A Sheffield man who shot a teenager, leaving 50 lead pellets embedded in his body, has been jailed for six years.

Nathan Marples, aged 25, of Wordsworth Avenue, Parson Cross, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court today, for sentencing in relation to an incident at a garage in Sheffield on Friday, July 22.

At about 11.30pm that evening, the victim, a 19-year-old man, was at the Esso garage in Wordsworth Avenue when Marples approached him, firing a gun in his direction.

The victim received minor pellet wounds to his arm and stomach as a result of the incident.

Marples was arrested shortly after and subsequently charged. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Marples was sentenced to six years for grievous bodily harm and three years for the firearms offence, to run alongside each other. He was also made subject to a Criminal Behaviour Order.

Acting Detective Inspector John Yoxall, the investigating officer, said: “Marples knew the victim, who was fortunate enough not to suffer any serious injuries, and carried out a despicable, deliberate attack on him.

“South Yorkshire Police will actively pursue and seek out anyone illegally carrying or using a firearm. You will be arrested, and you will be brought to justice.

“Gun crime will not be tolerated across South Yorkshire and through intelligence led operations we have already apprehended a number of people found to have been in possession of a firearm.

“If you have concerns, or information about anyone thought to be in possession of a firearm, call us or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

Sheffield Star

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A FORMER Lugar and Craigmark footballer who hurled shameful racist abuse at a demonstration over Syrian refugees being housed in Scotland was spared jail for the offence this week.

Non-league midfielder Steven Kerr was arrested during clashes between pro and anti-refugee groups in Monkton.

The 31-year-old – who is known as “Kerso” – was detained after hurling racist abuse during the demonstration on Sunday, November 15 last year.

Tempers flared in Monkton’s Main Street when members of the Scottish Defence League and pro-refugee demonstrators expressed their views about around 150 refugees being granted emergency accommodation at the nearby Adamton Country House Hotel.

Kerr was held to yell “black b******” at the rally, which took place just hours after the Paris attacks which left 130 people dead and a further 368 injured.

The demo – which saw a pro-refugee group marching through the village – also took place following Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge that Britain would receive 1,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees before Christmas.

Kerr was held in custody pending a court appearance and was charged with breaking Section 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010.

Prosecutors claimed he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner which was likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm by shouting, swearing and making racial remarks.

He was due to go on trial at Ayr Sheriff Court last month but struck a deal with prosecutors which saw him plead guilty to an amended charge just minutes before his trial was due to start.

Kerr, who is also a member of the Ayr Protestant Boys Flute Band, admitted shouting a single racist remark during the clashes.

Sentence was deferred so he could assessed by social workers and he returned to the dock this week to learn his fate, with the threat of a possible 12-month jail term hanging over his head.

Procurator fiscal depute Lucy Adams told Sheriff John Montgomery that a pro-refugee group was marching through Main Street, Monkton, when they were met with an anti-refugee group.

Words were exchanged between the attendees, some of whom are understood to have been members of the far-right Scottish Defence League, insults were traded and Kerr was heard to shout the single racist comment.

Defence solicitor Steven Maxwell said Kerr had been provoked and reacted angrily because someone with a loudhailer shouted, “Get these Nazi scum off our streets” in his ear with the amplification device as he walked passed.

Sheriff John Montgomery then asked if Kerr’s attendance at the demo was evidence of racist views he holds.

He said: “Why did he go to this? He must have some interesting views?”

Maxwell replied: “In meetings I’ve had with him he doesn’t appear to have any particularly strong views.

“He had gone there with some friends.”

The lawyer asked for leniency for Kerr, who works as a delivery driver for Benson’s For Beds.

As he spared Kerr jail and fined him £750 for the offence, Sheriff Montgomery said: “I don’t think custody is necessary for this.

“You should be aware, Mr Kerr, that such derogatory and racial views can lead to more serious things taking place.”

Kerr has also played for Junior sides Ardrossan Winton Rovers and Whitletts Victoria in his non-league footballing career.

He left hometown club Whitletts Victoria in February this year due to work commitments.
Cumnock Chronicle

A thug whose girlfriend forgave him after he stabbed her repeatedly with a 12in sword has failed to persuade top judges to cut his sentence.

Paul Hutchinson, of Hereford Road, Hillview, Sunderland, left the woman with a fractured rib and 14 stab wounds in total to her chest, legs, arms and neck from the attack.
The 48-year-old was jailed for nine years at Newcastle Crown Court after being found guilty of wounding with intent in May.

His victim gave evidence in his trial and asked the judge not to lock him up.

She also wrote to the Court of Appeal, supporting his bid to have his sentence reduced.

Judge Jeremy Carey QC told the court she wrote she “doesn’t consider herself a victim” – and even suggested she was partly to blame for the incident.

But the judge said that, despite what his partner now says, at the time of the incident she was in fear and “vulnerable” – having been subjected to an hour-long ordeal.

He said judges are familiar with cases of domestic violence involving victims who wish to “forgive and start again”.

The court heard police arrived at the woman’s home during the early hours of November 30 last year and found her screaming, covered in blood and holding a tea-towel to her neck.

She told an officer in the back of an ambulance Hutchinson had attacked after drinking heavily.

She described being dragged by her hair, punched and kicked and then stabbed again and again.

Hutchinson had two earlier convictions for violence towards previous partners.

He was aggressive when arrested and told a female police officer he would “get her raped” if she didn’t let him out of the van.

The crown court heard he was hardworking and a supportive family man, who should have received a shorter jail term.

Dismissing his appeal, Judge Carey said the sentence was “not excessive” for the “sustained assault”.

Sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, he added: “In our view, the judge was right not to regard the views of the victim as anything more than part of a narrative in this case.

“Trial counsel was able to say she did not come across as vulnerable at trial – indeed, quite the opposite.

“But the fact of the matter is that, whatever her demeanour at trial, on the night in question she was, in this court’s view, undoubtedly highly vulnerable.”

Sunderland Echo

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Peter Scotter. Credit: PA

Peter Scotter. Credit: PA

A man who became abusive to Sunderland paramedics who were trying to help him spat into a police officer’s eye in facing a jail sentence.

Peter Scotter, 55, carried out the act at Sunderland Royal Hospital – where he had been taken for treatment after being arrested, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess said the incident started when police were called by the ambulance service at 6.20pm, on October 26, to Hendon Road, where Scotter was behaving aggressively.

As officers boarded the ambulance, they saw him sitting in a chair with a minor head injury.

Ms Burgess said there was a strong small of alcohol on Scotter and he seemed extremely drunk.

She said he then launched in to a torrent of abuse and – despite repeatedly being told to calm down – he continued his tirade and was arrested and taken to Southwick police station.

Ms Burgess said: “Due to the head injury he was then transported to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“He was taken to a treatment room and appeared to calm down.

“He requested removal of the handcuffs but, after the nurses had left the room, he lunged forward and spat a mouthful of spit into the officer’s face.

“Some of this gone into the officer’s left eye.”

Scotter, of Beach Street, Sunderland, pleaded guilty being drunk and disorderly and assaulting a police officer.

Anna Haq, defending, said: “This incident in the hospital with the police officer. Mr Scotter is fully aware that, no doubt, you will be looking towards a custodial sentence in relation to this incident.

“Mr Scotter is ashamed of his behaviour and has no recollection of it.”

She added: “He’d had seven pints of alcohol but that would not put him into this state.

“He does not understand how he received his head injury.”

The case was adjourned for reports to be prepared and Scotter was told by the bench that they did not rule out custody.

He will be sentenced at South Tyneside Magistrates’ court on December 6.
Sunderland Echo

Ryan Johnson, 24, of Eversley, also sentenced for inflicting grievous bodily harm on a man

Ryan Johnson, 24, of Eversley in Widnes, has been sentenced to a total of three years and 10 months imprisonment for four counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of wounding/inflicting GBH

Ryan Johnson, 24, of Eversley in Widnes, has been sentenced to a total of three years and 10 months imprisonment for four counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of wounding/inflicting GBH

A WIDNES man had been caged for 30 months for sexual activity with a teenage girl and a handed a 16 month consecutive jail sentence for GBH.

Ryan Johnson, 24, of Eversley in Hough Green, appeared at Warrington Crown Court on Friday, November 4.

Judge Neil Flewitt sentenced Johnson to a total of three years and 10 months behind bars for four counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) on a man.

The judge told the defendant he must serve half his sentence in custody before being released on licence.

Matthew Dunford, prosecuting, told the court that the sexual offences took place on Saturday, July 11, last year with the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Mr Dunford told the court how the defendant committed offences on four occasions on that day and said that Johnson was arrested by police on Monday, July 13.

The prosecution said Johnson, who was 23 at the time, told officers during an interview that he thought the victim was 17.

However, Mr Dunford said that messages recovered from the victim’s phone between her and the defendant ‘makes it clear’ that Johnson knew the girl’s age.

A victim personal statement from the girl read out in court by Mr Dunford said that she had ‘suffered nightmares and regularly wakes up crying’.

The prosecution added that the GBH charge covered an assault in April this year outside a pub in Widnes in which Johnson punched a man who suffered a fractured jaw, later having to undergo an operation under general anaesthetic. A victim personal statement from the man read out by Mr Dunford said that he experienced ‘severe pain’.

Andrew Green, defending Johnson, who has previously been in prison for offences including threatening with a blade and assault with intent to rob, said his client has never had a ‘stable home’ and comes from a ‘broken’ family background.

He said client is also ashamed with the ‘label’ that is attached to him due to the offences he has committed.

Mr Green said: “Clearly Ryan Johnson understands that this has to be a prison sentence. The only question is how long that must be.”

Judge Flewitt, sentencing, said: “You have a number of previous convictions. It is right to observe you have no convictions for sexual offences but you have a number of convictions for offences of violence.”

The judge sentenced Johnson to 30 months in prison for the sexual offences with 16 months consecutively for the assault charge.

Liverpool Echo

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A man hurled a torrent of abuse at a schoolboy and then repeatedly drove his car at him – because he was a Muslim.

The terrified 15-year-old was forced to jump over a wall to get away from Lee Blenkin as he zig zagged towards him.

Blenkin, once honoured by the Queen for services to the community, was jailed after admitting to religiously-aggravated assault.

District Judge Michael Fanning told him: “This is disgusting behaviour.

“You caused enormous fear to a 15-year-old boy and the public won’t tolerate this, neither will this court.”

The attack on the boy happened as he walked towards his mosque wearing full Islamic dress on August 9.

As he headed along Carlton Road in Dewsbury Blenkin drove past, wound his window down and shouted something at him.

Jill Seddon, prosecuting, told Kirklees Magistrates’ Court: “The boy said: ‘He seemed to want my attention and I went towards the car.

“‘When I got to the passenger window the man said why did you convert to them?

“‘I said what do you mean and he said why the f**k are you wearing that?

“‘He shouted at me and I believe this was because I was wearing Islamic dress.’”

Blenkin continued to shout at the teenager, making reference to him being a Muslim, and this tirade of abuse lasted for around one-and-a-half minutes.

When the 49-year-old finished shouting, he reversed away before driving at the boy.

He said: “I ran away and the vehicle drove at me again. It did this four times.

“I heard the tyres losing grip and I ran as fast as I could as I thought he was going to hit me.”

The schoolboy eventually took refuge behind a wall, noted down the car number plate and texted the details to his sister who called police.

He added that he felt very distressed by his ordeal.

Zahid Majeed, mitigating, said that his client was “genuinely remorseful” and “bowed his head in shame” over his actions that day.

The court heard that successful engineer Blenkin, of Halifax Road in Dewsbury, was once invited to Buckingham Palace and given an award by the Queen.

Mr Majeed said: “He has nothing but remorse and regret.

“He understands that everyone has rights to their religious freedom and it was none of his business to make any comment about the way the complainant was dressed.”

Judge Fanning jailed Blenkin, who had no previous convictions, for 16 weeks.

He told him: “The only explanation for your behaviour is some type of deep seated animosity towards Muslims.

“You targeted a 15-year-old for no other reason than he was dressed as a Muslim.

“You revved the car engine, spun the wheels and drove at him in a zig zag as he ran no doubt in fear for his life.

“This is a deterrent sentence. Nobody should believe that they can behave in this way and target somebody because of their religion of race or belief.”

Because Blenkin used his car as a weapon, Judge Fanning also banned him from driving for 12 months and eight weeks.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner

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A MAN has today (Wednesday) been jailed for life to serve a minimum of 21 years for murdering a father who was falsely accused of being a paedophile in Pitsea.

Chris Carroll, 20, of Pevensey Close, Pitsea, was sentenced following a six-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, having been convicted of Darren Kelly’s murder yesterday.

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Darren Kelly, of Voysey Gardens, Pitsea, was stabbed after being lured to Caister Drive on 20 October last year. Despite members of the public giving the 42-year-old first aid, he later died at Basildon Hospital.

Two boys aged 16 and 17 and a 15-year-old girl, all from Pitsea, also standing trial were found not guilty of murder.

The teenage girl had arranged to meet Mr Kelly via a messaging app.

But Mr Kelly had thought he had been speaking to a woman and there was no evidence that he was interested in underage girls.

He was chased and assaulted, before Carroll stabbed him several times.

The court heard attempts had been made to dispose of the evidence.

Carroll had thrown his hooded top into a wheeled bin in St Mary’s Crescent, Pitsea, and the murder weapon, a hunting knife, into Opal Lake near Burnt Mills Road.

Forensic tests confirmed the knife was the murder weapon and had also been used to slash the tyres of Mr Kelly’s car, which was parked in Edinburgh Way.

Speaking after the hearing, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “While nothing will bring Darren back, we hope the verdict will help give his family some closure so they can move forward.

“Darren was viciously attacked and lost his life due to the completely unfounded belief that he intended to meet an underage girl.

“Essex Police strongly deter anyone from vigilante behaviour at any level. They could be acting upon inaccurate information and putting innocent people at serious risk.

“Anyone who has a genuine concern about potential criminal activity should always contact us so that we can investigate and not take the law into their own hands.

“I also want to reassure the residents of Basildon that knife crime is an issue that we take extremely seriously and we remain committed to putting offenders before the courts and working with our partners to make our communities safer.”

The Enquirer

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