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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

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Bigoted Alexander “AJ” MacKinnon told lawyer Sanaa Shahid and her four-year-old son that they shouldn’t be in first class and shouldn’t even be in the country.

Alexander MacKinnon racially abused Sanaa and her son Zayn

Alexander MacKinnon racially abused Sanaa and her son Zayn

The Daily Record today exposes this solicitor and former public schoolboy as a vile bigot who spat racist abuse at a young mum and her little son on a train.

Former company director Alexander “AJ” MacKinnon, 47, was offended by the presence of Sanaa Shahid and her son Zayn, four, in ‘his’ first-class carriage. The snob sneered at them: “How did you get into first class? You don’t deserve to be in first class.

“You should be in common class. In fact, you shouldn’t be in this country at all.

“You don’t deserve to be here. 
Bloody foreigners. Where were you 
even born?”

Bully MacKinnon also swore at 
little Zayn. His social media “likes” include Donald Trump, the BNP and the far-right English Defence League.

None of the other passengers 
in the carriage did anything to help Glasgow-born lawyer Sanaa. But she bravely confronted MacKinnon and branded him a racist.

She reported him to the train manager and transport police took him away in handcuffs. He continued to spout 
racist bile and abuse when officers
interviewed him.

MacKinnon appeared in court this 
week and admitted a racist offence, 
but escaped with a fine.

He apparently hoped a quick guilty 
plea would help him avoid publicity.

Sanaa and Zayn fell foul of MacKinnon on December 29 on the 2.30pm Virgin train from London Euston to Glasgow Central. Sanaa was heading home with her son after visiting husband Aftab, 36, who is working in the UK capital.

“This man started behaving 
aggressively to my son, telling him to
 shut up,” Sanaa recalled.

“I said to him that my son hadn’t done anything and then the abuse began. I moved seats to try to get away.

“I was taken aback. I’ve lived in 
Scotland all my life and nothing of this nature has ever happened to me. I told him straight that he was being racist and the staff on the train heard it.

“There were another 10 to 12 
passengers in the carriage and 
not one of them spoke up. That was shocking too.”

Sanaa began filming MacKinnon and watched as he guzzled wine straight from the bottle.

She also listened as he picked up his phone and arrogantly told a friend that someone was “wasting police time” by accusing him of racism. He knew at the time that Sanaa had reported him.

MacKinnon spat at Sanaa: “I’m racist, am I? You’re a racist.” He then looked straight at Zayn and swore aggressively.

Sanaa said: “I started filming this man in the immediate aftermath 
of the incident. Even then I could
hear him talking on the phone, ranting about me and Zayn.

“The train manager contacted 
British Transport Police then came 
and sat next to me until the train got into Carlisle.

“The Virgin staff could not have been better. They realised what was happening and were brilliant.

“The transport police were waiting to interview me when the train got into Glasgow. They were brilliant too.”

But despite all the support she received, Sanaa admitted MacKinnon’s abuse left its mark on her. She said: “I found myself crying a few times in the days afterwards.

“I was just so shocked to encounter this level of racism.

“I was also shocked at the open aggression this man showed towards my son. He is only four years old.”

MacKinnon is originally from London and was a boarder at exclusive Milton Abbey School in Dorset, where boarding now costs £11,780 per term.

He has “liked” Donald Trump on social media and posted articles about former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. His other social media “likes” include the English Defence League, the BNP, the Scottish BNP and various Scottish Conservative associations.

MacKinnon also likes luxury Swiss watchmakers, high-end gentlemen’s outfitters and vintage car associations for models such as Bentley and Jaguar.

He appeared at Carlisle Magistrates Court on Tuesday and admitted
a racially aggravated public order offence. He was fined £1154, plus 
£50 compensation, a £150 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.

MacKinnon booked into a hotel in Gretna for his court appearance and shamelessly reviewed it online, praising the “very friendly staff” and “fantastic breakfast”.

He also complained about a firm of solicitors, although he didn’t explain why he needed them.

He wrote: “Would NOT 
recommend. They don’t return
your phone calls and don’t reply to 
your emails.

“Found another solicitor who done what I wanted done within a day.”

We went to talk to MacKinnon yesterday at his plush flat in leafy Mansionhouse Road on the south side of Glasgow, but a man who answered the door said he spoke for him and then refused to comment on his behaviour.

PC Mark Mellenthin, who investigated the case, said MacKinnon’s “frightening racist outburst” left Sanaa “visibly distressed and shaken”.

He added: “People like MacKinnon must understand that abusive, racist behaviour has no place on the railway. Everyone has the right to travel without fear of abuse like this.

“When it does happen we will do everything in our power to bring people before the courts.

“Hopefully MacKinnon’s substantial fine will make him think twice before unleashing such vitriol on other members of the public.”
Daily Record

A drunk man shouted racist abuse during a hospital visit on Christmas Day and claimed to back the BNP, a court heard.

Homeless Richard Sykes, 36, told staff at the Queen’s Medical Centre: “I am going to hurt every **** here” before making a comment supporting the far right party.

Ali Zaki, prosecuting, told Nottingham magistrates: “Many of the staff are of Asian, Indian and Pakistani heritage.”

Road builder Sykes was said to be “extremely drunk” and had also taken the drug cocaine that day, added Mr Zaki.

The court heard that Sykes had 36 previous convictions including one for a racially aggravated offence in March 2014. A £120 fine, £50 prosecution costs and a £30 government surcharge were ordered from Sykes, who pleaded guilty to racially aggravated threatening behaviour.

Nigel Dicks, mitigating, said: “Like most people in this situation, he is not racially motivated and certainly is not in the BNP. This is just someone who can’t even remember what language came out of his mouth when he was in that situation in the hospital.

“There is no underlying malice and he apologises to the court.”

Father-of-two Sykes is currently living on £400 wages left over after working for a firm which went bankrupt. He is “sofa surfing and has no underlying problem with drug or drink abuse,” added Mr Dicks.

Presiding magistrate John Perry told Sykes: “This happened in a public place and was racially aggravated as well.”

Nottingham Post

Notorious thieves Gregory Hawkshaw and his son Danny Hawkshaw left trail of destruction

Gregory Hawkshaw (left) and son Danny Hawkshaw (right) admitted burgling 12 churches across Southport and West Lancashire

Gregory Hawkshaw (left) and son Danny Hawkshaw (right) admitted burgling 12 churches across Southport and West Lancashire

A father and son burglary team who ransacked fifteen places of worship have been jailed over their disgraceful spree.

Shameless Gregory Hawkshaw, 45, and Danny Hawkshaw, 23, left a trail of destruction in overnight raids across Southport and West Lancashire.

The drug addicts targeted churches across Ainsdale, Southport and Scarisbrick, making off with hundreds of pounds in cash, laptops, projectors and televisions.

When the pair were set to be sentenced last November, Danny – who was on bail – failed to attend Liverpool Crown Court.

Meanwhile Gregory, of no fixed address, brazenly requested a deferred sentence, claiming he could retrieve some of the stolen goods.

His son, of Sandbrook Road, Ainsdale, went on the run, living in a tent in Preston, and was not caught by police until Christmas Eve.

Today Judge Robert Warnock said some of the kind-hearted parishioners from the churches had offered the pair forgiveness.

But jailing them both, he said: “This was invasion of these places of worship. I owe a public duty in respect of these matters.”

The pair were caught when blood matching Gregory’s DNA was recovered from the scene of one of the burglaries.

They admitted burgling Ainsdale Methodist Church in Liverpool Road overnight on September 30, stealing two laptops and a projector.

Paul Becker, prosecuting, said they broke their way in using a fire extinguisher, took the CCTV hard drive and smashed a window.

The duo also admitted raiding St John’s Anglican Church, also in Liverpool Road, on October 10, when they took a £300 laptop.

A vestry door was pulled completely off its hinges and they caused an estimated £1,000 of damage.

Mr Becker said they confessed to 13 other break-ins, which were to be taken into account. These included raids on:

St Mark’s Church in Southport Road, Scarisbrick, where £400 of cash was taken
St James’ Church in Lulworth Road, Birkdale, where a TV, laptop and cash worth £1,380 were taken
St Peter’s Church in St Peter’s Road, Birkdale, where a projector and two laptops were stolen
Lord Street West United Reformed Church, Southport, where £30 in cash and a laptop was taken
St John’s Church in Rufford Road, Crossens, Southport, where a laptop and projector were taken

Gregory, formerly of Bank Street North in Southport, was first convicted of burglary when he was just 11-years-old.

He was locked up after stealing two expensive mountain bikes from a Southport garage with his son in December 2013.

The dad had the gall to claim he only struck at the garage – and four other homes – to try to pay off his cannabis smoking son’s drug debts.

On that occasion, Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, said: “You commit offences because you are an inherently dishonest man who was burgling houses and sheds years before your son was born.”

Rebecca Smith, defending Gregory, admitted his record was “appalling” and said he was trapped in a “vicious cycle of drug addiction and offending to facilitate that addiction”.

Nicholas Archer, defending Danny, said it was “very sad” to see a father and son before the court, but his client did not seek to blame anyone else.

He said: “He feels he’s let himself down and it’s safe to say he feels let down by his upbringing, but he accepts he is the author of his own misfortune.”

Judge Warnock said Gregory’s record was “disgraceful”, adding: “You too Danny Hawkshaw have started off in the same way as your father.”

He jailed Gregory for four years and Danny for three years, plus three consecutive months for “running away from what you knew you were going to face”dh

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Southport Visiter

A “nightmare” Worksop tenant has been evicted after a woman was found dead from a suspected drugs overdose at his council flat.

Housing officers found drugs paraphernalia, including used needles, when visiting Gregory Simmonite’s flat in the aftermath of the woman’s death on August 13.

Neighbours also complained about his abusive, threatening and disruptive behavior around the flat on Lancastrian Way.

Simmonite, aged 39, had moved into the ground floor flat in June 2016 and by the end of July,A1 Housing had received multiple complaints that an excessive number of visitors were calling at all hours of the day and night.

Many of were intoxicated and would congregate in the communal areas of the building. Further complaints were received when residents were subjected to verbal and sometimes racist abuse after asking visitors to reduce the noise levels. This was also escalated when Simmonite made threats to kill a resident when they confronted him about damage to their property.

A notice to formally end the tenancy was served on September 15 and, at the request of Simmonite, was considered by A1 Housing’s introductory tenancy appeals board on October 12 2016, which upheld the notice.

Earlier this month, a judge granted possession of the property to A1 Housing and Bassetlaw District Council at Mansfield County Court and also ordered Simmonite to pay costs of £491.75.

Don Spittlehouse, managing director for A1 Housing, said: “Officers of A1 Housing have provided numerous opportunities of help, advice and assistance to Mr Simmonite on how he can sustain his tenancy. However, he did not heed these warnings and in the interests of other residents of this community we have taken the most appropriate action.”

Councillor Julie Leigh, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “Residents should not be subjected to a living nightmare at the hands of one individual.”

Worksop Guardian

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A man hurled a torrent of abuse at a schoolboy and then repeatedly drove his car at him – because he was a Muslim.

The terrified 15-year-old was forced to jump over a wall to get away from Lee Blenkin as he zig zagged towards him.

Blenkin, once honoured by the Queen for services to the community, was jailed after admitting to religiously-aggravated assault.

District Judge Michael Fanning told him: “This is disgusting behaviour.

“You caused enormous fear to a 15-year-old boy and the public won’t tolerate this, neither will this court.”

The attack on the boy happened as he walked towards his mosque wearing full Islamic dress on August 9.

As he headed along Carlton Road in Dewsbury Blenkin drove past, wound his window down and shouted something at him.

Jill Seddon, prosecuting, told Kirklees Magistrates’ Court: “The boy said: ‘He seemed to want my attention and I went towards the car.

“‘When I got to the passenger window the man said why did you convert to them?

“‘I said what do you mean and he said why the f**k are you wearing that?

“‘He shouted at me and I believe this was because I was wearing Islamic dress.’”

Blenkin continued to shout at the teenager, making reference to him being a Muslim, and this tirade of abuse lasted for around one-and-a-half minutes.

When the 49-year-old finished shouting, he reversed away before driving at the boy.

He said: “I ran away and the vehicle drove at me again. It did this four times.

“I heard the tyres losing grip and I ran as fast as I could as I thought he was going to hit me.”

The schoolboy eventually took refuge behind a wall, noted down the car number plate and texted the details to his sister who called police.

He added that he felt very distressed by his ordeal.

Zahid Majeed, mitigating, said that his client was “genuinely remorseful” and “bowed his head in shame” over his actions that day.

The court heard that successful engineer Blenkin, of Halifax Road in Dewsbury, was once invited to Buckingham Palace and given an award by the Queen.

Mr Majeed said: “He has nothing but remorse and regret.

“He understands that everyone has rights to their religious freedom and it was none of his business to make any comment about the way the complainant was dressed.”

Judge Fanning jailed Blenkin, who had no previous convictions, for 16 weeks.

He told him: “The only explanation for your behaviour is some type of deep seated animosity towards Muslims.

“You targeted a 15-year-old for no other reason than he was dressed as a Muslim.

“You revved the car engine, spun the wheels and drove at him in a zig zag as he ran no doubt in fear for his life.

“This is a deterrent sentence. Nobody should believe that they can behave in this way and target somebody because of their religion of race or belief.”

Because Blenkin used his car as a weapon, Judge Fanning also banned him from driving for 12 months and eight weeks.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner

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A woman sprayed a fire extinguisher in the face of a vulnerable burglary victim so she could steal her purse containing just £2, a court heard.

Kelly Nuttall was jailed for aggravated burglary

Kelly Nuttall was jailed for aggravated burglary

Kelly Nuttall, 35, sneaked into the Webster Court sheltered home, off City Road, as the 56-year-old victim had left her door open while she was sitting up through the night watching the EU referendum results on TV in her lounge, Norwich Crown Court heard.

When the victim confronted Nuttall, she refused to leave and sprayed the fire extinguisher in the face of the victim, who suffered stinging in her eyes.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said that when the victim told Nuttall once more to get out of her home, she had squirted the victim in the face again before taking her purse containing £2 and a bank card.

Nuttall was later arrested and in interview told police that she wanted to go back to prison so she could get off drugs.

Nuttall, who appeared via video link from Peterborough prison, admitted aggravated burglary on June 24, this year, and was jailed for five years, four months.

Jailing her, Judge Stephen Holt said that the victim had been vulnerable and said it had been a “traumatic experience” for her.

He said it was Nuttall’s fourth burglary conviction and said she also had previous convictions for violence. However, he accepted that Nuttall also had difficulties including mental health problems and said: “You were on crack cocaine at the time and told police you wanted to go back to prison to get clean again.”

Gavin Cowe, for Nuttall, said that she deserved credit for her early guilty plea and said she had a number of personal difficulties including mental health problems.

Eastern Daily Press

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