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Thomas Allen being led away by police during the demos in Sunderland

Thomas Allen being led away by police during the demos in Sunderland

A protester used his head as a weapon to charge at and injure a policeman battling to keep rivals apart during a mass demonstration in Sunderland city centre, a court heard.

Thomas Allen, 58, has been fined and ordered to pay the officer compensation by magistrates who scolded him for his actions.

They were told the unprovoked attack caused the PC to tumble to the ground, causing grazing to an arm.

Despite the assault, he was able to keep hold of Allen, of Hartside Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, who was arrested.

Even Allen’s defence solicitor admitted his client was still “hyped up” when later questioned at a police station.

Sentencing Allen, who is believed to be jobless, magistrates in South Tyneside criticised him for being part of trouble which led to three arrests on the day.

Democractic Football Lads Alliance protest through Sinderland City centre

Democractic Football Lads Alliance protest through Sinderland City centre

They said police had better things to do than wrestle with a man of his age during what should have been an entirely peaceful protest.

The court heard Allen was part of two marches organised by left and right wing groups which descended on the city on Saturday, September 15.

One was by Wearside-based Justice for the Women and Children Group, which was joined by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA).

A counter demonstration was held by Sunderland Unites and Stand Up To Racism North East, which included members of trade unions, political parties and politicians.

Trouble flared close to Keel Square when members of the DFLA ignored march stewards and tried to break through the police lines which separated them from the other group.

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess said: “The officer was in uniform and part of an incident ongoing in Sunderland city centre.

“He was keeping the peace between left and right wing activists. As part of the cordon, he was directing members of the protest.

“He instructed Mr Allen to continue on his way and in the direction of where the demonstration was a heading.

“Mr Allen took no notice. He ducked his head and charged at the officer into his stomach.

“The officer says that he had no regard for him and forced him to fall backwards, and they were both forced to the floor together.

“He kept hold of him and got a graze to his elbow.”

Harry Burn, defending, described Allen, who admitted one charge of assault when he appeared in court, as “hyped up” even after his arrest.

He said his client had denied the offence when interviewed, but admitted he might have pushed the policeman.

Mr Burn said: “It was not nice for the police officer. But the injury is what it is, it’s a graze to an arm.

“It’s not too serious. He hasn’t needed medical support, but it was his job and he didn’t need that to happen.

“Mr Allen apologises to the officer and to the court.”

Magistrates fined Allen £80 – reduced from £120 due to his guilty plea – and ordered him to pay £100 compensation to the officer.

He must also pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 court costs, with the entire amount being paid at £10 a week.

Sunderland Echo

A DAD and son were beaten unconscious on the way home from a day out at Sunderland Airshow.

Thomas and David Surtees had been on a trip with relatives, including the family’s 86-year-old great-grandfather and a new baby, to watch the seafront displays when they were attacked without reason.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Thomas Surtees’ face and head were kicked and stamped on, leaving him with a serious nose injury which required surgery and may never be fully fixed.

His son David was punched and kicked and left covered in cuts and bruises.

Prosecutor Christopher Rose told the court the attackers had initially shouted abuse at the family before the violence started last July.

He said: “David recalls being kicked from behind. He was knocked to the ground and while on the floor he was kicked and punched until he lost consciousness. His father Thomas tried to intervene and he himself was attacked.

“He was either kicked or stamped to the face, and suffered a significant injury to his nose which involved the internal dorsal collapsing.”

Thomas Allen
, of Wylam Grove, Hendon, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and assault.

The court heard he had Mr Surtees Snr’s blood on his shoes when he was arrested.

The 25-year-old also admitted causing grievous bodily harm to a woman, whose arm was broken when a brick was thrown at her, after violence flared in Borough Road after the Tyne-Wear derby in January.

Judge Roger Thorn sentenced him to a total of 32 months.

Stuart Halliday, 24, of Redwood Court, Sunderland, admitted affray on the basis he was with the group which carried out the attack on the Surtees family, but did not throw any punches or kicks.

He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with probation supervision and programme requirements.

Judge Thorn said: “This was violence involving a group attack on a family unit, including a father and son, and more particularly a grandfather who was 86 and a young baby.

“There were women in that group. People are entitled to enjoy themselves and expect to have fun without any violence or apprehension of violence.

“This was the most disgraceful attack.”

Defence barristers said both men plan to stay out of trouble in future.

Sunderland Echo

From 2011

A MAN was remanded in custody yesterday after threatening to blow up a bus just days after the London bombings.

Ian McCready made the threat to police only eight days after the London blasts which killed 56 people, including 13 passengers on a bus.

McCready, 42, made the threat during a phone call to a Durham Police legal executive about a claim he was making against the force, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard.

As his anger spilled over he shouted: “I’m going to go into Sunderland and blow up a bus.”

McCready, of Ferndene Crescent, Pallion, Sunderland, is now facing jail after pleading guilty to threatening to destroy property.

McCready appeared on video-link before Sunderland magistrates yesterday from prison after his stunt saw him remanded in custody.

Alan Brockbank, prosecuting, said McCready was involved in a long-running civil dispute over property seized by police during a criminal investigation, and rang the force on Friday, July 15 to speed things up.

He told the court that McCready then claimed he would go out and blow up a bus in Sunderland, and repeated the threat.

He admitted making the threat after first telling police: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Defence solicitor Tim Bittlestone said McCready had no previous convictions, and suffered from depression and anxiety in recent years.

He said this was not a case of somebody ringing police and making a bomb hoax, but a threat made during an argument with a police staff member.

Magistrates asked for probation reports to be prepared to consider all options, including jail. McCready was refused bail and was remanded in custody until August 15.

Northern Echo

From 2005.

Four contract workers attacked doormen “like a pack of animals” when they were refused entry to a city bar.

Supervisor Kevin Matuszek, 42, and his fellow asbestos strippers Danny Matuszek, 19, Antonio Milonas, 42, and Scott Mallaburn, 29, had visited pubs and bars after they clocked off early while working away from home in Exeter on Friday, May 12, last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard, after around seven hours of drinking, the men were refused entry to the Old Fire House by bouncers, who thought they appeared “boisterous” and drunk.

The refusal led to “all hell breaking loose”, with the men lashing out with feet and fists and even sandwich boards and bar signs being thrown into the pub’s outside courtyard, which was packed with drinkers. One woman witness described the ten minutes of violence, which was captured on CCTV and played in court, as “horrific”.

Four bouncers suffered varying degrees of injury while trying to protect themselves and the pub’s customers from the attack. Matuszek senior, of Fellgate Avenue, Jarrow, his son, Matuszek junior, of Gleneagles Road, Sunderland, Milonas, of Brackley Grove, North Shields, and Mallaburn, of Parkhurst Road, Sunderland, all pleaded guilty to affray when they appeared at Exeter’s city magistrates court. Their case was transferred north for sentence.

Judge Paul Sloan said the attack was “drunken, gratuitous violence” and told the men: “You took exception to the stance adopted by the doorstaff. “You began to be abusive and aggressive as well as threaten violence. “There was some pushing and shoving then the situation calmed down for a period. “Then, as described by more than one witness, all hell broke loose.

“Four doormen were attacked. “Punches and kicks were delivered. “A wooden advertising board was thrown at doormen, as well as other items. “One described you as behaving like a pack of animals.” Judge Sloan added: “One witness described the scene as horrific. “It was clear to her the doormen were trying to protect not only themselves but the customers within the premises.”

The judge sentenced all four men to 12-months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 100 hours unpaid work, £500 compensation and £150 costs. Matuszek jnr, who has a previous ASBO on his record, has to complete just 80 hours unpaid work but has additional rehabilitation requirements.

The court heard all four men have criminal records but have not been in recent trouble and have all expressed remorse for their drunken behaviour. All have good work records with positive references and future employment prospects.

Jamie Adams, defending both Matuszeks, said the father and son are “ashamed and remorseful” about their involvement and accept their behaviour was disgraceful that day. Barry Robson, defending Milonas, said the dad-of-six is “ashamed” and did not usually drink while working away but had been that day.

Sunderland Echo

Opposing factions hurled missiles and caused up to £25,000 of damage to St George’s Hall left daubed with Nazi swastikas

Right-wing activists involved in violent clashes between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists outside Lime Street Station have been jailed.

A woman was left scarred for life, a man suffered a broken nose and a police officer was knocked unconscious in ugly scenes last year.

Liverpool Crown Court heard opposing factions hurled missiles and caused up to £25,000 of damage to the historic St George’s Hall.

Nazi swastikas were daubed on walls, cobble stones were torn up from the building’s plateau and a Victorian statue was damaged.

Shane Calvert, Wayne Bell and Brian Stamp today appeared in court, alongside allies Nikki Prescott and Alan Raine. Calvert admitted conspiracy to commit violent disorder, while Bell was convicted after a trial. Prescott, Raine and Stamp admitted affray.

Bell liaised with Merseyside Police to organise “The White Man March” for now-banned fascist terrorist group National Action on August 15, 2015.The event, in Liverpool, ended in “humiliating failure” for the far right, after they were met by a much larger group of counter-protesters.

Simon Driver, prosecuting, said the fascists “were forced to take refuge in a left-luggage facility” before police escorted them to trains. Stung by the embarrassment, another far right group, the North West Infidels, headed to Liverpool on February 27, 2016.

Police were not informed and organiser Calvert deliberately changed the location of the “anti-immigration demonstration” from Manchester to Liverpool.

Brian Stamp, 34, from South Shields, jailed for 16 months after admitting affray

Brian Stamp, 34, from South Shields, jailed for 16 months after admitting affray

Fascists were again met by police and counter-protesters but had enlisted a group of Polish men called the “Polish Hooligans”. One cluster of far right-supporters congregated at the Crown Pub, including Stamp, Prescott and Raine, at around 11.30am.

A second group, including Calvert and Bell, gathered on the steps of St George’s Hall, as trouble flared at around 1.30pm.

Mr Driver said: “They displayed North West Infidels banners and neo-Nazi flags. They made gestures, which included the Nazi style ‘sieg heil’ salutes.”

CCTV showed the stand-off, with rival factions separated by riot police, who held the first group at the pub and escorted them away. Smoke canisters and fireworks were thrown and, at 2.30pm, the group near the hall were joined by the Poles.

Wayne Bell, 37, from Castleford, jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder

Wayne Bell, 37, from Castleford, jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder

They wore black hoodies emblazoned with “Polska Hooligans” and badges showing a person being kicked, captioned “good night left side”.

Police came under attack from both sides with industrial fireworks, flares, bottles, cobble stones and eggs. Mr Driver said: “A police inspector was knocked unconscious by a missile and a police constable suffered a broken wrist.”

A young female bystander suffered a facial gash requiring plastic surgery and a man suffered a cut and broken nose. People attending an antiques fair within the hall had to be locked in for their own safety.

A 75-year-old black woman who emerged was racially abused and struck in the forehead by a stone. Police eventually encircled the fascists and marched them to the station.

Shane Calvert, 36, from Blackburn, jailed for two years after admitting conspiracy to commit violent disorder

Shane Calvert, 36, from Blackburn, jailed for two years after admitting conspiracy to commit violent disorder

Mr Driver said Calvert wished to “avenge” the previous defeat, as shown in text messages to a man called Garron Helm. He and Bell, who bragged of punching left-wing activists “like that game whack attack”, recruited the Poles.

They exchanged messages talking of “payback time for Liverpool” and Bell spoke of “the local n***** population”.

Stamp boasted of buying “bad boy” gloves with reinforced knuckle-pads, which he was filmed wearing. Raine was recorded threatening “I’ll bite your f***ing face off” and Prescott yelling “come on then, let’s f***ing have it”.

Judge Menary imposed criminal behaviour orders, banning the five men from entering Liverpool for five years, for their “planned hooliganism”.

Billy Duggan, from Duggan & Parr Stone Repair Ltd, surveying the graffiti on St George's Hall

Billy Duggan, from Duggan & Parr Stone Repair Ltd, surveying the graffiti on St George’s Hall

He said: “There will, I have no doubt, be those on both sides of this political divide who are motivated by a desire to promote genuinely-held ideological beliefs – however repugnant or deeply offensive those views might appear to others.

“But I am equally sure that many of the people involved in the disorder on these occasions have made the journey or have involved themselves for no reason other than to behave like hooligans.”

Judge Menary jailed Calvert, 36, from Blackburn, for two years and Stamp, 34, from South Shields, who “came to Liverpool prepared for a fight” for 16 months.

He jailed Bell, 37, from Castleford, for two and a half years, telling him: “Your attitude towards other groups was deeply offensive, racist and you celebrated violent confrontation.”

Unemployed Raine, 41, from Sunderland, and doorman Prescott, 43, from Blackburn, each received 16 months in jail, suspended for two years.

Raine received a 25-day rehabilitation activity, 200 hours of unpaid work and a four-month home curfew, from 8pm to 6am. Prescott must complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity, 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 compensation.

Liverpool Echo

The 56-year-old harassed two adults and a child months before pulling a woman’s clothing off during a racist assault.

The vile thug who ripped a woman’s niqab off in a Sunderland shopping centre has pleaded guilty to sending a sick message to a child.

Peter Scotter, 56, admitted to three incidents of harassment in which he sent abuse to an under-16, a woman and a man.

Scotter, of Sunderland, was jailed for 15 months in July over a vicious assault in 2016, during which he tore a woman’s niqab off and screamed “you are in our country now, you stupid f****** Muslim”.

Appearing at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court via video link from HMP Holme House in Stockton, Scotter laughed and muttered “I’m paying nothing” when ordered to pay two of his victims compensation.

Outlining the case against Scotter, prosecutor Laura Lax said the relationship with the woman that had ended 11 years ago and a restraining order preventing him from contacting her was made soon after in 2008.

The woman, who is now in a new relationship, received gross Facebook messages in November 2016 calling her “an ugly woman” and demanding that she perform a sex act on him.

He then bragged about the fact that he had knocked her teeth out during an assault during their relationship.

Shortly after, Scotter began drip-feeding poison into the inbox of the woman’s husband, calling him a “child molester”, a “nonce” and a “beast”.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the woman said: “I suffered for years at his hands.

“I’m still scared to go into Sunderland city centre alone in case I bump into him because he knocked my teeth out.”

In a separate incident, Scotter cowardly abused a child via Facebook messages.

Ms Lax revealed that he had also made twisted comments of a sexual nature about the child to police, as well as making a violent threat.

Scotter’s defence solicitor, Anna Haq, said: “I don’t think I need to go into the offences, they speak for themselves.”

She said that Scotter had pleaded guilty to the charge in February 2017 but the case had been pushed back because of Scotter’s case at Newcastle Crown Court over the racist attack.

Delivering Scotter’s sentence, magistrate Joan Green said that it was a “particularly nasty offence” and handed him 6 weeks in prison – but the sentence will run concurrently with his current jail term, meaning he won’t serve a day extra behind bars.

Scotter muttered “I’m paying nothing” as magistrates discussed financial penalties and, when ordered to pay £100 to the child and the man, he laughed to himself.

He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and the court made restraining orders preventing him contacting the victims.

Newcastle Chronicle


A serial criminal who launched a foul-mouthed racist attack on a woman wearing an Islamic head garment has been locked up for more than a year.

Peter Scotter’s barrister insisted it was no co-incidence that his client committed the offences just weeks after the Brexit referendum last year and amid continued political discussions

“playing the race card”.

Scotter, 56, of Beach Street, Roker, Sunderland, assaulted the mother, who was shopping with her nine-year-old son and husband, and said “you are in our country now” before beginning his tirade of racial abuse.

The force he then used to pull off the niqab garment in July last year in the Bridges Shopping Centre, Sunderland, caused her to fall to the floor.

Tony Hawks, defending, told Newcastle Crown Court that in the weeks leading up to the attack certain politicians and sections of the press had been “playing the race card”.

He said there was “no doubt that what he did was an ignorant and despicable piece of behaviour” and he was an “ignorant and ill-educated man” who “knows nothing whatsoever about Islam”.

But he added: “It’s no coincidence that this occurred within a week or so of the Brexit referendum. Where the press and politicians were banging the drum about taking our country back.

“They were playing the race card and, in the case of Ukip, a disgraceful advertisement showing a queue of refugees.

“He has to take responsibility for his own actions, but is it simply a coincidence that after listening to weeks of that rhetoric the defendant was not affected?”

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court that Scotter was escorted out of the centre by a security guard after the assault but refused to comply with two police community support officers and continued the torrent of abuse.

At a previous hearing he admitted racially aggravated assault by beating and racially aggravated harassment.

He has also been receiving treatment for cancer in his mouth, meaning Monday’s sentencing hearing was postponed a number of times.

The court heard he had 70 previous convictions, including throwing bricks with racist stickers on them at a house with refugees inside.

Mr Pallister said the victim described how she regularly suffers abuse but that this was way beyond what she and her family normally endured.

She said it had left her fearful to go out and “disgusted” that it had happened in front of her son.

Members of the public who ran to her help spoke of their shock and one shop assistant said she was moved to tears.

Jailing Scotter for 15 months, Judge Stephen Earl said he had used “appalling language” in a public place.

He said: “Comments such as these cannot be acceptable in a civilised society.”

He also ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £140.

Sunderland Echo