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A volunteer soldier posted a comment on Facebook suggesting racist violent revenge should be taken on the day drummer Lee Rigby was murdered.

Mark Tonner wrote “Get the boys together we need to paint the town red with Muslim blood”.

He was arrested after a member of the public complained on the Lancashire Police website about what Tonner had written.

Tonner, 36, of Ashton Road, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to sending an offensive message.

He was bailed for pre-sentence reports and will be sentenced at a later date by Blackpool magistrates.

Andrea Fawcett, prosecuting, said after the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, Tonner posted the comment on Facebook on May 23.

Tonner wrote “Dean, you’re in charge of Blackpool now. Get the boys together we need to paint the town red with Muslim blood”.

When interviewed by police Tonner said he had been angry and drunk at the time. He did not know Dean personally but believed he was a member of The English Defence League (EDL).

Hugh Pond, defending, said his client had been a member of the Army Reserve, formerly known as the Territorial Army, for more than five years and served as a clerk in the Transport Regiment at Grantham.

Tonner had been drinking heavily and had been revolted by the television pictures of the blood covered men saying they had murdered drummer Rigby.

Tonner, who was said in a reference from his commanding officer to have an exemplary character in the Army, was not a member of the EDL or National Front.

He was thoroughly ashamed of what he had done and was under investigation by the Army Reserve.

Blackpool Gazette

From July 2013.

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A MAN entered a shop and told its Muslim owner “I’m a racist and I kill Muslims,” on the first anniversary of the death of soldier Lee Rigby.

Daniel Lee Lewis, of Church Street, Wrexham, entered the shop on Chester Street in Flint after midnight on May 23.

He asked the owner where he was from and if he was a Muslim.

The owner replied he was Turkish but had an English passport and told Lewis he was Muslim.

Lewis told the owner: “It’s alright, I won’t cause any trouble. It’s my country, I will do what I want. I’m a racist and I kill Muslims.”

He spat on the shop floor and invited the owner outside for a fight. But the police had been called and he was arrested.

The 32-year-old told police: “It’s one year today to the death of Lee Rigby, there will be thousands of us in Manchester on Saturday,” before chanting EDL [English Defence League] at them.

Appearing at Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday, Lewis pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive words or behaviour with intent to cause racially aggravated fear of or provoke unlawful violence.

He also admitted failure to surrender to bail.

Sentencing, district judge Gwyn Jones said the fact Lewis was drunk did not condone using “offensive and appalling language”.

He said: “This was extremely upsetting behaviour. You gratuitously made offensive and racist comments to someone who was serving members of the public.

“It is clear you were very, very drunk but that does not justify using such offensive and appalling language. Taking that into account, it makes this a hate crime, serious enough for a community order and you will pay compensation for the pain you caused the victim.”

Lewis was given an 18 month community order, supervised by probation and the community mental health team.

He was ordered to undertake a 10 day ‘eradicating racism and promoting equality programme’, and pay £200 in compensation.

Victoria Lewis, defending, said Lewis had no recollection of the incident.

She added: “He isn’t a racist, does not hold these views and does not know where they came from. At the time he was influenced by alcohol and his mental health issues.

“His business went under last year and he suffered a nervous breakdown. It was a

one-off and he wants to get back on track.”

In addition he will also pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.”

Andrew Connah from the probation service said: “He accepts full responsibility but has no memory of the incident.

“He is ashamed, maintains he is not a racist and it upsets him to think he behaved like that.

“He had been drinking heavily, and accepts alcohol is an issue. He had suffered a nervous breakdown and has serious mental health issues. He was sectioned last year and has been signed off until 2016.”

North Wales News

A gang launched a “completely and utterly disgraceful” racist attack on staff at a Cambridge restaurant in the wake of the Lee Rigby murder.

Mai Thai restaurant, Hobbs Pavilion, Park Terrace, Cambridge: Picture Keith Heppell

Mai Thai restaurant, Hobbs Pavilion, Park Terrace, Cambridge: Picture Keith Heppell

The five friends – three of whom have been locked up – chased and assaulted staff, threw glass bottles and bins and hurled racial abuse outside the Mai Thai restaurant by Parker’s Piece as they chanted “EDL”.

They goaded two brothers into coming outside before attacking them while shouting racist abuse on June 6 last year, a few days after the brutal murder of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich.

The manager of the restaurant, who did not want to be named, told the News after the Cambridge Crown Court sentencing they attacked Muslim and Thai workers – and then turned on some of the 20 or so police officers who arrived on the scene.

He said: “It was very nasty. They attacked staff for no reason who were trying to get on with their work and shouted racial abuse, which was completely and utterly disgraceful.

“I’m glad they have been given these sentences. These are thugs who have got nothing better to do and hopefully this will teach them a lesson that it’s not something they can get away with.”

Marti Blair, prosecuting, said the offence started when one of the group tapped on the window of the restaurant and made aggressive gestures to staff as they were clearing up.

She said: “A member of staff thought it could be some sort of hate race incident and he called police, which was reasonable given the Lee Rigby killing had only just taken place a couple of weeks earlier and there had followed a number of race hate attacks at that time.”

She described how some of the gang started pushing two members of staff, leaving the brothers with damaged ribs and ripped shirts.

They then threw glass bottles and bins at the door while chanting the far right group’s name and demanding they “go home”.

She said: “All of the witnesses describe how the group were chanting EDL and saying things like ‘go back to your country’.”

Joshua Collinson-Prime, 19, formerly of Victoria Road, Arbury, William Jacey, 21, of Brampton Road, Royston, and a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, all admitted violent disorder.

Leon Jackson, 24, and Daniel Mooney, 20, both of Gonville Place, Trumpington, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of racially aggravated threatening behaviour.

Jacey was jailed for a year, Collinson-Prime was sent to a youth offenders’ institution for a year and the youth was given a one-year detention and training order.

Jackson and Mooney were each given eight-month jail sentences suspended for two years and must do 200 hours of unpaid work. The young group have nearly 40 previous convictions between them.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth, sentencing at Cambridge Crown Court, described it as a “thoroughly unpleasant racist attack” and added: “It will simply not be tolerated.”

One of the victims said in a statement read out in court that he was still scared for his safety.

He said: “These people know where I work and clearly have an issue with me and the colour of my skin and this is not an issue that is going to go away.”

Cambridge News

A man has been warned he could face jail for posting a Facebook comment about burning down a mosque in the wake of Lee Rigby’s murder.

Derek Phin, 46, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday where he pleaded guilty to posting the threatening and abusive remark on the social network last June.

British soldier Lee Rigby was off duty in southeast London when he was attacked and killed on May 22 last year.

Radical groups then tried to exploit the soldier’s murder resulting in attacks and protests against the UK’s muslim community.

Phin, of Aberdeen, admitted posting on Facebook that Edinburgh Central Mosque should be burnt down on July 2 during a counter demo.

The mosque was due to be packed at the time for a meeting organised by pressure group Unite Against Fascism in response to extreme right wing protests.

Fiscal depute David Bernard told the court that police had been tipped off to Phin’s comment which he put online on June 30.

He said: “On July 13 police received information that a comment of a racially motivated nature and thought to incite racial hatred had been posted on Facebook social network site on a page pertaining to the Scottish Defence League.

“One of the comments had been from a user account in the name of Derek Phin and had been posted on June 30, 2013 as part of a conversation about a Unite Against Fascism campaign to be held at an Edinburgh mosque on July 2.

“The comment attributed to Phin read ‘burn the mosque down when the meeting is ongoing’.”

Police confronted Phin at his home in Aberdeen on September 4.

He was taken to a police station where he admitted making the comment and stated he was a member of the Scottish Defence League. He was then cautioned and charged.

Defence agent David Sutherland said the mail-room worker had put the comment on Facebook as he felt that the men who committed Mr Rigby’s murder were being protected by the authorities in the aftermath of the attack.

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty of the fusilier’s murder at the Old Bailey on December 19.

Mr Sutherland said: “The background involves the murder of Lee Rigby.

“This was his reaction to his perception of how the authorities dealt with the murder of Lee Rigby – his reaction to how the people were protected by the authorities for what they had done.

“He accepts that it was an entirely inappropriate comment. He has not used Facebook since he appeared in court.”

Sheriff Annella Cowan deferred sentence for the preparation of reports and released Phin on bail.

She warned him: “You should not use Facebook. You should be putting your affairs in order in case you go to jail. There will be no predeterminations but it is a serious consideration.”


STV

A 21-year-old man who scrawled “Lee Rigby’s killers should hang”, on the RAF Bomber Command War Memorial in London has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Daniel Smith admitted causing two counts of criminal damage on June 5, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Smith, from Grecian Street North, Salford, Greater Manchester, said he did not realise it was a war memorial.

District Judge Quentin Purdy told him: “There are those who are deeply offended by what you chose to do.”

He added some people would “wish you considerable ill, I am sure, simply because you chose to do it”.

‘Appalling act’

Smith’s defence counsel, Colleen Gildernew, told an earlier hearing he was “disgusted with himself” over the act.

He had also daubed “EDL” and a swear word on the memorial in Green Park.

Damage to the memorial, created to remember the thousands of RAF crew who lost their lives in World War Two, amounted to £870.

The memorial was vandalised twice in just over a week, following the death of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich, south east London, on 22 May.

Following the sentencing Baljit Ubhey, CPS London Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “This was an appalling act of vandalism which defaced the memorial to the thousands of men who lost their lives in the Second World War flying for RAF Bomber Command.

“I hope that this prosecution will serve as a warning that such behaviour will not be tolerated in our city.”

Smith also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing £510 of criminal damage to the wall of a commercial property in Knightsbridge.

Smith has 44 previous convictions, related mainly to shoplifting, the court was told.

BBC News

A MAN who threatened to burn down Hastings Mosque in retaliation for the brutal killing of soldier Lee Rigby in London has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Unemployed Adam Rogers, 28, of Woolwich, a former English Defence League (EDL) activist, was staying with friends in Hastings when he posted a tirade of offensive and obscene remarks on Facebook including the statement ‘the mosque needs burning down’.

He also called on fellow EDL members to congregate at Hastings Mosque in St Leonards.

On Monday (July 15), Rogers was sentenced to 16 weeks in custody, suspended for two years, by Hastings magistrates. He was also given a supervision requirement for 24 months and ordered to pay £85 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Just a fortnight ago, Kevin Newsome, 58, from Luton, was fined £200 by Hastings magistrates after he walked into Hastings Mosque late at night on August 18 last year, threw a number of shoes into the street, and harassed a Muslim family.

On May 22 Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in broad daylight in Woolwich, Adam Rogers’ hometown.

Rogers made the offensive comments on Facebook on May 23 prompting a complaint to police who arrested him on May 24. By then he had removed the remarks from the social networking site.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of sending an indecent, obscene, or menacing message.

At Monday’s sentencing, Aidan Harvey, defending, said that Rogers withdrew his patronage of EDL after the incident.

He said: “Woolwich is a garrison town. He did not know Lee Rigby, but knew him by sight.

“At a time when anger and resentment is running high, to post those comments worldwide is likely to inflame the situation, but I think the most telling point is that he took them off, and not because he was being investigated.”

A number of friends of Rogers had commented on the post that they found it offensive, including a good friend of his who was Muslim.

“Within a very short period of doing what he did, he realised it was wrong when it suddenly became personal to him,” Mr Harvey added.

Sentencing Rogers, Nicola Pankhurst, chairman of the bench, said: “We are clearly aware that this is an offence which is incredibly serious. We are satisfied that this does reach the custody threshold.”

Imam Magdi Osman, speaking on behalf of Hastings Mosque users, said in response to the Rogers and Newsome cases: “We were not necessarily looking for heavy sentences. We are happy to see they have been caught and dealt with.

“We hope that one day we can sit down with them, and talk with each other and understand each other, so that we can live as one.”

Hastings Observer

A man has pleaded guilty to scrawling graffiti about Fusilier Lee Rigby’s murder on the RAF Bomber Command War Memorial.

Daniel James Smith
, 21, of Grecian Street North, Salford, admitted writing “Lee Rigby’s killers should hang” on the memorial in central London on June 5 – a monument he did not realise was a war memorial.

Colleen Gildernew, defending, said: “He had no idea that the war memorial was a war memorial.

“He is very disgusted with himself, even more so because of that.”

Smith also daubed “EDL” and “F*** the police” on the memorial in Green Park, prosecutor Izolda Switala-Gribbin said.

Smith was planning on going to Fusilier Rigby’s funeral but was arrested and could not go, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

Ms Gildernew said Smith had applied for a job in the British Army but was unsuccessful “because of his convictions as a young boy”.

The court heard Smith has 44 convictions and has appeared in different courts five times this year.

Ms Gildernew said the experiences of Smith’s two army friends – one who has lost both legs and another who suffers from memory loss as the result of a bomb – had an “emotional impact on him”.

The damage to the memorial, which was created to remember the thousands of RAF crew who lost their lives in the Second World War, amounted to £870.

The memorial was vandalised twice in just over a week following the murder of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich, south east London, on May 22.

District Judge Quentin Purdy described the content of the graffiti inflicted on June 5 by Smith, and its location, as “highly emotive”.

He added that Smith’s actions clearly challenged the “tolerance we all seek to see in society”.

Mr Purdy said people will want to know what the court is doing about people, “brains in gear or not”, who inflict such damage.

The judge said he was prepared to explore all “reasonable options” for Smith moving on rather than being sent back into custody.

But he said a custodial sentence was a possibility, adding “there may be no alternative”.

Mr Purdy told Smith his punishment should “reflect the public’s concern about your criminal conduct”.

He told the 21-year-old his actions “caused offence to many”.

The court was told that Smith has spent the past 11 weeks in Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution and was released only yesterday.

Mr Purdy said it was “slightly worrying” that Smith was released with few arrangements in place.

Smith’s previous convictions relate mainly to shoplifting, Ms Gildernew told the court.

She said he was brought up by his grandmother and had little in terms of family support, describing his childhood as “unsettled”.

The court heard that he left school at the age of 15 with no qualifications, battled cannabis addiction in his teenage years and struggled with homelessness.

Ms Gildernew said Smith, dressed in a colourful T-shirt, was “shaking and very tearful” before the hearing.

Smith also pleaded guilty to causing £510 of criminal damage to a wall of a commercial property in Knightsbridge.

Mr Purdy remanded Smith in custody and adjourned sentencing until Tuesday November 5 at the same court pending further inquiries into suitable arrangements for him.

Cambridge News