A rioter who ‘hijacked’ a flag of St George and used it to beat a left-wing protester until it snapped has been jailed.

Tony Baker then threw bricks at rivals before giving Nazi-style salutes during an incident in Dover, Kent, in January.

Tony Baker, 30, of D'arcy Square, Murton

Tony Baker, 30, of D’arcy Square, Murton

But when he was ordered to appear at Canterbury Crown Court for his trial, he failed to show up because his wife, Natalie had just given birth to their third child.

Judge James O’Mahony told him: “It’s everyone’s right to protest peacefully but wouldn’t it have been better if you had stayed at home with your wife and baby than risk what eventually happened?”

His barrister, Matthew Hardyman, said the 30-year-old builder had realised other rioters were being jailed “and decided to earn as much money as he could” before being sent to prison.

But going AWOL cost Baker an extra month inside – after the judge jailed him for a total of 30 months.

He had pleaded guilty to violent disorder after travelling from his home in D’arcy Square, Murton, to join the protest.

Prosecutor Robert Ward told how Baker was caught on CCTV holding an English flag in front of the Priory Hotel.

He was later seen wearing a mask and running towards left-wing protesters, hurling bricks and other objects and using the broken flag pole to strike an opponent “at least six times” until it snapped.

After his arrest he was ordered to appear at a hearing in September – but failed to show up.

Mr Hardyman said Baker and his wife were “childhood sweethearts” who had been together since he was 13.

“The reason he didn’t turn up for his trial was because Natalie had given birth to their third child. A lot of his colleagues, who had also attended the demonstration, had received custodial sentences.

“Frankly, he wanted to get as much money as possible in the bank so his wife, who is caring for their three children, a nine-year-old, a four-year-old and a new-born, would be in the best position to survive as long as possible without him.”

Last week, Baker turned up at a Durham police station and gave himself up after an arrest warrant had been issued.

“He maintains he was hit first by bricks being thrown by left wing protesters and he knows now he should have walked away. He knows that now and knows he has made a terrible mistake, “ added Mr Hardyman.

The judge told him that the riot was “not about politics but about maintaining the peace and law and order as against wholesale violent behaviour”.

“Everyone has a right to be patriotic and demonstrate peacefully but you took a lead role in what was unacceptable, something which was unpleasant for the people of Dover and not much fun for the police,” he added.

“There is nothing wrong with holding a flag, but you hijacked it in the course of violence and genuinely patriotic people would be offended by you using the flag like that.”

Sunderland Echo

Dean Thompson, left, and Jamie Welsh have each been jailed for three years.

Dean Thompson, left, and Jamie Welsh have each been jailed for three years.

A pair of robbers who knocked a drunk man to the ground and kicked him in the head have been jailed for three years.

The victim had been enjoying a night out in Newcastle city centre when he started talking to Jamie Welsh and Dean Thompson.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the pair followed him along the street and grabbed him with such force that he fell to the ground.

While on the floor he was aware his rucksack was being pulled from him by Welsh, 18, and Thompson, 21.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, told the court: “Both defendants started to kick him to his head and stand on him.

“He raised his arms to try and protect himself, he felt there was blood running down his face.”

The victim, who lost possessions including a gold iPhone and his wallet and bank cards, managed to get away and went to a bar for assistance.

Tthe items taken from the victim were recovered from the defendants after the attack in August.

Welsh, formerly of Tyneside Foyer, Newcastle, and Thompson, of Westgate Road, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to robbery.

While on bail, Welsh broke into the empty home of a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and stole an ashtray containing money from a car.

He admitted burglary, theft and criminal damage in connection with those offences.

Barry Robson, defending Welsh, said he’d had to leave home due to his drug taking and had been living on the streets after being asked to leave the Tyneside Foyer.

In relation to the robbery, Mr Robson said: “We are dealing with someone who is 18 and has been coming before the courts since March 2015.

“The situation has gradually got worse.”

Paul Currer, defending Thompson, said: “He’s a young man, he has a learning disability and has problems with his mental health.

“He doesn’t seek to blame others, he’s a very immature 21-year-old, but he understands the seriousness of the offence.”

Recorder William Lowe QC told the pair: “A young man was making his way home after a night out in Newcastle, he had a lot to drink and admitted he was drunk. He was therefore vulnerable.

“He had on his back a rucksack, and a wallet containing credit cards, when he was set upon by these two men.

“He was set to the ground with considerable force. When he was on the ground he was stamped on by these two.

“CCTV was able to capture these two young men and their victim. They were arrested very close to the scene of the offence of robbery.

“They had the items that had been stolen from their victim including the credit cards from his wallet.

“This was in my view a serious offence of robbery.”

Recorder Lowe QC sentenced both Welsh and Thompson to three years in prison.

Sunderland Echo




A driver who abandoned his vehicle after crashing into a roundabout and killing his teenage passenger has been jailed.

Tyrone Quinn, 20, had been drinking in Newcastle on the eve of the Ladies Day races with a group of friends that included 17-year-old James Docherty.

In the early hours of the next morning, July 24, the group got into Quinn’s blue BMW 3 Series car and were caught on camera driving dangerously through the city centre.

They then made their way towards Gateshead but at the roundabout junction of the Redheugh Bridge and Askew Road Quinn lost control causing the BMW to overturn.

Police received the call at around 4am and when they arrived they found front seat passenger James Docherty has suffered fatal injuries. He was sadly pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Quinn was arrested by police but refused to assist their investigation and sat in silence throughout their questioning.

Northumbria Police Motor Patrols officers launched an investigation and were eventually able to identify Quinn as the driver. He was later charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

He was also charged with causing death whilst disqualified from driving, causing death whilst uninsured, driving whilst unfit through alcohol, driving whilst unfit through drugs and two counts of driving while above the prescribed drug limit.

Quinn, of Hewitson Terrace, Felling, Gateshead, admitted the offences at Newcastle Crown Court and today he was jailed for six years and nine months. He was also banned from driving for five years, which will start when he is released from prison.

Following the case, police released footage of the BMW being driven earlier in the morning to show the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Senior investigating officer, Sergeant Steve Armstrong said: “We have released this footage to show just how dangerously Quinn was driving on the night of this collision.

“He was under the influence of both alcohol and drugs and was driving in a dangerous manner at high speed in Newcastle city centre on one of the busiest nights of the year without any regard for members of the public or the passengers in his vehicle.

“I do not get any pleasure from a case where a young man has lost his life and our thoughts are with James’ family at what must be an incredibly difficult time for them.

“This is a devastating reminder of how dangerous it can be to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. People think that they may be invincible but the sad truth is that is not the case.

“The only positive that can come from this case is that it acts as a reminder to other motorists, young drivers in particular, that a vehicle can be a deadly weapon when it is not treated with respect.

“Officers from Motor Patrols and Op Dragoon are committed to identifying those who feel that it is acceptable to drive motor vehicles on the road without complying with the law and we will take positive action against those involved.”

James’ mother Rachel released a statement on behalf of her family following the case and have paid tribute to the teenager who had just left school to start a career as a bricklayer.

They said: “The whole situation does not yet feel real to me. I have mixed emotions of sadness, anger and overall disbelief that James is gone.

“James was 17-years-old when he was taken from us. It is such a waste of a young man who had a positive future ahead of him. There is a sense of emptiness without his presence.

“I often see Ian (James’ father) getting upset and he regularly asks the same question that only Tyrone Quinn can answer: ‘Why would you drive a car when you’re under the influence of drink and drugs?’

“I understand Tyrone Quinn has not assisted the police during their investigation. This has added to our family’s grief, I cannot understand why Tyrone would not help the police investigate the death of his supposed friend.

“His refusal to give any account during police interviews has left us in the dark when all we want is to understand how James was taken from us.

“There is no sentence which could make up for my son being taken away. What I want is to have James back but that isn’t going to happen.”

Sunderland Echo




A violent protester who was filmed giving the Nazi salute has been jailed.

Andrew Broadbent, 44, of St Mary’s Walk in Bridlington, Yorkshire, was filmed fighting, throwing objects and hitting a man with a stick during the disorder on Saturday January 30.

Broadbent’s image was circulated to other police forces, which led to his arrest at the end of July.

He was also caught on camera giving a Nazi salute.

He was subsequently charged with violent disorder, which he admitted prior to his sentencing hearing at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday October 21.

Divisional commander Chief Superintendent Andrea Bishop of Kent Police said: ‘This is another positive outcome for everyone affected by the disorder created by Andrew Broadbent and the many others who have also been sentenced for offences committed on the day of the protests.

“The behaviour on display was totally unacceptable and it is pleasing to see the courts imposing prison terms in response.

‘I hope this acts as a powerful deterrent to anyone considering causing trouble at any future protests in Kent.’

Kent Live

Andrew Coulter is currently serving a six-year sentence imposed at the High Court in Edinburgh in February this year for stabbing a 26-year-old man to death.

The stabbing took place within weeks of Coulter being served with an indictment charging him with the murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar.

Coulter was originally charged with the murder of Patrick Kelly, but the Crown accepted his plea to a reduced charge of culpable homicide.

The details of the case could not be revealed until now because of a reporting ban imposed under the Contempt of Court Act.

Lord Cameron was told that Coulter, of Linghope Place, Gowkthrapple, Wishaw, intended only to hurt Mr Kelly with a ”jab” to the thigh, but the single blow struck an artery and the victim bled to death within minutes.

Coulter had left a party on September 11, 1999, and was seen outside a house in Tarbert Avenue, Wishaw, brandishing a knife, and challenging someone to come out and fight.

Coulter then gathered with friends in Caledonian Road, where Mr Kelly passed by about 2.30am, saying ”All right boys”. Coulter responded by calling Mr Kelly a ”grass” and he ran away, pursued by Coulter and friends, until he was cornered in a block of flats.

A resident who had heard a scream found the victim lying in a pool of blood. Paramedics were unable to revive him. A single stab wound to the right thigh had penetrated 14cm, piercing the femoral artery.

Donald Findlay, QC, defence counsel, said Coulter had armed himself with a knife, anticipating more trouble after an argument over records which had been borrowed. Mr Kelly had nothing to do with this and had come on the scene by chance.

”In the heat of the moment, Coulter stabbed him quite deliberately in the leg in the belief that it would inflict pain but would not be capable of causing serious harm. Unfortunately, Coulter would be unaware of the existence of the femoral artery.”

The Crown accepted that Coulter had not acted with the wicked recklessness required for a charge of murder. Only light force had been needed to inflict the wound.

The Herald

Andrew Coulter joins joined far-right demonstrators at a racist rally in Edinburgh in July

Andrew Coulter joins joined far-right demonstrators at a racist rally in Edinburgh in July 2016

Warren Ian Hamer, 36, of Woodbine Road in Burnley

Warren Ian Hamer, 36, of Woodbine Road in Burnley

A CAREER criminal who ‘reverted to type’ after he got into money troubles has been jailed.

Burnley Crown Court heard Warren Ian Hamer, 36, had multiple previous convictions for burglary and theft but had turned his life around and was in a stable relationship, had a full-time job and also had a young son.

But after getting into debt after moving into a house with his family, he ‘returned to his old ways’ and attempted to burgle a house but was caught at the scene, the court heard.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said: “The burglary itself is quite straight forward. Neighbours reported seeing a man acting strangely in Coniston Street, Burnley, at 9pm on September 9.

Police attended and found the defendant at the scene. He had been interrupted near to the end of the burglary.”

Mr McEntee said Hamer, of Woodbine Road in Burnley, had already taken various electrical equipment from the house and was in the process of stealing a bike.

He was also found with a screw driver and a Stanley knife, which the police was satisfied was for the purpose of the burglary.

The court heard the man who lived in the house was staying at his girlfriend’s at the time of the burglary.

Defending, Richard Taylor said his client had shown genuine remorse for the burglary and realised his girlfriend and 18-month-old son was suffer as a consequence of his actions.

Mr Taylor said: “When he was arrested and taken for interview he immediately admitted the offence. The property has been recovered.

“The previous burglaries were committed when he was a serious drug user.

“Since leaving custody in 2014 he has taken up with his girlfriend. Her mother employed him. They work in a recycling depot. He was on a fairly low wage. They moved in to a new home. There was a lot of debt. Their tax credits were cut.

“He fully accepts he reverted to type. Once he was in custody in realised what he has lost.”

In a letter to the court Hamer, who admitted to one charge of burglary, acknowledged that he had let down his girlfriend, son and employed.

Jailing Hamer for 32 months Judge Beverley Lunt said: “There is something very wrong if your first impulse when you have money worries is to burgle a home.

“You have a partner who supports you and a child. How would you feel if someone burgles their home?”

Lancashire Telegraph




A serial burglar was caught with 13 wraps of amphetamine strapped to his private parts when police arrested him for an attempted house raid.

Mark Wright confessed “it’s wizz, for my personal use”, when the packages, attached to his penis and testicles, were found.

It is believed he had used cellotape to hold the drugs in place and confessed he had been trying to hide them from his wife.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 43-year-old, who has served prison sentences for burglaries in the past, was arrested by police who caught him trying to break into a house at Close Street in Sunderland on August 25.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court: “While in custody the defendant was subjected to a full body search and 13 wraps of white powder were found strapped to his penis and testicles.

“On them being discovered, he said ‘it is wizz, for personal use’.”

Wright, of Rosedale Street, Sunderland, admitted attempted burglary and possession of amphetamine.

Alec Burns, defending, said, despite Wright’s bad criminal record, he had found work since his last jail term and was staying away from trouble.

Mr Burns said: “He was taking amphetamine to allow him to work longer hours.

“He had to buy the drugs and got into debt.

“He was hiding the fact he was using drugs again from his wife, who would have stopped him had she known. ”

Mr Burns said the attempted break-in was a blip, not a sign Wright, who still has a job open to him, was going back to his “old ways”.

Mr Recorder Christopher Williams sentenced Wright, who has spent a month in custody on remand, to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with

rehabilitation requirements.

The judge said he accepted Wright had “done well” since his release from prison and told him: “I accept you are disappointed in yourself.

“It is in your hands now.”
Sunderland Echo