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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


A Forest Town man has been jailed for 14 years after police arrived at a house to find him strangling his ex-partner.

Joe Liffen was seen by an officer with his hands around the throat of the victim, who had lost consciousness, following a brutal and sustained attack, during which time he also punched the victim repeatedly.

Liffen, 26, of Cardle Close, jumped out of the bedroom window and fled after Nottinghamshire Police arrived at the scene at the victim’s home in Mansfield Woodhouse, in the early hours of November 15 2016.

Liffen admitted causing grievous bodily harm, breaching a restraining order and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice at a previous hearing. At Nottingham Crown Court today (Thursday 9 February) he was sentenced to 11 years for GBH, three years for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, to run consecutively and one year for breaching a restraining order, to run concurrently.

His aunt, Samantha Bailey, 48, of Chapel Fields, Ravenshead, was also sentenced to 15 months in prison after admitting conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The court was told Liffen had previously received an 18-week jail sentence for assaulting the victim in March 2015 and a two-year restraining order, effective from his release, banning him from making contact with her. Despite the order he repeatedly made contact with her and tried to rekindle their relationship.

Liffen had a drink and drugs problem and was a “jealous” man, the court was told.

On the day of the latest assault, Liffen told the victim he was going to visit his ex-wife in Manchester. She then went for a night out with friends in Mansfield and was given a lift home by a male friend, who came into the house to use her downstairs toilet. When she went upstairs Liffen was waiting for her and put his hand over her mouth and told her not to speak, before throwing her on to the bed and repeatedly punching her in the face and head.

The 16st Liffen then sat on top of the 8st victim and started to strangle her.

Her friend heard the ordeal from downstairs and phoned the police, who arrived quickly and entered the house while the attack was still ongoing, before Liffen escaped.

The victim regained consciousness but started having seizures. She suffered bruising to her face and head, neck and throat and had a one-inch cut to the top of her left thigh.

Officers tracked down Liffen later that day and arrested him.

The court was told that while Liffen was remanded in custody in connection with the offence he sent numerous texts to the victim, trying to encourage her not to turn up to court to give evidence against him.

He also colluded with Bailey in an attempt to make her miss the court appearance.

The court was told Bailey paid for a hotel and beauty treatments in Nottingham for the victim on the day of the court appearance before sending a text saying “I’m making someone disappear.”

Speaking after the case, Temporary Detective Inspector Nikki Smith, of Nottinghamshire Police, who led the investigation, said: “This was a vicious, sustained attack on a vulnerable woman who had no chance of defending herself.

“She is lucky to be alive after the attack and, as the judge said, if it hadn’t been for the fast response of our officers this could have had an even more serious ending.

“Both Liffen and Bailey also put pressure on this vulnerable woman to miss her court date in an attempt to avoid justice being done.

“Domestic violence will not be tolerated in any form in Nottinghamshire and we would urge anyone who is a victim or a witness to domestic abuse to call us and we will do everything in our power to bring the perpetrators before the court.”

Mansfield Chad

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Court hears Peter Scotter yelled ‘you’re in our country now’ at victim, who was in shopping centre with nine-year-old son

 Peter Scotter gesturing to the media outside Newcastle crown court. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/PA


Peter Scotter gesturing to the media outside Newcastle crown court. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/PA

A man has admitted pulling a niqab off a woman in a shopping centre and yelling racist abuse at her.

Peter Scotter, 55, of Roker, Sunderland, appeared at Newcastle crown court to admit racially aggravated assault by beating and a separate charge of racially aggravated harassment.

Both offences were based on Scotter’s hostility towards a particular religious group, namely Islam, the court heard.

Tony Hawks, defending, said Scotter had been diagnosed with a serious cancerous tumour under his tongue last week and was due to have an operation next Monday. “I have seen some documentation showing that the diagnosis is pretty bad,” the barrister said.

The judge, Stephen Earl, said he would sentence Scotter later, once he had heard more details about the diagnosis. The judge said: “This is a custodial-band sentence, given his record and the nature of his actions.”

A previous hearing at Sunderland magistrates court heard how Scotter left his victim terrified when he attacked her in July.

Laura Lax, prosecuting, told the hearing the woman was waiting with her nine-year-old son for her husband outside a store in Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland when a man “purposefully” walked towards her and grabbed her niqab.

The force he used almost threw her to the ground and the niqab came away from her face, exposing her and causing pain to her neck.

She remembered being scared but was so shocked she could not remember what was said, magistrates were told. The niqab was damaged, but she has since repaired it.

Lax told the court the victim said afterwards: “This incident has left me scared to go out and I don’t want to go into town again. I am disgusted my nine-year-old son had to witness this.”

Another witness heard Scotter shout: “Here, take that fucking off, you are in our country now, you stupid fucking Muslim.”

When a police officer arrived, Scotter was being spoken to by a security guard and the defendant tried to walk away.

Scotter was heard to say: “Our Britain, you live by our fucking rules,” before coming out with more racist abuse.

He continued to make derogatory comments when he was interviewed after his arrest, Lax said.

When he attended previous hearings about the niqab offence, Scotter made a middle finger gesture to photographers outside court.

He has 66 previous convictions for 157 offences, including actual bodily harm, breaching a football banning order and racially aggravated criminal damage.

Scotter had been due to stand trial for the niqab offences next month.

The judge told Scotter he would be sentenced in three weeks’ time and granted him conditional bail.

As Scotter left court, he declined to answer why he was covering his face with a scarf and gestured defiantly to waiting photographers.

The Guardian

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A judge has described a man who beat up his internet dates as a danger to all women.

Ryan Schofield, 26, had eight victims who he bullied and terrorised after meeting them online.

A judge heard that he had fits of ‘insane jealousy’ that left the women terrified for their safety.

In one incident he held a pillow over a woman’s face saying ‘Shh, I’ll do what I want’ as he penetrated her with a Lynx deodorant can.

Another woman was thrown to the floor, kicked and stamped, leaving her so traumatised she says she is ‘frightened to death’ whenever her son says ‘boo’ to her.

Schofield stormed out of the dock as the case against him was laid out at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester.

The case continued with details of a woman being threatened with a crowbar, headbutted and stripped of her clothing whilst another was punched in the stomach and grabbed until she almost fainted.

However, he returned to the court to hear that he would be jailed for five years and four months.

Judge John Potter told him: ‘When you are in a relationship with a women you exhibit violent and controlling behaviour over them.

‘This characteristic of you has been present for many, many years and has been well established in numerous previous relationships. It’s obvious that that your previous convictions significantly aggravate the offending I must sentence you for now – and that is because they are very similar.

‘Some of these latest offences illustrate once more that whilst in a violent and controlling relationship, you not only physically but sexually abused your victim. She makes it clear that she has suffered significantly as a consequence of this violent and sexually abusive behaviour towards her.

‘The other lady indicates she suffered significant physical harm and thereafter some level of psychological harm. I view you as presenting a danger to others with whom you share a relationship.’

The court heard that Schofield met up with one the latest victims in March 2015 after meeting her on Plenty of Fish and moved into her home, in Chesterfield, Derbyshire the following June.

But prosecutor Joe Boyd said he would become ‘insanely jealous’ and falsely accuse her of being unfaithful. Violence flared when the couple went for a drink and he became jealous again as they walked home from a pub.

Mr Boyd said: ‘They started arguing outside the house and when they got inside he pushed her onto the radiator, putting his face to hers and then head butted her to the left eye.

‘He dragged her into the bedroom and pushed her into a chest of drawers. She couldn’t move and an ambulance was called. They asked what happened and she said she had fallen and banged her head on a table.

‘They put her on a spinal board and took her to hospital. She discharged herself and the defendant said he couldn’t remember what had happened.’

Despite the row Schofield rekindled his romance with the woman but beat her up again in July – punching in the ribs during a row in which he repeatedly demanded to know whether she had been seeing other men.

She filed a complaint of assault against him the following August but met up with Schofield again in October at her mother’s house where they had sex.

Mr Boyd added: ‘There became a point where he ut a pillow over her face and she felt something was inserted inside her. She was trying to push his hand away and he said ‘shh I’ll do what I want’. She didn’t consent to the foreign body.’

The other victim, a mother of one, met Schofield over the internet in Christmas 2015 but she was assaulted on March 6 last year when she went to his house only for him to accuse her of seeing another man.

Mr Boyd added: ‘They had been texting and ringing each other and when she got there the defendant said they needed to talk and accused her of seeing someone else.

‘He jumped off the bed, dragged her by her coat and threw her to the wall. He accused her of joining a dating site and threw her on the bed. He then threw her to the floor and stamped on the middle of her back.

‘They made up the following morning but later the defendant came to her house and started to go on about ex-partners, he then threw her into kitchen units, hitting her on the ribs. As a result she attended Crumpsall hospital and had four cracked ribs and bruising to her arm.

In a statement the mother of one said: ‘I’m not in a good place at the moment. I was feeling very low last week and completely broke down, I’ve not been put on antidepressants. I feel I am turning into a recluse. As long as I’m at home with my son, I feel safe. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder. My son was jumping out at me and shouting ‘boo’ and this frightened me to death’.

Schofeld admitted sexual assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and criminal damage.

His counsel Andrew Long said in mitigation: ‘There is a degree of remorse in this case. He acknowledges his failings, his responsibility, the fact he’s a repeat offender, the fact that he can’t stop himself and the fact that he might do it again if he doesn’t get the help he needs’.

Metro

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A former soldier has been jailed for five years for battering a Good Samaritan who was trying to stop him attacking his wife.

David Creswick was throttling his wife after a row in Sheffield city centre last Christmas, then knocked a passer-by unconscious after he tried to prevent the attack.

Father-of-four Creswick ran and hid behind a car from passing armed police officers – but returned to hit his victim in the face as the man lay motionless on the floor.

The victim suffered bleeding on the brain, a fractured skull and had to spend two weeks in hospital over Christmas last year due to the surgery he needed.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the victim lost his sense of smell because of his injuries and has been unable to work for a year, leaving him struggling to pay his bills.

In a statement read out to court, the man said: “I have no memory of the attack but was sickened to learn the attacker continued to hit me as I lay on the ground. Knowing I may never be able to smell again is depressing and has affected my quality of life.”

Creswick, aged 30, of Mason Lathe Road, Shiregreen, had been on a Christmas night out with family and friends.

He had already been involved in two altercations before the incident.

David Wain, prosecuting, said the victim and his partner had driven past Creswick and his wife on Broad Lane in Sheffield just before midnight on December 19 last year.

After seeing Creswick with his hands around the throat of his wife, they stopped in an attempt to intervene.

Mr Wain said: “The victim’s recollection is the defendant coming towards him and then waking up in an ambulance.”

After being arrested, Creswick demanded to know why his victim had not been arrested as well and when told the man was on the way to hospital said: “Good, I’m glad he is unconscious.”

Creswick initially claimed he had been attacked from behind and was acting in self-defence but CCTV showed he was the aggressor.

The court heard Creswick had a previous conviction from September 2015 for spitting at a police officer.

Francis Edusei, defending, said his client has written a letter of apology which ‘expresses his disgust at himself and his remorse at his behaviour’.

Mr Edusei said earlier in the evening Creswick had been in the Players Bar on West Street when somebody had pushed him, causing a drink to spill on him.

“There was a remonstration with this person who proceeded to hit the defendant,” he said.

Mr Edusei said Creswick was hit again by somebody else outside the club.

He said his client wanted to go home but his wife wanted to stay out, leading to the argument.

Mr Edusei said Creswick wrongly thought the man he attacked on Broad Lane was one of the two men from the bar.

He said Creswick was ‘a hard-working man’ who had previously been a soldier before being given a medical discharge from the forces.

Judge Michael Slater jailed Creswick for five years for the Section 18 assault.

He told him: “The victim has received life-changing injuries and is understandably depressed and feels vulnerable.

“That is something you and you alone have caused.”

Following the case, investigating officer Detective Constable Newman Holt said: “This was an unprovoked attack on a member of the public, who stepped in to help a woman who appeared to be in distress.

“As a result of Creswick’s angry and sustained assault, the victim suffered significant injuries that have had long-lasting effects.

“His senseless actions that evening have changed this victim’s life forever and no jail term is going to make up for that.”

Sheffield Star

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Jonny Karrasch targeted a three-year-old boy along with a couple

A man launched a random attack on a little boy and a couple out trick-or-treating with their young daughter.

Kirklees Magistrates heard how the bizarre incident in Lockwood happened after Jonny Karrasch downed his pub raffle prize of eight pints of lager.

His behaviour caused one terrified mother and daughter to flee and a pregnant woman and her partner to detain him after he went to a home and assaulted a three-year-old boy standing on the doorstep.

Prosecutor Vanessa Jones, prosecuting, said that on the evening of October 22 Shahbia Shahid and her mother were returning home in their car.

They stopped in Milner Street and as they got out of the vehicle Karrasch approached them. He shouted at the women: “Who do you think you are?

“It will take me two minutes to know who you are and where you live.”

Taking this as a threat, the frightened women ran away with Miss Shahid seeking shelter in a relative’s home nearby.

Karrasch, of New Street in Meltham, continued to shout and swear and grabbed hold of her wrist as she tried to get inside.

Mrs Jones said: “At one point there was a three-year-old little boy stood in the hallway and he grabbed hold of the boy by his shirt and tried to pull him out of the house.”

As the two women at the house tried to push door shut, the 24-year-old let go of the child and got his own leg trapped in the door.

They opened the door to release his leg and managed to close the door on him, resulting in Karrasch punching and kicking at the door and causing £300 of damage.

Police were called and after a few minutes he stopped and ran down the street towards a pregnant woman who was with her partner and eight-year-old girl.

Mrs Jones said: “Karrasch tried to hit the male and because of his demeanour they detained him on the floor until police arrived.

“The (female) witness said that they were walking along the street with their little girl going trick or treating and saw the male with his t-shirt ripped and he was shouting.

“He kept calling her ‘Chelsea’ and said: ‘You say you are with me or if not I’ll get locked up’.

“He peered towards the little girl and said: ‘Come here, beautiful’ and she was scared and started crying.”

As the couple detained Karrasch he used racist language, magistrates were told.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of assault, criminal damage, racially-aggravated threatening behaviour and possession of cannabis.

Victoria Sims, mitigating, described her client’s offences as “totally out of character.”

She explained: “He’d been in the pub, won the raffle and consumed his prize of eight pints of lager.

“Mr Karrasch doesn’t usually drink that much and that’s due to a cocktail of medication he takes.

“He simply doesn’t remember the offences but that doesn’t excuse his behaviour and he hasn’t touched alcohol since.”

Magistrates sentenced Karrasch to 10 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

He must complete a community order with 10 days of rehabilitative activities and curfew for six weeks.

Karrasch also has to pay £50 compensation to each of his victims and £300 to help fix the damaged door.

Huddersfield Examiner

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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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