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A VIOLENT thug slit a puppy’s throat in the street after swinging it around by its neck and headbutting his girlfriend in a “bizarre and horrifying” drug-fuelled rampage.

Dean Popham, of Wallace Road, Grays, killed the young Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, named Edley, using a kitchen knife taken from the young woman’s flat after leaving her with a cut lip.

The unemployed 30-year-old then fought with police officers and bit one on the thumb before they dragged the blood-soaked maniac to the ground.

Popham was jailed for a total of 20 months at Basildon Crown Court.

Loreen Hussain, prosecuting, said the horrific incident in Thames Road, Grays, on September 4, was preceded by vile sexual threats Popham made over text message and Facebook.

He then stormed round to his victim’s flat in a rage, forced his way in and began kicking Edley.

She said: “The puppy, not knowing any better, was happy to see the defendant.

“He ran towards him but the defendant started kicking him, so much so that he lost one of his shoes.

“It was so bad that Edley lost control of his bowels. The young woman was screaming and told Popham to stop.

“He said; ‘I don’t care, he’s lucky I don’t throw him out the window.’”

Popham then picked the dog up by the ears and swung it around by its neck. “You can imagine the pain that he must have felt,” Miss Hussain said.

Popham headbutted his girlfriend before marching out of the flat clutching Edley and a knife.

The police officers who later found Popham covered in blood said he told them “meeting me is the worst mistake” before threatening to bite them.

Popham carried out his threat against one officer, sinking his teeth into his thumb and knee. The officer later had to have a tetanus injection.

Edley’s body was found nearby. A vet told police the wound would have caused Edley “pain, unnecessary suffering and distress”.

Miss Hussein said: “Not only did the victim have to deal with her own injuries and her upset children, but she had to deal with the death of a much-loved family pet.”

Madeline Corr, mitigating, said Popham was “full of remorse” and wanted to “throw himself on the mercy” of Judge Ian Graham after admitting the offences at an earlier hearing.

She said he still has no memory of the night and cannot explain his behaviour, but she said he was self-medicating for mental problems.

Popham, who has previous convictions for violence and cultivating cannabis, suffers from emotionally unstable personality disorder.

Jailing Popham for a total of ten months, Judge Graham said he had gone “berserk” for no apparent reason and called the killing of the dog “bizarre and horrifying”.

Popham was jailed for 12 months for causing actual bodily harm to his partner, six months for actual bodily harm to the police officer and two months for criminal damage to the dog, all to run consecutively.

He was handed one month each for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and assaulting a police officer, to run concurrently to each other and the other sentences.

Echo News

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A DRUNK dad beat and stamped on his ex-partner ‘like an animal’ and sent threatening, Islamophobic messages after she took a Muslim lover.

Peter Finch was jailed for 12 months at Worcester Crown Court after he beat his ex in a drunken rage which left her with a suspected broken rib.

He denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm against girlfriend Rebecca Harding at her home in Worcester but was found guilty at trial.

The 31-year-old, who said he was a former member of the English Defence League, previously admitted criminal damage to a door and malicious communication which was deemed racially or religiously aggravated between July and October last year.

Finch of Patterdale Drive, Warndon, Worcester, carried out the assault in May last year after Miss Harding, his partner of five years, returned home from work at about 6pm.

Mark Phillips, prosecuting, said: “The relationship was characterised by this defendant becoming aggressive when in drink.

“It was clear he had been out at the pub during the afternoon and was suffering from the effects of drinking too much.

“He accused her of having an affair when she told him she had other plans for the evening other than going out with him.”

The attack happened in a bedroom where she had gone to get changed.

“She described the defendant flying in and punching her in the face.

“The blow with his right hand struck her right cheek. She saw it instantly swelling up. He pushed her to the floor where he held her by the throat.

“She told him she was unable to breathe but still he would not let her go.”

He was described as kneeling on her while he punched her repeatedly in the body.

Mr Phillips said: “Whilst doing so he said ‘this is what I would have done to him’, presumably referring to the man he believed she was having the affair with.

“He stood up. She was curled up in a defensive position, into a ball. She was on her side, exposing her right flank. He then stamped on her ribs.

“She cried out in pain. It was only at that point the defendant seemed to have any sort of remorse about what he had done, saying he was sorry.

“She describes him as behaving like an animal. She had never seen him like that before.”

Miss Harding suffered bruising and a suspected broken rib during the attack. She went to see her doctor and had her medication for depression ‘doubled’, Mr Phillips said.

When Finch learned Miss Harding had travelled to Marrakech and had a new Moroccan boyfriend he sent her a number of abusive texts and WhatsApp messages.

Mr Phillips said: “There was reference to enjoying her time in a burka, clear reference to her being with a Muslim man.

“He refers to himself hating Muslims with a passion and said ‘you were happy to marry a man who hates Muslims with a passion and would wipe them off the planet’. He says he hopes she gets killed.”

In interview he told police: “I was part of the English Defence League.”

Finch represented himself because he was not eligible for legal aid and could not afford to pay anyone to represent him.

He said his ex had sent him messages about sexual activity between her and her new partner. He said: “It was more than disheartening – it was soul-breaking when she sent that to me.”

He added: “I have not been part of the English Defence League for three years. Now my views are completely changed.”

Judge Nicholas Cole said the assault was aggravated because it took place in front of a child. Although the physical injuries were limited to bruising and a suspected broken rib, the emotional impact had been ‘severe’.

He said of the threatening messages that he was satisfied that they were partly motivated by hostility towards Muslims.

He sentenced him to 12 months in custody for the ABH, four weeks for the criminal damage and three months for the malicious communicated with an extra month added because it was religiously/racially aggravated (four months in total). These sentences will be served concurrently to the 12 months, making a total sentence of 12 months.

No separate penalty was imposed for breach of a conditional discharge.

Worcester News

John Blake has been jailed for six years and four months.

John Blake has been jailed for six years and four months.

A thug who tasered a man in the neck after bursting into a block of flats in Scarborough has been jailed for more than six years.

John Henry Blake, 30, rushed into the building armed with a stun gun disguised as a torch and fired at the 28-year-old victim.

The shocking scenes occurred at a multi-occupancy building for young people with behavioural problems, York Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor David Hall said Blake entered the property with two females, including his teenage niece Ellie-Mae Blake. They banged on the victim’s door.

The victim opened the door “in a cautious way, with his shoulder against it”, said the barrister.

“Ellie-Mae Blake and the other female pushed past him and ran into the hallway, followed by the defendant,” he added.

“He (John Blake) is seen to push an instrument into the neck of (the victim), who recoils against the corner of the door frame and rushes outside the building.

“Just behind (the victim) was a second male. Blake points the implement at this second male in the doorway. The male cowers away fearfully.”

Blake and the two females then rushed upstairs where they tried to force their way into a flat on the second floor, “but the occupants refused to respond”, said Mr Hall.

“Blake is holding the stun gun,” he added. “Ellie-Mae Blake is kicking at the door. The occupants are refusing to come out and this group then leaves.”

Police were called to the building in Victoria Court, off Albemarle Back Road, just after the incident at about 10.50pm on February 6 last year.

The victim told them he had been tasered in the neck but was too fearful to make a complaint. He suffered a “significant red mark” to his neck.

Mr Hall said the attack appeared to stem from a “dispute” between the attackers and a male who lived at the block of flats.

Police arrested Blake at his home in Scarborough but he refused to reveal the whereabouts of the weapon, which was at the home of Blake’s pal Lewis Hardy.

The court heard that Hardy, 19, had been guarding the weapon for Blake but had taken no part in the attack. The torch-shaped stun gun was stamped with the word ‘Police’.

Mr Hall said that Blake, of The Croft, Newby, had dozens of previous convictions for burglaries, theft, criminal damage, violence, fraud and drink-related public disorder. He also had a conviction for a previous firearms offence in 2005, when he was caught in possession of a loaded air rifle and ammunition.

He appeared for sentence for the stun-gun incident on Friday after belatedly pleading guilty to possessing a disguised firearm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and failing to answer bail by skipping an earlier court hearing, which resulted in him being remanded in custody in October.

His lawyer David Camidge claimed it was not Blake who had originally been in possession of the gun and that his niece Ellie-Mae Blake, 19, had asked for it back “because she was fearful that she wouldn’t be able to get it back to where it had come from”.

Judge Paul Batty QC said John Blake had been the “leading light” in the terrifying incident and slammed him for his shocking criminal record.

He told the defendant: “You Tasered in the neck this young man who refused to make a statement. It doesn’t take a degree of imagination to understand why that is.”

Blake was jailed for six years and four months.

At a previous court hearing, Mr Batty jailed Ellie-Mae Blake, of Edgehill Road, Scarborough, for five years after she admitted possessing a disguised firearm.

Hardy, of Seamer Road, Scarborough, was given an 18-month suspended prison term for a similar offence. A third male was given the minimum five-year jail sentence for firearms possession.

Scarborough News

David Gallacher was described by the judge as a "shabby racist" and a "thug"

David Gallacher was described by the judge as a “shabby racist” and a “thug”

A “shabby racist” who repeatedly kicked a pregnant Muslim woman, resulting in her losing her unborn baby, has been jailed for almost four years.

David Gallacher, 37, of no fixed address, attacked Samsam Haji-Ali, 34, and her husband outside a Co-op in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, in August.

He admitted actual bodily harm, assault by beating and two counts of racially or religiously aggravated assault.

The judge called him a “thug and a racist to boot.”

Aylesbury Crown Court heard Somali Ms Haji-Ali was racially abused by Gallacher in the Water Eaton Road shop on 4 August.

He swore at her and said: “You come here with your clown outfit on…”

As her husband Abdullah Sulamain, 40, attempted to calm him down in the car park outside, Gallacher hit him on the head with a bottle of wine and a bag of ice.

He then kicked Ms Haji-Ali in the stomach.

Judge Francis Sheridan said: “She told him she was pregnant and he continued to kick her again, after he was told she was pregnant.

“She is left rolling around on the ground in agony and later found there is bleeding, before she lost the baby.”

Ms Haji-Ali miscarried on 24 August

Judge Sheridan said her pregnancy had been “absolutely fine” before the attack, and in his view “the loss of that baby was a direct result of a kick to the stomach of a pregnant woman”.

He told Gallacher: “There was a racial element to this attack.

“The defendant is a shabby racist on the language that he used towards this lady.

“It is time you learnt that your vile conduct and abhorrent views are a thing of the past.”

Gallacher admitted two counts of racially aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm and three counts of assaulting a police officer during his arrest in September last year.

He was jailed for three years and seven months for the race attacks and four months for the officer assault, to run consecutively.

BBC News

A VIGILANTE gang beat up a vulnerable man in his home after accusing him of being a paedophile.

At Bolton Crown Court, Brian Cooper was jailed for a year, while Patricia Roberts and Paul Tong were each given suspended prison sentences after pleading guilty to causing actual bodily harm to the man at his house in Farnworth.

The court was told how Roberts had gone to the victim’s house on September 2 last year believing her son was inside the property.

Jane Dagnall, prosecuting, said: “Miss Roberts turned up at his address shouting ‘if you’re in there open this door, open this door you paedophile, open the ****ing door.’

“She was banging on the door and the window and was then joined by Mr Cooper who started banging on the window.”

Then 31-year-old Tong pulled up outside the house, with Roberts’ seven-year-old son in his car.

Mrs Dagnall said that, despite this, the three adults continued to attack the house, with Tong then kicking the door off its hinges and causing £500 worth of damage.

Cooper and Roberts rushed into the house and a neighbour, who had heard the shouting and banging, called the police.

Mrs Dagnall said: “Miss Roberts went in the living room and started punching the victim seven or eight times in the head.

“Mr Cooper then punched him hard to the right hand side of his head causing him to fall backwards on to the sofa.”

The victim was taken to hospital where he was treated for a fractured cheek bone and bruises and cuts.

Cooper, aged 40, and Roberts, 40, both of Starcliffe Street, Farnworth and Tong, of Ainsworth Road, Little Lever, all pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.

Martin Pizzey, defending Roberts, said that on the day of the attack she was at work and had left her son with a babysitter. But when she called later in the day she discovered that he was missing.

He said: “It is unusual circumstances that led to her being at this man’s house. It has been mentioned that this could be viewed as a vigilante attack on a vulnerable person, but so far as Miss Roberts was concerned she was under the impression at the time that her child was still in that building.

“At no point was she told that he was in the car with Mr Tong. It is a regrettable misunderstanding as the information she received from the babysitter was mistaken.”

The court heard that she was told by the babysitter that her son had gone to the house, where it was claimed the man had been giving children sweets and small amounts of money.

Mr Pizzey added: “She fully accepts her responsibility and that her reaction was inappropriate and if she could turn back time she would. However, her behaviour could be described as maternal protective instinct — but sadly reason went out of the window.”

Marianne Alton, defending Cooper, said that there was no premeditation in the attack.

She said: “They went there looking for answers as to where Miss Roberts’ son was — there was no intention of assaulting the victim. The victim did not open the door and she was still looking for answers and the events escalated out of control.”

Sentencing Cooper to 12 months in jail, Recorder Simon Killeen told him: “The reality is that you had turned up at his (the victim’s) house and Mr Tong turned up with Miss Roberts’ son in his car and the man was not a danger to anybody.

“Instead of contacting the police and behaving civilly, you acted like a group of thugs.

“At some point you must have realised that you were deliberately targeting this man and you were all part of that group.

“It was an act of terror towards a vulnerable man in his own home.”

Recorder Killeen added that Cooper’s “appalling” previous record was an aggravating feature in his case and as the defendant was led from the dock he punched a wall.

The judge said Tong had a “limited role” in the incident and he was given an eight month jail sentence suspended for two years.

He was also given 100 hours unpaid work and will have to wear an electronic tag for two months as part of a 6pm to 6am curfew.

Roberts was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years and Recorder Killeen told her: “This is totally out of character and it’s obvious from when you left the house with your head in your hands saying ‘what on earth have I done’ that you were remorseful.”

She must also carry out 150 hours unpaid work and will be subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew, wearing an electronic tag, for two months.

Bolton News

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A MAN has been jailed after creeping into a friend’s bedroom, throwing a glass of milk in her face and attacking her.

Peter Scotter, who had known his victim for more than 20 years, let himself into her bedroom where punched her repeatedly and hit her with the empty glass after throwing the contents in her face during the 15-minute ordeal.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 52-year-old had accused the woman, who he would regularly meet for cups of tea as a friend, of spreading rumours about him.

She was left with a swollen face and a cut to her scalp from the glass attack.

Judge John Evans yesterday jailed Scotter, of Hendon Close, Sunderland, for 21 months and ordered him to stay away from his victim forever, under the terms of a restraining order.

The judge told him: “You assaulted her in a way which was wholly unacceptable. It was an appalling incident.”

The court heard the victim had been asleep when she heard a noise in her home and somebody coming up the stairs in the early morning of November 10 last year.

Prosecutor Simon Worthy told the court: “Before she had a chance to speak he punched her three times to the face.

“He then picked up a glass of milk from the bedside cabinet and threw the milk in her face before hitting the glass off the top of her head.”

The court heard at the time of the attack Scotter was on a suspended sentence for hurling racist abuse at a shopkeeper.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Scotter had been “lifelong” friends with the woman.

Mr Adams said: “They had been friends since they were very small and had helped each other out over the years.

“It was the fact of being wrongfully called in the way he was he took umbrage with.”

Scotter had admitted assault causing bodily harm.

Sunderland Echo

One of Sutton’s most wanted violent offenders was arrested this week after an undercover crime blitz led the borough’s top cop.

Christopher Brett, of Carshalton Road, Sutton, was arrested after Borough Commander Guy Ferguson launched a massive undercover operation to “disrupt and catch criminals”.

Dozens of plain-clothed officers, from Sutton’s Wanted Offender Team, flooded the High Street on Tuesday searching for outstanding suspects.

One officer spotted Brett, who was oblivious to the police presence around him, casually walking through the High Street.

The surprised 29-year-old was arrested on the spot and was held in custody until he appeared at Sutton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

He was ordered to return on November 24 while probation reports were organised.

Borough Commander Guy Ferguson said: “This was a good result and criminals be warned: these impromptu operations will be repeated over the coming weeks and months.

“Sutton is a low crime borough and a safe borough and we are determined to keep it that way.”

Brett was wanted by police after he dodged a separate magistrates’ court hearing in September.

Despite being absent from court that day, he was found guilty of causing actual bodily harm to a 41-year-old man at a Carshalton party in May.

Supt Phil Willis, the officer leading Operation Holly, said: “The arrest of this wanted man was a good piece of police work and showed that officers have a good knowledge of outstanding suspects and are committed to catching offenders.”

The impromptu police operation coincided with the launch of Operation Holly to disrupt criminal activity and keep Sutton safe during the festive party season.

Sutton Guardian

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