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Stephen Dure, also known as Stevie Trap, featured in a regional edition of a BBC Inside Out programme in 2017

Stephen Dure, also known as Stevie Trap, featured in a regional edition of a BBC Inside Out programme in 2017

A self-styled “paedophile hunter” has been jailed after admitting falsely accusing a man of grooming teenagers.

Stephen Dure, 34, also known as Stevie Trap, pleaded guilty to making an improper communication online at a hearing on Friday.

His wrongly-accused victim said he had been sacked and his home had been attacked as a result.

On Monday, Dure was sentenced to 15 weeks in prison. He was also ordered to pay costs of about £750.

Dure, from Southampton, said his online career might be over but his team would continue his work.

Dure appeared in a BBC Inside Out programme in 2017, when he explained how he posed as children on the internet to “trap” sex offenders.

His Facebook page, which shows videos of him confronting suspected paedophiles, has more than 200,000 followers.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard he had accused Paul Farhad, 42, of being a “violent psychopath” and a “massive danger to society” in a Facebook post in November 2017.

Mr Farhad, from Eastleigh, said 111,000 people had viewed the message, which he said also implied he was a paedophile.

As a result he lost his job, paint was sprayed on his door and a brick was thrown through his window, he told the court.

Alfred Underwood, defending, said Mr Dure accepted Mr Farhad was not a paedophile, which was “nowhere suggested” in the Facebook message read out in court.

The victim then produced a screenshot of the post on his mobile phone.

It showed the words “grooming teenagers” had been deleted from the original published message at some stage.

Dure then changed his plea to guilty.

BBC News

A VICIOUS thug locked up indefinitely for leaving a man brain damaged in a drunken assault at a Sheffield tram stop has been convicted of another violent attack.

David Sumner, aged 26, was jailed for 12 months after he admitted attacking another man – three months before the assault on family man Alan Smith.

Sumner, of Thornborough Road, Heeley, was jailed indefinitely in March after he was found guilty of attacking 57-year-old Mr Smith at a city tram stop in November 2006.

Mr Smith was left needing 24-hour care after Sumner punched him in a drunken rage when he tried to intervene in a scuffle near the Donetsk Way tramstop.

Sumner was locked up indefinitely for the protection of the public and ordered to serve a minimum term of five years and three months. His minimum term was reduced by appeal judges to four years but he can only be released when he is no longer considered a danger to the public.

Hauled before Sheffield Crown Court again, Sumner admitted affray after he and another man, who has never been caught, confronted a young man on the street and demanded a cigarette. When his girlfriend jumped in front of Sumner, he invited her to fight saying: “Do you want a go?”

The man was pushed to the ground and his rucksack stolen in the attack on Charlotte Road, near St Mary’s Gate in the city centre in August 2006.

Sumner was caught six days later after the couple spotted him in a bar and rang the police.

The court heard he initially denied the attack, claiming he was at home the whole time and putting forward his mother as an alibi.

Jailing Sumner for a year with an extended licence period of two years, Judge Patrick Robertshaw said: “The facts of the present case simply outline that you are indeed a danger. In theory you are eligible for release at the halfway stage but that isn’t going to happen.”

Sheffield Star

From 2007
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A VIOLENT thug is behind bars today after attacking a family man in a drunken rage at a Sheffield tram stop, leaving him brain damaged.

Mild-mannered Alan Smith, aged 57, was knocked down with a single punch “like a tree being felled” after he tried to calm an altercation between David Sumner and two other men.

His head hit the ground, he was left in a coma, and he needed brain surgery at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. He has been left severely brain damaged, may never walk unaided again, will need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life, and may not recognise his family.

Sumner, 25, of Walden Road, Heeley, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection and must serve at least five years and three months before he is considered for parole.

Sheffield Crown Court heard brothers Alan and Brian Carnall had been on a night out in Sheffield city centre when they caught the last Halfway tram from the City Hall stop on West Street.

Also on the tram was Mr Smith, from Hackenthorpe, who enjoyed a fortnightly Friday night out in the city and had a ‘nodding acquaintance’ with the brothers.

Sumner got on at Castle Square and lit a cigarette. Alan Carnall, 40, pointed out smoking was not allowed on the tram and became annoyed when Sumner replied that he would do as he pleased.

David Webster, prosecuting, said that when Mr Carnall reported Sumner to the conductor, Sumner became ‘hostile and aggressive’ threatening: “I’m well up for a fight. I’m crazy, I’m insane, once I get going, no-one can stop me. They’ve picked the wrong person tonight.”

Sumner had been due to leave the tram at Spring Street, near the Manor, but instead paid an extra fare to confront and fight the Carnalls, said Mr Webster.

They tried to sneak off the tram at Donetsk Way, Hackenthorpe, but Sumner followed and punched Brian Carnall, 43.

Alan Carnall and Sumner then began to grapple. Sumner knocked over Mr Carnall and kicked him in the head.

Mr Webster told the court: “Sumner was then challenged by Mr Smith in terms such as, ‘Why are you doing this? Why cause all this bother?’ Sumner struck him a single yet forceful blow to the jaw which sent him to the ground like a tree being felled.”

As other people rushed to help, Sumner continued to behave aggressively before running away.

Sumner – who at the time of the attack was subject to a community order for battery after trying to strangle his former girlfriend while drunk – handed himself in to police after seeing details of the attack on television news. He claimed he had been physically sick when he realised what he had done.

Paul O’Shea, defending, said Sumner was from a “perfectly decent, law-abiding family”. “He’s had to admit to himself that he’s destroyed another man’s life and he’s desperately ashamed,” he said.

Sentencing Sumner, Judge Alan Goldsack QC told him: “You have ruined Mr Smith’s life and that of his family and no words of mine and no sentence I pass can ever restore normality to them.”

He added: “This was a particularly serious example of late night, alcohol-fuelled, gratuitous violence on an innocent member of the public. If the courts do not seek to deter such behaviour by lengthy custodial sentences, decent people are put off from going into their city at night.”

Det Sgt Joanne Baines, officer in charge of the case, added: “The family are devastated – this has completely shattered their lives. Mr Smith’s injuries and the impact this has had on the family are some of the worst I’ve seen.”DAD-of-two Alan Smith’s wife Elaine said the family are “relieved” that his attacker has been punished – but told The Star of her torment over her husband’s future.

Mrs Smith said: “I think the judge did the best he could. We are just relieved that the case is over and we have got this result.

“But it doesn’t change what we are facing. We still have such an uncertain, devastating future.”

Mrs Smith, from Hackenthorpe, described her husband as a “very quiet, mild-mannered man” in an emotional appeal days after the attack.

She had previously said it was a “tragedy that he has suffered such horrific injuries in coming to someone’s aid”.

Mr Smith was returning home from meeting a friend in Sheffield city centre when the incident happened last November.

A second man was also arrested in connection with the attack but later released without charge.
Sheffield Star.

From 2007.

David Pirie, 27, packed an explosive with petrol, nails and pieces of concrete and left it outside the home of Alexander McCluckie

David Pirie (pictured), 27, left the explosive device outside the window of terrified Alexander McCluckie

David Pirie (pictured), 27, left the explosive device outside the window of terrified Alexander McCluckie

A thug who left a nail bomb outside his neighbour’s home in a row over claims his girlfriend was running a brothel has walked free from court.

David Pirie, 27, left the explosive device packed with petrol, nails and pieces of concrete outside the home of terrified Alexander McCluckie.

Mr McCluckie stayed next door to Pirie’s girlfriend Louise Stewart in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, but relations soured when she made a malicious call to the SSPCA about Mr McCluckie’s dog.

Months later police arrested Miss Stewart after they were told she was operating a brothel but she was released without charge.

Pirie suspected Mr McCluckie had called police and smashed his front window and left a glass bottle, which had a strong smell of fuel coming from it, and a lighter outside.

Pirie was arrested and his DNA was discovered on the bottle.

But days before he was due in court, he fled to Tenerife for almost a year before returning to Scotland.

Pirie, of Bailleston, Glasgow, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court and admitted leaving the makeshift bomb at the flat in August 2015 and failing to appear in court in June 2017.

He was spared jail by Sheriff Shiona Waldron and told to perform 150 hours of unpaid work.

Depute fiscal Vish Kathuria said: “The complainer looked out of his window and observed the brick but also observed a glass bottle which contained fluid, nails and a bag protruding from it and noted a lighter next to it.

“He formed the view that what had been left was a petrol bomb and he could also smell fuel coming from the bottle and contacted police.

“The bottle was later dismantled and found to contain nails, fragments of concrete and fluid which was later found to be petrol.

“The accused’s partner was later interviewed and was asked what she knew about the bomb and replied ‘I didn’t know he had actually done it, he told me about it and I was like that is a bit far’.

“The bomb was analysed forensically and DNA from the accused was found on the top of the bottle.

Brazen Pirie used social media to boast of his carefree lifestyle in Tenerife and shared dozens of snaps showing him partying with groups of friends who seem unaware he was avoiding justice back home.

In one photo, he is seen posing with boxers Carl Frampton and Steven Ward as they enjoyed a break away from the ring.

Others show him holding a bottle of Buckfast, playing mini-golf and relaxing on the beach in the sunshine.

Sheriff Waldron said: “You have no previous convictions and this was an extremely foolish incident made much worse by your failure to appear when you were supposed to.

“You have already spent a considerable time in custody relating to that matter and you will be admonished.

“In relation to you acting in a threatening manner by placing an amateur pseudo petrol bomb which fortunately did not do any harm to anyone, you will carry out unpaid work as a direct alternative to custody.”

Daily Mirror

Freddie Farnie, 25, and Karl Laslett, 24, were arrested for separate incidents

Two men have been convicted of being drunk and disorderly in Tunbridge Wells after England’s World Cup quarter-final win over Sweden.

Freddie Farnie, 25, and Karl Laslett, 24, were arrested for separate incidents in the town centre on July 7.

Both men were unrepresented when they appeared before Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (July 24).

Fruit farm worker Farnie, of Holmewood Road in High Brooms, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in a public place, as well as causing criminal damage to a property valued under £5,000.

Prosecution

Prosecuting, Debbie Jones, said: “On 7th July at 5pm, officers were deployed in Tunbridge Wells town centre to deal with any public order incidents, as there was World Cup football on.”

Officers were stationed outside the Opera House, when 10 people walked out.

Ms. Jones continued: “One was the defendant and he was standing in the road. He was asked to move and said ‘I can do what I f****** want, it’s a free country.'”

‘You can’t touch me’

Farnie reportedly also approached an officer and said: “You can’t touch me, that’s f****** assault,” before being pulled away by friends when police asked him to move.

Ms Jones continued: “He stood in the road shouting at another officer. The officer approached with the intention of arresting him but he ran off.”

A short while later, Farnie had made his way to The Barn on Mount Pleasant Road, where he was abusive to members of staff before being spotted hot-footing it back up the hill in the direction of the Trinity Theatre, the court heard.

The arrest

Ms Jones added: “Police made their way to York Road and detained the defendant and arrested him for being drunk and disorderly.”

While in his cell at Tonbridge police station in the early hours of July 8, the court heard how Farnie spat on the wall and at the CCTV camera, as well as tearing up the reading material and flushing it down the toilet.

Regarding his behaviour that evening, Farnie said: “It was a one off on that day because of the football. I used to have a few problems a few years ago but I’ve grown up a bit. It was just a bad day.”

Conditional discharge

Sentencing, magistrate Abigail Brennan said: “We are going to make a conditional discharge for 12 months. If you commit any offence, however, I will stress, any offence, then you will be brought back to court and not only with that offence but this will be put back again.

“You are required to pay £80 for a deep clean [of the cell], together with a victim surcharge of £20, plus £85 costs.”

Laslett

Also on that Saturday afternoon, Laslett, a labourer, who lives on Grange Road, was outside The Rose and Crown pub on Grosvenor Road.

Police attended the pub after they became aware of an altercation involving a group of males in the street.

Prosecuting, Debbie Jones said: “[Members of staff] went outside and informed police that [Laslett] had been refused service and been asked to leave.

“He said he was upset about being asked to leave, as he was banned from everywhere else in town.”

She added: “He went to the opera house [Wetherspoon’s] and caused further problems.

“At that point, the officers made the decision to arrest him.”

‘I wasn’t that drunk’

Laslett, who pleaded guilty to the charge of being drunk and disorderly, said: “To be fair I wasn’t that drunk because I was only in the cell for four hours.

“If I was that bad don’t you think I would have been in overnight?”

He added: “It was the World Cup on so there was around 1,000 people in town doing as I was and they chose me. That’s my luck isn’t it?”

Sentencing, Magistrate Brennan said: “We’re going to deal with this by way of a fine. The fine will be £160. You must pay costs of £85 and the victim surcharge will be £35.”

Kent Live

A MAN who spray-painted swastikas around the city and set fire to buildings including a school and a church over the course of a month has pleaded guilty to all charges.

Austin Ross, 23, of Romney Close in Newport, pleaded guilty to 15 counts in total at a brief hearing in Cardiff Crown Court today.

The charges relate to a series of swastikas and racially aggravated graffiti and two arson attacks in Newport between May 2 and May 31 this year.

Two swastikas appeared on a wall and post at the University of South Wales building in Newport city centre during the late May bank holiday weekend.

Alongside one of the swastikas was a message apparently written in support of far right activist Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who co-founded the English Defence League.

Today, Ross admitted nine counts of causing racially aggravated damage to property.

He owned up to damaging the windows of the Riverfront Theatre in the city centre on May 3, the front door of the Bethel Baptist Church in Bassaleg and a school sign belonging to Maindee Primary School on May 4, as well as a footbridge belonging to Newport City Council on May 5.

Ross also targeted Maindee Primary school a second time on May 28, the Gwent Probation Service building on Lower Dock Street between May 27 and May 31, the University of South Wales Newport campus and the walls of the Masonic Hall on May 28.

Four other counts of racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress were admitted by Ross between May 2 and May 5.

The charges read out in court noted his actions were based on the membership or perceived membership of a particular racial group.

He also admitted two counts of arson, setting fire to the front doors and hallway of the Masonic Hall in Lower Dock Street on May 28 and destroying a classroom at Bassaleg secondary school on May 29.

Judge Eleri Rees, addressing Ross’ legal representative Harry Baker, warned that the defendant was “not helping himself” by refusing to cooperate, and added she would order a psychiatric assessment before sentencing.

“A more sinister interpretation can be put on his behaviour because he has not explained his actions,” said Judge Rees.

“It does make it difficult for anybody to second guess that there might be a background that could help explain this.

“He doesn’t help himself in that way.

“I’m going to order a psychiatric assessment and we will set up a time table for sentencing.”

Addressing the defendant, Judge Rees added: “I would encourage you to try to cooperate and reflect upon what could be of assistance to you.”

Ross will now appear in court on August 21 for sentencing.

South Wales Argus.

A MAN drank 12 pints of cider and called an Asian police officer “a f****** P*** b******” before yelling “I am EDL” in Darlington’s police cells.

Thomas Mason also shouted out in support of imprisoned far-right activist Tommy Robinson after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly following an evening in the town’s Tubwell Tap public house on June 2.

But it was his language towards an ethnic minority police officer which earned him a more serious charge.

The 35-year-old, from South Kirby, Pontefract, appeared before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe yesterday and pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly, and a racially-aggravated public order offence.

Lorna Rimell, prosecuting, said: “Police were called by the door staff at the Tubwell Tap.

“The defendant was in a state of intoxication. Police approached him and he told them to f*** off and said ‘I f****** love England’.

“He was warned three times about his abusive behaviour and language and he told them again to f*** off.

“He was arrested and taken to the police station where he met the PC. The defendant spoke to him in a mocking tone.

“He then said you f***** P*** b****, I am EDL.

“He was chanting EDL, EDL, EDL and also ‘Tommy Robinson’.”

Once he had sobered up Mason, a forklift truck driver, told police he had drunk 12 or more pints of cider and had only a vague recollection of events.

“He said he doesn’t consider himself to be racist,” said Ms Rimell.

“He said he was disgusted when told about his actions.”

The court heard that Mason visited Darlington to offer support to a friend who was going through a difficult time and accepted he had become ‘completely intoxicated’.

Darren Brown, mitigating on behalf of Mason, said the defendant had very recently come out of a 12-year relationship and had two young children aged one and four, and had been drinking as things had started to get on top of him.

He had been using alcohol as a way to deal with emotional trauma, the court heard, and now had to regret the night he spent in a police cell.

Mr Brown added: “He states that he is not a racist person and has no idea why he would say such things. He also doesn’t usually drink because he works nights.”

Magistrates said had the case not been racially motivated it would be been considered a a far more minor offence.

Mason was handed a £300 fine, ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Northern Echo