In a quiet cul-de-sac off Beverley Road, a neighbour peered over her garden wall into the back yard of 7 May Street.

She could hardly believe her eyes, but there appeared to be a foot sticking out from under a duvet.

The woman called police, reporting what appeared to be a body in next door’s yard.

She did not know there were in fact two, and she had stumbled upon the scene of East Yorkshire’s first double murder for nearly 20 years.

He had long since fled, but Phillip Simmons, 38, one of several residents at the privately rented property, had turned 7 May Street into a house of horrors.

The burly and intimidating 16.5st thug had murdered housemate Daniel Hatfield, 52, who weighed just 6st, and his friend Matthew Higgins, 49, who was only paying him a visit.

It may never be known who was killed first, but Simmons told police it was Mr Hatfield, which would mean Mr Higgins was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For after attacking his first victim in the kitchen, and continuing the assault with a variety of weapons after dragging him into the yard, Simmons walked back into the house and found the second man standing in the kitchen.

He took a “calculated”, instant decision to kill him too, later telling police: “I thought that I had no choice, I’m gonna have to do him as well.

The two murders were almost identical, involving beating and the use of multiple weapons.

It was a grim task that befell the officer who had to remove the duvet.

But in an exclusive interview with the Mail, the officer who led the inquiry revealed that other potential victims crossed Simmons’s path, and may have been lucky to escape with their lives.

After the second killing, Simmons walked back into the house and found someone else in the kitchen, a woman who also lived there.

The killer decided to leave.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Cockerill said she may be “simply lucky to be alive, considering the mindset of Simmons at the time, having just murdered two men who were no threat to him, one after the other.

“He’d reached a tipping point in his life where he’d committed these crimes.

“He had nothing to lose and could see where this would end up, and that was prison for the rest of his life.”

Simmons was on the run, but he was already a suspect and evidence was being quickly gathered against him.

He dumped his trainers in the bin at a “local address”, but these were recovered.

As well as retrieving forensic evidence from the scene and making inquiries locally, police continued filling in any gaps in their knowledge even after Simmons was arrested.

Det Chief Insp Cockerill said: “We spent some considerable time creating a timeline between the murders and his arrest to help us understand what had happened and where our evidential opportunities lay.”

It is thought Simmons spent just two days at large before he was arrested after a robbery at a Betfred bookmakers in Preston Road, east Hull, from which he hoped to fund his flight from justice.

Simmons, whom police describe as “a physically imposing, large man”, threatened the manager with a broken bottle, and demanded money.

Police say the manager was wise not to have challenged Simmons, handing over the £2,800 he took.

Det Chief Insp Cockerill said: “It was that decision and good fortune that he was not seriously injured, or worse, because Simmons knew what he’d done, he knew he was wanted, he had nothing to lose, and he’s an extremely violent and volatile individual.

“Simmons is capable of remarkable levels of violence.”

The officer said it is one of the worst cases he has seen.

“I’ve seen worse injuries,” he said, “but to have one after the other in such a premeditated way, which for me is an illustration and indication of where he was psychologically at the time, where he’s thinking that’s a rational decision, where a man has used horrendous levels of violence in two murders, is shocking.”

Det Chief Insp Cockerill praised relatives of the victims for the dignity they showed in court yesterday, when Simmons admitted two counts of murder and robbery.

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Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told the killer: “Phillip Simmons, you have pleaded guilty to two exceptionally serious crimes, and the crime of robbery.

“In respect of the murder convictions, there is but one sentence I shall be passing in due course, and that is a life sentence incumbent on each of the two counts.

“The only issue for determination is the minimum term that should be served in this case.

“There is an argument that I should impose a whole life term, but cogent arguments have been advanced as to why I should not take that course.

“I make it clear at this juncture I have not made any decision.

“At present I keep an open mind, but it is only right that I should indicate that I take, of course, an exceptionally serious view of such an exceptionally serious case.”

Hull Daily Mail

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Michael Roles will serve 18 years in prison.

Michael Roles will serve 18 years in prison.

An “evil” child rapist has been jailed after being found guilty of 15 sexual offences against children.

Michael Roles, of Bridlington, will serve an 18-year sentence for the rape of a girl under the age of 13, the attempted rape of a girl under the age of 13, indecent assault and twelve other similar offences against children.

Roles, 64, was sentenced on Friday at Lincoln Crown Court.

The officer who led the investigation into Roles’ crimes paid tribute to his victims, whose evidence helped to bring him to justice.

Detective Constable Trisha Wells, of Lincolnshire Police, said: “They will never forget the horror of what has happened, but I hope the conclusion of this case today and the jailing of this evil man will bring them a degree of closure and that they can start to rebuild their lives.”

Hull Daily Mail

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An internet troll jailed for making death threats and threatening to blow up a mosque has been banned from contacting his victims for five years.

John Nimmo, 28, emailed Labour MP Luciana Berger calling her “Jewish scum” who would “get it like Jo Cox”.

Nimmo was jailed for 27 months last week after admitting nine offences under the Malicious Communications Act.

An order prohibits him from contacting his victims’ close relatives or using a false identity to post comments online.

Nimmo, from South Shields, South Tyneside, faces an additional five years in jail if he breaches the order.

He has also been ordered to give mobile phone, laptop and tablet passwords to police, along with details of his internet usage.

Nimmo had emailed Liverpool Wavertree MP Ms Berger, telling her to “watch your back Jewish scum”.

He also admitted sending emails to an anti-hate crime group in which he threatened to blow up a mosque.

Ms Berger has said she had been left in “huge distress” and “extremely concerned” for her safety.

Nimmo was jailed for 27 months last week after admitting nine offences under the Malicious Communications Act.

He had previously been jailed in 2014 for sending abusive tweets to MP Stella Creasy and feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.

BBC News

Jack Hart has been banned after trouble at the European Championships last summer (Picture: Facebook/Jack Hart)

Jack Hart has been banned after trouble at the European Championships last summer (Picture: Facebook/Jack Hart)

A football hooligan caught on camera hurling glass bottles at rival fans at the European Championships last summer has received the maximum banning order the law can impose.

Jack Hart is now not allowed to attend any match at any level in the UK or abroad for the next five years after he was caught up in trouble at the European Championships in France last summer.

The 26-year-old has also been barred from going in Blackpool and Fleetwood town centres on home match days. Hart, of Bramley Avenue in Fleetwood, must also surrender his passport to police within the next five days after Blackpool magistrates imposed the order yesterday morning.

When approached by The Gazette for a comment yesterday, Bolton fan Hart swore and said: “Russians attacking us and it’s the English that get banned. This country and its justice system is a joke. No back bone.”

The court heard how Hart, who had been subject of a similar order from 2010 to 2014, was identified from video filmed by undercover officers at Euro 2016 in France. He was seen throwing bottles as part of violence that led local police to tear gas England fans, and was charged under the Football Spectators Act 1989 for his part in the disorder.

Prosecuting for the police, Luke McGrath said the identification process had taken some time, while there had also been a lengthy liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Hart, who did not oppose the order or say anything during the hearing, must also stay away from Fleetwood’s Highbury stadium on match days, and cannot follow the team when they play away.

He must also tell police of any change of address, the court ruled. “Hart has to surrender his passport by reporting to Fleetwood police station within five days,” a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

The ban on match days is in place three hours before and three hours after a game, the spokesman confirmed said.

He added: “This order will be circulated to local officers and the club, and Hart could be reported for any breaches.”

Sickening clashes between rival fans took place on three consecutive nights in Marseille, ahead of the England versus Russia game, while fighting also broke out inside the Stade Velodrome after the referee brought the match to an end at 1-1 on Saturday, June 11. A number of Russian fans were arrested and detained following the violence, while a number of English fans were also jailed, deported, and banned from France.

Blackpool Gazette

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Reece McLaren, 21, has been jailed for 20 weeks and banned from all football for EIGHT years

Reece McLaren, jailed for 20 weeks for affray after football related attack in Halifax

Reece McLaren, jailed for 20 weeks for affray after football related attack in Halifax

A Huddersfield Town fan who repeatedly punched a group of teenagers has been jailed for 20 weeks and banned from all football for EIGHT years.

Reece McLaren, 21, of Darbyfields, Golcar, admitted carrying out the ‘totally unprovoked’ attack on March 19 last year at Halifax Station.

British Transport Police revealed earlier that day, McLaren had been drinking with a group of around 10 fellow Town fans in Leeds city centre prior to their team’s fixture against Leeds United.

But despite an official ‘dispersal’ warning to leave the area due to the group’s behaviour, they travelled to Halifax and continued drinking near the station.

McLaren later returned to Halifax station and spotted the Halifax Town fans who had been to a FA Trophy semi-final fixture against Nantwich.

He told police he mistakenly believed the teenagers were rival Nantwich fans and began to throw punches at them.

As one of the victims managed to raise the alarm and call police, McLaren and other members of the group jumped onto the tracks and ran off down the line.

He was subsequently arrested a few days later after he was recognised by an officer.

Pc Wayne Mitchell said: “After already being made to leave Leeds city centre due to his behaviour, McLaren continued to drink and then attacked a group of teenagers who were simply minding their own business at the station after watching the match.

“All of which have been left extremely shaken by his unprovoked and unexpected attack on them. Not only is McLaren now behind bars but when he gets out he will be unable to go and watch his team – or any other – for the next eight years. This should act as a reminder to other troublemakers about the potential consequences of their actions,” said Pc Mitchell.

“The vast majority of football fans are well-behaved but sadly, there is a very small minority – like McLaren – who are intent on causing trouble.”

McLaren pleaded guilty to affray and was jailed last week at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court.

He was already serving a 32-month sentence for a public order offence committed in Rotherham in 2015 following an English Defence League demonstration.

Huddersfield Examiner

CAUGHT OUT: Alan Boulter, left, being confronted by national paedophile hunters.

CAUGHT OUT: Alan Boulter, left, being confronted by national paedophile hunters.

TWO paedophile hunters trapped and filmed a man who thought he was meeting a vulnerable 13-year-old girl for sex after talking to her on Facebook.

He wanted some “naughty fun” and offered to pay the girl £50 for sex but she did not actually exist and instead he got a “nasty surprise” from the two vigilantes, a court heard.

The paedophile hunters streamed live coverage of their confrontation with the sexual predator on Facebook.

Alan Boulter, 52, of Pershore Avenue, Grimsby, admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming between November 21 and December 20.

Megan Rhys, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that Boulter intended to meet a 13-year-old girl called Chloe that he believed he had been communicating with on Facebook.

But she did not exist and it was trap by a paedophile hunter who had set up fake profiles in the names of Shannon and Chloe.

He went to Grimsby railway station for the supposed meeting but was confronted by two vigilantes who filmed the encounter and streamed it live over Facebook to expose him.

This was seen by a neighbour of his, who was so concerned about his safety that she contacted the police, who went to his home. The vigilantes passed a disk of the internet conversations to the police.

Boulter told police he exchanged messages in a Facebook chatroom to the girl he thought was 13-year-old Shannon and the conversations became sexual.

He spoke about having sex with the girl but claimed that, once she told him she was 13, he was not interested in her sexually.

He chatted with Chloe for about a week and thought that both girls lived in the same care home in Doncaster.

He claimed that he received a telephone call from Chloe saying she was running away and a later call saying that she was at Grimsby railway station and was frightened.

Boulter claimed that his “intention was simply to take her home”, said Miss Rhys.

“It was dark and she was scared and he denied any sexual intentions to her.”

He was confronted at the station by the two men.

After the messages from the disk were downloaded, it emerged that he was after “naughty fun” and was looking for a female to come and see him for sex.

He asked her intimate questions and suggested things he would like to do to her. He wanted to have sex with her but she should not tell anyone because it was illegal. He would pay her £50 for this and would meet her at the station.

“She was not to come and see him if she didn’t want sex,” said Miss Rhys.

“There was nobody that actually existed for him to carry out the activity with, however.”

Julia Baggs, mitigating, said that Boulter made admissions, co-operated with police and understood the seriousness of the offence.

The ex-lorry driver had no previous convictions and worked in security for 16 years.

“He is ashamed and remorseful about his behaviour,” said Miss Baggs.

“It is fortunate that, on this occasion, there was no direct victim.”

Judge Mark Bury said: “It’s no thanks to him, though. He did everything he could to meet a 13-year-old girl.”

He told Boulter: “You went to Grimsby railway station intending to meet a 13-year-old child.

“You were under the impression that she was a vulnerable person in care and was running away and that she had come to meet you for sex.

“You got a nasty surprise when you arrived at the railway station.

“You were confronted by two men who filmed that confrontation.

“It’s clear that you were prepared to have sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, possibly more than one.

“You offered to pay her. Of course, all of this was a scam. There was no 13-year-old girl but you did everything you could to make that happen.

“No harm has, in fact, been caused to any person. It’s clear that you intended very serious sexual offending against a child of 13.”

Boulter was jailed for 20 months and was given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order. He must register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Grimsby Telegraph

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Kevin Gaffin, 41, stormed round to the victim’s home in a fit of rage suspecting he was to blame for him being banned from pubs in Weybridge

A feud between two members of a working men’s club ended with one of them threatening to chop the other man’s head off with a meat cleaver.

The simmering tension came to the boil after Kevin Gaffin, 41, suspected Scott Rowlatt was to blame for him being banned from pubs in the Weybridge area, a court heard on Thursday.

The defendant, who was carrying a meat cleaver, stormed round to Mr Rowlatt’s home in Weybridge and caused £1,000 worth of damage to his van and vowed to decapitate him, Guildford Crown Court was told.

Gaffin, of St Mary’s Road in Weybridge, was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to making a threat to kill, criminal damage and unlawfully having a bladed article in a public place.

The court was told there was bad feeling between the two men, who were both members of Oatlands Park Working Mens Club, Weybridge.

Nick Hall, prosecuting, said the defendant went to the house where Mr Rowlatt was living on September 16 last year.

“The defendant was intoxicated and was carrying a meat cleaver,” he said.

Mr Hall said Gaffin banged on the door which was answered by another man who tried to calm him down.

He said that the defendant shouted: “I’m going to chop his f*****g head off.”

Mr Hall said during the disturbance, Gaffin struck Mr Rowlatt’s van repeatedly causing an estimated £1,000 worth of damage.

“He blamed Mr Rowlatt for getting him banned from bars in Weybridge,” he said.

Police were called and the defendant was arrested.

The court heard Gaffin had previous convictions for threatening behaviour and being drunk and disorderly.

Keith Goodhand, defending, said his client had been drinking when the offences were committed.

“He’s under no illusions that it’s going to be custodial sentence this afternoon,” he said.

Mr Goodhand stressed Gaffin had only carried the meat cleaver and had never actually brandished it in any way.

“He had a burning sense of grievance at the time,” he said.

Passing sentence, Judge Jonathan Black advised Gaffin to take steps to control his drinking and his behaviour to avoid coming back to court in future.

Get Surrey

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