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Suspended sentence

DRUGS CHARGES ... clockwise, from top left, Thomas Allen, Deborah Ritchie, Daniel Sayers and Adam Sayers.

DRUGS CHARGES … clockwise, from top left, Thomas Allen, Deborah Ritchie, Daniel Sayers and Adam Sayers.

FOUR drug dealers were arrested when police launched an undercover operation to tackle city centre crime.

Officers who posed as users ‘Gary and Emma’ were easily able to buy drugs from strangers they met while hanging around the busy streets of Sunderland.

Over a period of weeks the covert cops were regularly offered and sold cannabis.

On one occasion they were able to buy diamorphine during a deal that took place near Hudson Street Primary School.

As a result of the operation, Adam Sayers, 27 and Deborah Ritchie, 28, both of Somerset Street, Daniel Sayers, 31, of Hill View Square and Thomas Allen, 29, of Guildford Street, all in Sunderland, all admitted drugs charges.

All four have dozens of previous convictions for a variety of offences.

Prosecutor Micahael Hodson told Newcastle Crown Court; “This was an investigation into crime generally, in the centre of Sunderland.

“The prosecution say Adams Sayers is the busiest of all and he involved his girlfriend Miss Ritchie.

“Daniel Sayers made the first approach to the two officers, who were sitting on a wall in Sunderland town centre.

“The crown submit they are street dealers.”

The court heard the first meeting with the undercover officers was in early April last year.

The operation came to an end in August when the home of Sayers and Ritchie was raided and 14 wraps of cannabis were found.

Between those dates the officers had been able to purchase small amount of drugs, in exchange for cash, cigarettes and even razors.

The deals were often arranged via mobile phone after the initial street meeting in April.

Adam Sayers, who admitted supplying and offering to supply cannabis, was jailed for nine months.

Ritchie, who admitted supplying and offering to supply cannabis, was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with a two month curfew.

Allen, who admitted supplying cannabis, was sentenced to four month imprisonment, suspended for 18 months with supervision and a two month curfew.

Daniel Sayers, who admitted one charge of supplying diamorphine, was jailed for nine months , consecutive to a sentence he is serving for unrelated offences.

Judge Paul Sloan QC told them: “Your offending was detected as a result of a police operation where two undercover officers were deployed to operate covertly in Sunderland.”

The judge said he accepted Ritchie, who has turned her back on trouble and is co-operating fully with officials who are trying to help her, and Allen, who has no previous convictions for drugs offences and has settled down with a family, were lesser involved.

The court heard the diamophine handed over by Daniel Sayers during his brief involvement was worth less than £10 and he exchanged it for 100 cigarettes.

Alec Burns, defending, said the class A drug was in prescription tablet form, which got ground down during the exchange near the school.

Mr Burns said; “It was not someone who had heroin ready to supply, it was someone who improvised at the time.”

The court heard Adam Sayers has been diagnosed with health problems and has vowed to turn his back on trouble.

Sunderland Echo

The EDL supporter in this article is Tommy Allan

TA 1

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An English Defence League supporter from Rugeley has been banned from all licensed premises after a judge saw a recording of violence after the group he was in was turned away from a pub.

Ross Gilbert was the seventh man to be dealt with at Warwick Crown Court following a clash between EDL supporters and customers at the George Eliot pub in Bridge Street, Nuneaton.

He and the other six had all pleaded guilty to a charge of violent disorder following the incident which took place almost four years ago in February 2011.

Gilbert, aged 28, of William Morris Court, Rugeley, was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC also imposed an exclusion order banning him from all public houses and restaurants where alcohol is served for three months.

He told Gilbert, who was given a football banning order last month because of drunken behaviour at the Hawthorns in December, he had escaped custody ‘by a hair’s breadth.’

Prosecutor Lisa Hancox said a group of EDL supporters, including Gilbert, had been to Luton for a demonstration and had to change trains in Nuneaton on their way back to Staffordshire. Several of them took the opportunity to head into the town centre for a drink, and after going to a kebab shop they headed to the George Eliot.

On the way one of the group was captured by a CCTV camera stopping to put on a cross of St George face mask before they congregated outside the pub where they were refused entry. There was a stand-off during which a drinker came out of the pub and confronted the masked EDL supporter, at which point Gilbert threw a punch at him.

And Judge Lockhart, watching a CCTV recording observed: “He was the first to use physical violence.”

Gilbert, representing himself, said: “I feel ashamed. It was four years ago. I was younger, stupid. I’ve moved on in my life.”

Express & Star

A THUG who assaulted two 14-year-old girls has escaped going to prison.

Wayne McCurry headbutted one of the girls and punched the other four times.

The 30-year-old, who has a history of violence, was jailed for four years in September 2003 for wounding with intent and affray. Gateshead magistrates considered caging him again and told him: “Only custody is appropriate because these were unprovoked attacks but we are suspending the sentence because of your guilty plea.”

McCurry, of Lansbury Drive, Birtley, Gateshead, initially denied both assaults but changed his plea to guilty three days before his trial was due to take place.

Prosecutor Ian Simpson said the attacks on the girls, who can’t be named for legal reasons, took place in a Gateshead park last November 30.

McCurry attacked the girls as they were sitting on swings.

Mr Simpson said neither girl suffered serious injuries.

One was left with a sore ear and the other had bruising around her left eye.

McCurry was given a 26-week sentence suspended for 12 months and 12 months supervision.

He must do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay each of the girls pounds 50 compensation.

Wayne McCurry

Wayne McCurry in the blue nike top.


The Free Library

Thanks to North East Anti-facists, Indy Media Northern and EDL News for digging out this story from 2009.

Magistrates sentenced Davina Copeland and Steven Henley to 12 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months after they admitted handling stolen goods.

Steven Henley and Davina Copeland leaving Consett Magistrates court

Steven Henley and Davina Copeland leaving Consett Magistrates court

A pair of convicted fraudsters have walked free from court after being caught with disabled Tilly Lockey’s stolen bike.

The six-year-old’s mum today said her daughter had been left distraught by the “disgusting” act.

Davina Keenan Copeland and Steven Anthony Henley both pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and obstructing a police officer when they appeared before Consett Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Magistrates handed the pair 12 week jail terms suspended for 12 months.

The callous couple were visited by police on September 17, 36-year-old Copeland answered the door at the couple’s Ritsons Court home in Blackhill, Consett.

Police found the pink bike belonging to double amputee Tilly in a storage cupboard.

Henley, 33, was later found hiding behind a wardrobe.

Vicky Wilson, prosecuting, said: “Sergeant Davis found Steven hiding behind a wardrobe, he was arrested.

“He resisted Sgt Davis and attempted to pull away shouting threats.”

Ms Wilson read from a victim impact statement from Sarah Lockey, Tilly’s mother.

The statement said: “It’s horrible to think that somebody has been through your personal belongings and taken something such a child’s toy which means nothing to them and everything to the child.

“The fact that someone has taken items from a child has confused my six-year-old.

“Tilly, my disabled daughter, has particularly found memories of that bike as it was the first bike she could ever ride and join in with her sisters.

“Even after seeing my children upset on the TV they were not going to say anything – I think that’s disgusting.”

Tilly underwent a double amputation after contracting meningitis as a child and had her hands and toes amputated in 2007 after contracting group B meningococcal septicaemia.

The court heard the bike had been modified and had taken medical staff in Durham four months to carry out the work and the bike had been adapted with special brakes and a special seat which enabled Tilly to use it easily.

The court heard Henley had 14 previous convictions including five counts of fraud while Copeland had also been convicted of fraud.

David Malone, defending, told the court the pair found the bike in a back street and took it.

He added: “They put it in a cupboard in the house and two days later police came.

“Both of them are absolutely appalled at the fact that it belonged to Tilly Lockey.”

Mr Malone said both Copeland and Henley were ‘disgusted’ with their actions.

The court was told the pair both had a history of mental health problems and heroin abuse after their children were taken into care.

But Mr Malone added they had both been clean since January 2014.

The pair were each ordered to pay £150 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

The court was told Durham police provided Tilly with a new bike following the theft of her customised bicycle.

Newcastle Chronicle

henley

English Defence League supporters became involved in ‘grotesque violence’ as they tried to get into a pub on their way back from a rally, a court heard.

The clash between EDL supporters from Rugeley and Tamworth and drinkers at the pub in Nuneaton led to six men being sentenced at Warwick Crown Court for their parts in the disorder.

But because of the long delay in the police getting the case to court following the incident in February 2011, all six were handed suspended prison sentences.

Christopher Tully, John Horton, Neil Grant and Daniel Edkins were all sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to violent disorder.

Tully, 26, of Cadogan Road, Dosthill, Tamworth, was also ordered to do 130 hours of unpaid work and to pay £300 costs.

Horton, 44, of Johnson Close, Rugeley, whose health problems make him unfit for unpaid work, was made subject to a 4pm to 3am electronically-tagged curfew for three months.

Grant, 45, of Stoneleigh Court, Coton Road, Nuneaton, was ordered to do 120 hours work and pay £300 costs, and Edkins, 31, of Marston Lane, Nuneaton, to do 110 hours and to pay £100 costs.

Stephen Ginnelly, 52, of Franklin Court, Nuneaton, who had also admitted violent disorder, and Douglas Tully, 25, of Cadogan Road, Dosthill, who had pleaded guilty to affray, were both sentenced to six months suspended for 12 months. They were both ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work, with Ginnelly having to pay £100 costs and Douglas Tully £200.

A seventh man, Ross Gilbert, 27, of William Morris Close, Rugeley, who had admitted violent disorder, failed to turn up at the court, and his case was adjourned.

Prosecutor Jason Pegg said: “The disorder involved two groups. Both Tullys, together with Horton and Gilbert were part of the EDL group; and the second group was the other three defendants who were enjoying an evening in a pub in Nuneaton, the George Eliot in Bridge Street.

“The EDL group had been to Luton to an EDL demonstration. They got off the train and went into Nuneaton town centre. They bought some fish and chips and made their way to the George.”

CCTV coverage showed that on the way Christopher Tully put on gloves and a ski mask with the cross of St George on it.

When they reached the George Eliot at about 7.15pm people at the pub stood in the doorway to prevent them getting in.

Sentencing the men, Judge Griffith-Jones told them: “I don’t know if any of you thought you were being hard or impressive, you just looked truly pathetic.

“But the most important point in mitigation in this case is the fact that we are now in September 2014, and these events took place in February 2011.

“If I had been dealing with the case in any sort of reasonable period of time, it would have been my duty to set a sentence which would act as a deterrence to drunken thugs fighting in this way – but after three-and-a-half years such a sentence would not be just.”

Express & Star

Mark Hawksby

A FORMER soldier from York racially abused a disabled busker in the city centre because he had seen him on TV boasting about claiming benefits, a court has heard.

Mark Hawksby, 34, spotted Viorel Dinu in Coney Street, a week after having seen him on Channel 5’s Gypsies on Benefits and Proud.

Hawksby, of St Mary’s Close in Wigginton, recognised Mr Dinu while he was playing the accordion and rounded on him.

Mr Dinu, who has no legs, was sitting on a skateboard in a shop doorway.

Hawksby claimed there was so much money in his coat by 11.30am that he tripped over it on the pavement.

At York Magistrates Court, Hawksby said: “I had a go at him about being on the programme and what he had said.

“He said he had come to Britain purposely because it was a soft touch.

“I said ‘You’re out of order for going on this TV programme and saying you can milk the system’.”

The court heard Hawksby threw the coat into the gutter in Coney Street, scattering the money.

He also grabbed Dinu’s accordion and threw it into the road, saying: “This is English money for English people.”

The court heard a puzzled crowd formed and Hawksby was grabbed by a girl from a hen party, then stormed off, yelling: “I will see you do not busk in York again.”

Dinu, who travels the country telling people he lost his legs as a child when he was run over by a train, did not report the incident and did not co-operate with police who investigated after complaints from the public.

Hawksby was arrested after his picture was taken by University of York Professor Nick Brown, who shared the images with North Yorkshire Police on Facebook.

Hawksby told officers: “He is not even from York. It costs 23 to 25 quid on the train so he must be earning some right money busking.”

Hawksby denied racially aggravated threatening behaviour but was convicted.

He was given a four month suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay £100 costs and an £80 surcharge.

Mr Dinu had told the Channel 5 programme that he and other Romanians had come to the UK because it was a “soft touch” the court heard.

The Press

mark yorkie

Cars are cleaned up after the graffiti attacks last November, by Ethan Hesketh

Cars are cleaned up after the graffiti attacks last November, by Ethan Hesketh

A FATHER-of-one who sprayed racist graffiti in Blackburn has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Ethan Hesketh, 24, covered property in a predominantly Asian area of the town with the letters ‘EDL’ and other offensive language.

The court heard how the defendant, formerly of Blackburn, but now living in Derby Square, Preston, also damaged 11 cars and stonework in Shear Brow and a sign belonging to Abbeydale Vets.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of racially aggravated criminal damage and nine further counts of criminal damage.

Sentencing him to 35 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, Judge Stuart Baker, sitting at Preston Crown Court, said the damage would have caused the victims ‘annoyance and inconvenience’.

He told Hesketh: “You were motivated by some antipathy towards people who are not British.

“You have brought this on yourself.

“These are serious offences because you left so many victims no doubt feeling thoroughly annoyed.”

And the judge asked Hesketh, who claimed he had almost given up drinking alcohol since causing the damage, if he was trying to make a statement by wearing a T shirt with the slogan ‘Let’s Get Smashed’ in court.

Hesketh replied: “I was in a rush this morning.”

As well as the suspended sentence, Hesketh must go back to the court periodically to make sure he is making progress, must attend a thinking skills course and pay £350 prosecution costs.

He will also be electronically tagged with a curfew from 8pm to 6am.

Defending, Amanda Johnson said Hesketh now had a job and was involved in looking after his two-year-old daughter.

She said: “He has no desire at all to go back to Blackburn. He has severed entirely contact with his previous crowd.

“No doubt having now had a couple of months of abstinence from illegal substances and, to a large extent, alcohol, he looks back and can see what were the negative influences in his life.

“He acknowledges that these offences are serious and wishes me to convey his remorse to the court.”

Nicola Riley, of East Park Road, Blackburn, was also charged in connection with the graffiti. No evidence was offered in her case and not guilty verdicts were entered.

This is Lancashire