, were convicted of perverting the course of justice over a false statement given in 2017.

Convicted murderer McDougall, who is serving a life sentence, told “a pack of lies” by trying to claim he was the gunman in the incident, jurors heard.

As a result, he was given two years to run consecutively after his current life sentence

Sayers had previously been cleared of ordering another murder – the doorstep shooting of a man in 2000 – and subsequently cleared of nobbling the Leeds jury in that case.

However, he is a convicted robber and tax evader and is said to be a name to be feared in Tyneside.

Northern Echo

Details of the murder conviction can be found here.

Michael McDougall.

Michael McDougall.

A killer who murdered a takeaway boss has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice after claiming to be a gunman responsible for a nightclub shooting.

Michael McDougall, 50, previously of Hylton Avenue, Marsden, South Shields and now an inmate of HMP Wakefield, has been found guilty of the charge following a trial at the Old Bailey in London.

The offence relates to a drive-by shooting outside Tup Tup Palace in Newcastle, on June 6, 2015.

A 24-year-old doorman was shot in the arm when a gunman on a motorbike opened fire using a sawn-off shotgun.

McDougall was jailed for a life sentence of 34 years in April 2016 after he was found guilty of shooting Sunderland dad-of-two Tipu Sultan.

The 32-year-old businessman had run the Herbs & Spice Kitchen takeaway in Lake Avenue, Marsden, South Shields, with his family.

McDougall was also found guilty of two charges of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

His co-accused Michael Mullen, 24, of Hawthorne Avenue, Cleadon Park, South Shields, who had taken McDougall to and from the murder scene on the back of a motorbike, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

He was jailed for 12 years.

Just weeks after he was jailed McDougall launched an appeal against his conviction, which was denied by a judge.

Today, McDougall was found guilty of perverting the justice over a false statement made in 2017 as part of the inquiry into the Tup Tup incident.

The court heard the convicted murderer told “a pack of lies” by trying to claim he was the gunman, jurors heard.

He was jointly charged and stood trial alongside John Henry Sayers, 54, of Fossway, Walker, Newcastle, and Michael Dixon, 50, of no fixed address, who were accused of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to possess a firearm.

Sayers, a well-known hard man, has been cleared of ordering the ride-by shooting of a bouncer because his son had been thrown out of a nightclub, but has been told he still faces a prison term for perverting the course of justice.

The court heard doorman Matthew McCauley was lucky to survive the shooting, which also left two other members of staff injured.

Sayers was accused of ordering Dixon to carry out the shooting after his son was ejected from the club weeks before.

An Old Bailey jury deliberated for more than 30 hours to find Sayers and Dixon, both from Walker in Newcastle, not guilty of conspiracy to murder.

The pair gave audible sighs of relief in the dock as they were cleared of the offence.

Sayers was also acquitted of conspiring to possess a shotgun with intent to endanger life, while Dixon was found guilty by a majority of 11 to one.

Judge Mark Lucraft QC told serving prisoner Dixon he would take into account that he had already been convicted of another offence committed around the same time.

A fourth defendant – Russell Sturman, 26, from Gosforth, Newcastle – hugged his co-accused in the dock after being cleared of assisting an offender.

Before the trial started, there had been an unsuccessful application by the prosecution to try the case without a jury and it was held well away from Sayers’ home turf in the North East.

Sayers had already been cleared of ordering another murder – the doorstep shooting of a man in 2000 – and subsequently cleared of nobbling the Leeds jury in that case.

However, he is a convicted armed robber and tax-evader and said to be a name to be feared on Tyneside.

Sayers’ son had been thrown out of the trendy Tup Tup Palace and was punched by a doorman weeks earlier.

Prosecutor Simon Denison QC said Sayers had “acquired and promoted a reputation”, and he wouldn’t allow his name to be “disrespected”.

Sayers’ reputation “as a man to be feared” meant “doors are opened for his family”, he added.

“Of course, that only lasts as long as the reputation is believed to be justified – which means that if his family is disrespected, violence has to follow.”

The family was given free entry to clubs without having to queue and free access to VIP areas “just to avoid serious trouble”.

The convicted defendants were remanded into custody to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday, September 21.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “This case was thoroughly investigated by a team of dedicated detectives.

“The evidence was subjected to careful scrutiny before a decision was taken to charge and it was only right that this evidence was put in front of a jury.

“We respect the decision the jury has made.”

Sunderland Echo

Michael McDougall was convicted of murder in 2016 and details of that murder can be found here

Police confirm they have warned John Nimmo after the JC alerted them to his new threatening social media messages

An internet troll who was jailed for making antisemitic death threats to a Jewish MP has been warned by police about his behaviour after he wrote on social media:“Really could murder someone now.”

John Nimmo, 29, from South Shields, set up a Twitter account following his release from prison on probation earlier this year.

Writing under his own name, Nimmo has posted a series of inflammatory messages, including sharing racist propaganda from the far-right British National Party.

The JC alerted Northumbria Police to his posts after Mr Nimmo yesterday wrote that he could “murder someone now”.

In a statement, police confirmed he had been warned about his conduct – but insisted the messages were not considered to be of a criminal nature.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We are aware of concerns relating to messages posted on social media and have spoken to the individual involved.

“Officers are satisfied that no criminal offences have been committed but have warned the individual about his behaviour. Anyone who has concerns can contact Northumbria Police by calling 101.”

Nimmo was jailed in February last year after admitting to nine charges relating to online threats at Newcastle Crown Court.

One of Nimmo’s messages to Luciana Berger, the Labour politician and Britain’s youngest Jewish MP, he included a picture of a large knife. It was sent three weeks after the murder of MP Jo Cox.

He had sent two emails to Ms 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 included threats to blow up a mosque. He was jailed for 27 months.

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

Jewish Chronicle

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