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Restaurant owner William Eve denies abuse was religiously aggravated

A Tommy Robinson supporter has admitted verbally abusing a journalist at a protest and accusing her of being “Muslim-backed”.

William Eve, a restaurant owner from north-east London, was caught on camera insulting a female reporter and demanding to know whether she was “with or against” the English Defence League (EDL) founder.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard the 57-year-old shouted at Al Jazeera’s Sonia Gallego during a “Free Tommy” protest that merged with a pro-Donald Trump rally in July.

Prosecutor Robert Simpson said: “The complainant is someone who is a reporter for Al Jazeera. She was conducting interviews and recording them.

“She was approached by the defendant, asked who she was, he found out and made the comment ‘so you’re Muslim-backed’. He went on to say she was stupid and call her a slag.”

Eve was filmed demanding to know who Ms Gallego worked for and asking: “Are you with Tommy Robinson or against him?”

The journalist said she was not taking any sides in her reporting but Eve accused her of being “Muslim-backed” and called her “f***ing stupid” when she asked what he meant.

Mr Simpson said he also “jabbed a finger towards” Ms Gallego, who recorded the incident in central London.

Eve, of Adnams walk in Rainham, admitted one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress on 14 July.

But he pleaded not guilty to a second count alleging that the harassment was religiously aggravated and is due to go on trial next month.

Deputy district judge Jim Astle released Eve on bail until his trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court on 21 February.

Eve made no comment as he left the court, with a hat pulled over his face.

Police said Robinson supporters at the rally physically attacked officers and hurled racial abuse, while a group also blocked a bus driven by a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf.

Ukip leader Gerard Batten, who has since hired Robinson as an adviser, and anti-Islam politicians from the US, Sweden and Belgium spoke at the event.

It was one of several protests held over the imprisonment of Robinson, who was jailed for allegedly committing contempt of court at a grooming gang trial in May.

The anti-Islam activist, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was released in April after the Court of Appeal overturned the findings because of procedural failings.

Judges ordered a rehearing and the case has been referred to the attorney general for consideration on how it will proceed.

The Independent

A vandal who scrawled antisemitic and neo-Nazi symbols on an MSP’s office window has been jailed for more than two years.

James Malcolm, 18, used red paint to draw symbols including a Star of David on a gallows at Rona Mackay’s office in Kirkintilloch.

He later caused £14,000 of damage to 27 headstones at a cemetery. A swastika symbol scribbled on broken glass was found at one of them. During a two-month crime spree Malcolm also vandalised a nature reserve and several parks in Kirkintilloch and used his own blood to write offensive slogans on the wall of a police cell.

Malcolm pleaded guilty at Glasgow sheriff court to four charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, one charge of maliciously damaging headstones and writing offensive slogans on a cell between June 1 and August 9 last year. Sheriff Alan MacKenzie sentenced him to two years and four months in prison.

The court was told that a member of the public spotted graffiti on a glass notice board at Lenzie Moss nature reserve on July 17. Nazi slogans and symbols were scrawled in blue paint and “James M” was scratched on a sign.

On July 23 Malcolm graffitied in red paint on a bridge above the path leading to Luggie Park. Days later a dog walker saw “Adolf Hitler” and “white power” among other phrases. Mark Allan, the procurator fiscal depute, said: “She was offended and appalled by what she saw, in particular a picture of the Star of David on a hangman’s noose.”

On July 24 Malcolm vandalised the window of Ms Mackay’s office with a red paint marker. Mr Allan said that the writing again included antisemitic and neo-Nazi symbols. The next day an employee contacted the police.

When officers went to Malcolm’s home the walls were covered with antisemitic and Nazi slogans, including “death to all Jews”. Mr Allan said Malcolm “stated that he was looking to shock people with his messages so that they would wake up and see the truth”. While Malcolm was in custody he smeared swastikas and other symbols on the walls of his cell in his own blood.

Mr Allan said that on August 9, after Malcolm had been bailed, police were given information that he had damaged gravestones at Old Aisle Cemetery in Kirkintilloch, where there are 38 graves of Commonwealth service personnel.

The Times

Drunken Leah Neville, aged 44, called officers after seeing herself on the local news

Racist alcoholic Leah Neville spat and kicked a police officer

Racist alcoholic Leah Neville spat and kicked a police officer

A half-naked racist alcoholic attacked a policeman after seeing herself on the television news, a court heard.

Drunken Leah Neville, aged 44, called officers herself after seeing footage of her abusive behaviour in a takeaway on BBC Spotlight.

Police attended after she threatened to take an overdose but she ended up lashing out at officers, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Neville had taken off her trousers because she had spilt water over them from a cat’s bowl.

She was jailed for 14 months for a string of offences.

Judge Paul Darlow said: “You unleashed a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse at a businessman in a takeaway simply trying to serve the public.

“Taken together (these offences) demonstrate a clear pattern of alcohol and prescription drug-fuelled violent behaviour. You have come to the end of the road.”

Neville, of Cecil Street, Stonehouse, admitted assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty on October 14.

She admitted racially-aggravated threatening behaviour at the Stoke Grill on April 16.

The offences put her in breach of a 10-month suspended prison sentence imposed last year for another racially-aggravated threatening behaviour offence.

Hollie Gilbery, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Neville demanded to be served in the takeaway. But she was told she was banned because of her previous bad behaviour.

She then started to abuse worker Warven Saadi, saying: “I will kill you, I will slice open your throat.”

The court heard she also told him to “go back to your own country”

Miss Gilbery said that Neville twice threw menus at Mr Saadi. He later told police he felt “embarrassed and upset”.

She added that Neville called police on October 14, apparently having seen the takeaway incident on the regional television news.

Miss Gilberry said officers attended but she became violent, spitting and kicking out at one male constable. She also ripped an epaulette from his shoulder.

The barrister said that during the incident she knocked the water from a cat’s bowl over her legs – and insisted on taking off her trousers.

Miss Gilberry said that officers were forced to call a female colleague because of her state of undress.

Nick Lewin, for Neville, said: “She is obviously a very pathetic individual. She is a very confused woman.”

He pointed to a probation report which helped explain her behaviour – factors which were not aired in court.

Mr Lewin said: “It clearly provides an explanation as to why she has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. She is a classic alcoholic.

“She cannot it seems make that break. She is gradually falling apart physically and mentally.”

He added she had serious and long-term mental health dificulties.

The barrister said the was on a range of different medications.

Mr Lewin said there had been some “limited success” on her community order.

He added: “She is not a bad woman, she really is not a bad woman”.

Mr Lewin asked for a month’s remand in custody to provide her with an “immediate detoxification”. She would then be sentenced in January.

Plymouth Herald

Matthew Pond carried out the racist abuse at the pub his own mother runs in Ilkeston

Mathew pond pictured leaving court in Derby (Image: Derby Telegraph)

Mathew pond pictured leaving court in Derby (Image: Derby Telegraph)

A drunk man racially-abused a police officer who had been called to a bonfire party at the defendant’s own mother’s Derbyshire pub.

A court heard how Matthew Pond asked the Asian officer “Have you been to prayers, today?” before repeatedly chanting “EDL, EDL” at him in reference to the far-right political group the English Defence League.

Emma Heath-Tilford, prosecuting, said the offence took place at The Bridge Inn, in Bridge Street, Cotmanhay, on November 5.

She said officers were asked to attend to Pond who was “being held down on the floor” by other pub goers due to his “aggressive behaviour”.

‘Clearly intoxicated’

Miss Heath-Tilford said: “He was outside by the bonfire, clearly intoxicated, shouting and swearing.

“Officers tried to talk to him to find out what was happening and he continued to shout and swear so they tried to put handcuffs on him.

“He was resisting them as they arrested him for being drunk and disorderly he turned to PC Atwal and asked him ‘What time did you go to prayers today?’

“Then, while they were waiting for transportation (to take the defendant into custody) he was repeatedly shouting ‘EDL, EDL’ which the officer took as a reference to the English Defence League.”

‘Indian ethnicity’

Miss Heath-Tilford told Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court that PC Atwal is of Indian ethnicity and took what Pond was saying to him as “racial abuse”.

In a victim impact statement, which was read to the court, the officer said: “The language that was used towards me was horrific.

“I should not have to deal with this kind of abuse while on duty as a police officer when all I am trying to do is my job,”

Pond, 32, of Cotmanhay Road, Ilkeston, was arrested, taken into custody and the following day, when he was shown the police’s body camera footage of the incident, said he felt “embarrassed” about his behaviour outside the pub.

‘Extremely embarrassed’

He pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly and to using racially-aggravated abusive, insulting or threatening words or behaviour.

Colleen Webb, for Pond, said her client had written a letter to the court expressing his apologies to PC Atwal about what he said to him.

She said: “He is extremely remorseful and embarrassed.

“That evening he had been at a bonfire event at his mum’s pub and had too much to drink.

“Clearly something triggered his behaviour but he has little recollection of the rest of the evening.

“Since the incident he has had to build bridges with his mother because she owns the Bridge Inn and he has also received some unfortunate remarks (about the incident) on Facebook.”

Magistrates handed Pond a 12-month community order, with 100 hours’ unpaid work.

They also ordered him to pay £100 compensation to PC Atwal, £85 prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Derby Telegraph

Kane Christopher Powell punched and racially abused Mohammed Shah in an attack described by a judge as ‘despicable’

A drunken 20-year-old man racially abused and attacked a taxi driver who had been enjoying a snowball fight.

The attack happened back in March and Kane Christopher Powell at first pretended he was joining in the wintry fun.

But a court heard Powell, of Higher Fore Street, Reduth, became violent and – backed by another man – attacked the taxi driver and called him a ‘paki’.

The two attackers then chased him down the street and tried to force their way into a house where the taxi driver had sought shelter. They smashed the front door while those inside tried to hold it closed.

Powell appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having previously pleaded guilty to common assault and racially aggravated threatening behaviour against Mohammed Shah and criminal damage to a door.

Prosecutor Philip Lee said: “It was late at night on March 1. It had been snowing. Mr Shah is a taxi driver and during a break in the evening, he and other drivers were throwing snow at each other.

“This defendant approached, initially seeming to join in and feigning joviality. ‘I am only joking,’ he said but soon became aggressive. He punched Mr Shah three times in the chest and then another person became involved, a Mr Webb, the absent co-defendant in this case who is wanted on a warrant.”

He said Mr Shah pushed Powell away and started to walk away. He added: “This defendant ran up behind him and punched him once to the face, causing him to fall to the ground with a cut to his lip.”

Mr Shah retreated to seek help from an Indian restaurant in Higher Fore Street but was followed by Powell and Webb.

Mr Lee said Powell was heard shouting ‘pakis’ and said: “Mr Powell accused Mr Shah of doing something sexual with his sister. There is no substance to that allegation, the crown says.”

He said Mr Shah was taken inside the house of the restaurant manager, Sultan Ahmed, but Powell and Webb began shouting and kicking forcibly at the door.

“At one point they forced the door open while the others behind where pinning the door closed. A further assault by the other man took place before both walked away,” he said.

He said Powell was later arrested and said to police: “Yeah, I banged him out, so what?”

The court heard from the Probation Service that Powell was drunk at the time and admitted he was suffering from an alcohol problem. He said that since March he had taken steps to address this problem.

Powell had moved to Cornwall from London at the age of 15, when his mother, who has alcohol issues, refused to pay for his return train ticket. The court heard he had been to school and college and now worked a carer for an autistic friend who he had met while they were both homeless on the streets.

Hollie Gilbery, representing Powell, said he had only a patchy memory of the evening, adding: “He cannot recall using the language described and he was quite shocked at using that language, but does not seek to deny the evidence of the police officers.”

She added that Powell himself had been the victim of a serious assault involving the use of baseball bats the previous summer.

Addressing Powell, Judge Simon Carr said: “As I hope you’ve learned and are prepared to accept, your behaviour that night was despicable. You had been drinking heavily with a group of young men who had also been drinking.”

He said they targeted Mr Shah, adding: “For reasons, in truth only you will be able to understand, you became verbally abusive and violent, assaulting him and punching him a number of times.”

He said Mr Shah and the other men sheltering in the house must have been terrified to have them battering down the door.

Judge Carr said it was unacceptable that the prosecution had taken so long for the case to come to court. He warned that if he had been sentencing Powell sooner, he would have sent him to prison. However, he acknowledged that Powell had taken positive steps since March to turn his life around.

Powell was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also made the subject of a curfew at home between 7pm and 7am for six months and must do 15 days’ work with the Probation Service on a range of programmes looking at a range of issues such as behaviour, impact on victims and substance misuse.

Powell was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to Mr Shah.

Cornwall Live

A THUG hurled racist abuse at staff at a bar in Leeds before using a hammer to smash windows at the premises.

John Lock caused more than £1,000 worth of damage during the incident at the Dahlak entertainment centre on Stoney Rock Lane, Burmantofts.

Leeds Crown Court heard Lock, 28, went into the premises, formerly the Sportsman pub, on March 29 this year but staff refused to serve him as he had previously been barred.

Andrew Horton, prosecuting, said Lock then took out a bottle of whisky which he had brought with him and began drinking from it.

Lock became aggressive and refused to leave.

The staff member then fetched his boss who ejected Lock from the premises.

Lock shouted racial abuse at the men and said: “You will see me again.”

He returned carrying a hammer and used it to smash windows.

The prosecutor said “glass was flying everywhere” and some of it hit a member of staff in the face.

Children witnessed the incident as they made their way home from a nearby primary school

Police arrested Lock at his home later that day and he was in possession of two hammers and a half-empty bottle of whisky.

The court heard Lock breached a restraining order by contacting his partner on Facebook on May 30.

He also assaulted a police officer who went to his home on October 5 this year.

The court heard officers went to his home and saw Lock’s feet sticking out of a cupboard.

He was told to come out but ran into one of the officers as he tried to get away from them.

The officer fell down some stairs.

Lock, of Shakespeare Lawn, Burmantofts, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated criminal damage, racially aggravated threatening behaviour, breaching a restraining order and assaulting a police constable in the execution of his duty.

Ian Cook, mitigating, said Lock was sorry for the offences and was “disappointed” with himself for shouting racial abuse.

Mr Cook added: “He does not consider himself to be a racist man. He said racist things in the heat of the moment while clearly in drink.”

Lock was jailed for eight months.
Yorkshire Evening Post

A booze-fuelled thug who punched a friend through a broken window has told a court that he blamed alcohol for his bad behaviour.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on September 13 how Liam Cooper, 31, of Cornwall Drive, Brimington, Chesterfield, was arrested by police after the attack at the Butcher’s Arms, at Brimington, Chesterfield.

Prosecuting solicitor Emma Price said: “It was August 22 in the early hours of the morning when officers were called after a report that the defendant had smashed a window and they arrived and saw he was under the influence of alcohol.

“They tried to stop him speaking to others and he was trying to get away and he had to be restrained.”

Mrs Price added that Cooper was being aggressive and he was removed from the pub and as the complainant was trying to calm him down he was punched threw a window and the glass was smashed.

Cooper screamed and swore and threatened police when they arrived, according to Mrs Price, and he had to be taken to the ground and restrained.

The defendant complained that the complainant had been goading him from behind the pub window and he had reacted and he was sorry for what he had done.

Mrs Price added that the defendant also told one of the officers that he was going to break his nose.

Cooper later told police that he blamed his behaviour on alcohol and he claimed that he did not behave that way normally.

The defendant, who has previous convictions from between 2005 to 2011 including public order offences, pleaded guilty to damaging a window, using threatening behaviour towards a police officer and admitted the assault.

Defence solicitor Felicity Coats said: “He’s remained out of trouble for the last seven years. There are similar offences on his record but he has done a lot to change.”

Mrs Coats added that Cooper had not intended to cause the assault but he did so when he punched the window in temper.

She said: “The gentleman in the pub is a long-standing friend he’s known for years and they have made-up.”

The court heard that the defendant, who has paid for the damage caused, suffers from a head injury which affects his ability to control his temper.

He said: “I have changed. I have been a bit of a lunatic when I was younger. I have apologised to the police and I was out of order but drink is a dangerous thing. I do not know how it is legal. That is why I don’t drink usually because that’s what happens to me.”

Magistrates fined Cooper £240 and ordered him to pay a £30 victim surcharge, £85 costs and £125 compensation.

Cooper added: “That was a dear night wasn’t it?”

Derbyshire Times