Archive

Tag Archives: Not racist because

Andrew Jenkinson hurled racist slurs and described black people as “monkeys” before he attacked Dominic O’Hara in Edinburgh.

SDL supporter Andrew Jenkinson lashed out at an anti-racist campaigner (Image: LESLEY DONALD/SWNS)

SDL supporter Andrew Jenkinson lashed out at an anti-racist campaigner (Image: LESLEY DONALD/SWNS)

A Scottish Defence League supporter has been found guilty of hurling racist abuse and assaulting an anti-fascist activist handing out leaflets at a Fight Racism stall near The Mosque Kitchen in Edinburgh.

Andrew Jenkinson, 41, of Edinburgh, was told by a Sheriff that his actions had been “deeply offensive and an unprovoked attack on freedom of speech”.

He was found guilty at the city’s Sheriff Court today of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, shouting, swearing and making and uttering grossly offensive remarks and gestures in Nicolson Street on September 21 last year.

He was also found guilty of assaulting Dominic O’Hara, 27, by kicking him on the body and punching him on the head.

O’Hara was at the stall with friends handing out leaflets when Jenkinson approached in a aggressive manner and described black people as “monkeys”.

“He said he didn’t like our literature and banners and was really het up” said O’Hara. “It looked as though he was going to headbutt me and asked me ‘to come round the corner’.

“Obviously he wanted to fight, but didn’t want it on the public street”.

According to O’Hara, Jenkinson was shouting about the SDL saying: “We will hunt people like you down. You love Islamists”.

O’Hara said a woman tried to reason with Jenkinson, but he called her “a pig”. Sheriff O’Grady asked if the woman was white or black and was told she was black.

 The Scottish Defence League protesting in Edinburgh in June (Image: SWNS)

The Scottish Defence League protesting in Edinburgh in June (Image: SWNS)

O’Hara said he stepped between Jenkinson and the woman, with his back to Jenkinson, to try and defuse the situation. He was then kicked on the ankle and when he turned round was punched three times on the face. He then tripped Jenkinson up and they fell to the ground.

When they separated, he said, Jenkinson walked off “expressing fascist views and making the Nazi salute”.

Questioned by Jenkinson’s defence lawyer, Elaine Clancy, O’Hara admitted he had previous convictions for obstruction, during a student protest, breach of the peace with a loudspeaker and assault.

He denied he had “a vendetta against Mr Jenkinson”.

Twenty-nine year old Ruby Barrowman, who had been at the stall with O’Hara, said Jenkinson had told the South African black woman, who was with her daughter, to “Go home”.

He called her and O’Hara “Anti-white racists” and shouted about the SDL. Asked what the SDL was, she replied: “They are fascists”.

Jenkinson said he had dropped his father off at Surgeon’s Hall and had gone to get money from a cash machine. The “Fight Racism” stall was near the machine, he said, and displayed flags, banners and collection tins.

He said he asked if they had a licence from the Council to do this. He admitted to having “a heated debate” with the South African woman with the young girl. Things escalated, he said, when he was called a “Nazi” and “fascist”.

He told them this was Great Britain and he was “a proud patriot of my country”.

He admitted pushing O’Hara, but denied any punching and claimed O’Hara had gouged his eye. He said he had never given a Nazi salute or said anything about Islamists.

He told Fiscal Depute, Claire Crompton, the Fight Racism campaigners were “anti-British, pro-IRA and Revolutionary Communists”.

He denied being a racist, saying a Chinese friend of his had committed suicide because of racist abuse.

He told Sheriff O’Grady that shortly after the incident, pictures of himself and his children had been posted online and that it was claimed he was a member of the SDL.

He denied this but admitted: “It’s possible it may have mentioned I had been at some demos”.

Finding Jenkinson guilty , Sheriff O’Grady told him he regarded the evidence of O’Hara and Barrowman as credible and reliable and had no hesitation in accepting it, and had no hesitation in finding him guilty”.

Sentence was deferred until next month for a background report.

Daily Record

A National Front activist who took part in anti-immigration riots changed his views after he found out his ancestors were from India and Pakistan, a court heard.

Shaun Grimsley, 48, had taken cocaine when he was caught on CCTV throwing a St George’s flag during clashes with anti-racist protesters in Dover, Kent, last January.

Afterward he took a DNA test which revealed his ancestors came from India, Pakistan, Ireland, Scandinavia and Spain, Canterbury crown court heard yesterday.

His solicitor James Doyle said gas fitter Grimsley of Cannock, Staffordshire, had abandoned his far-right views and was repentant.

Judge Simon James said: ‘I hope that’s true because this is your one chance. For a large part of your adult life you have held abhorrent and racist views.’

Grimsley pleaded guilty to violent disorder and was sentenced to 18 months’ jail suspended for two years, plus 200 hours of unpaid work.

Shuan Grimsley (r) with Gary Crane in Dover. 31/1/16

Shuan Grimsley (r) with Gary Crane in Dover. 31/1/16

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

A court heard Kieron Wright posted a message on a public forum complaining about being moved to a different ward and making vile comments about a female nurse

Kieron Wright, 23, from Sunderland, who posted vile racist slurs about his nurse on Facebook

Kieron Wright, 23, from Sunderland, who posted vile racist slurs about his nurse on Facebook

A patient posted shocking racist abuse on Facebook about a nurse who was looking after him following an overdose.

Kieron Wright had been admitted to Sunderland Royal Hospital after taking an overdose, the Chronicle Live reports .

A court heard he posted a message on a public forum complaining about being moved to a different ward and making vile comments about a female nurse.

He referred to her as a “big ape-looking lass” and added: “Not ******* happy.

“If anyone was thinking about popping in with fruit, leave the bananas in the house, I don’t fancy getting robbed. Ha.”

Newcastle Crown Court heard a member of staff at Sunderland NHS Trust spotted the “gross racial slur” and contacted police.
NNP Kieron Wright, 23, from Sunderland, who posted vile racist slurs about his nurse on Facebook
Wright had overdosed and was being treated

Now Wright, who said he was sorry and wasn’t thinking straight due to his overdose, has been spared jail after he admitted sending an offensive communication.

Mr Recorder Morris told the 23-year-old: “That was a deeply offensive message to post on a public forum.

“I have no doubt anyone who read it would have been disgusted by what they saw. Such language is entirely unacceptable.

“This was not just a message sent to one individual but was widely disseminated to the public.

“It was plainly a racially motivated offensive message and that is a serious aggravating factor in this case.”

Wright had ended up in hospital on the evening of March 10 this year.

The deputy head of corporate affairs at the local NHS Trust became aware of what he had written on Facebook during his stay.

Wright was interviewed by police and said he didn’t realise it would offend anyone and was sorry.

Alec Burns, defending, said: “He is very sorry about the communication offence.

“He couldn’t see it at the time but she was helping him. He didn’t understand at the time because of the state he was in. He apologises.”

Wright, of Rosedale Street, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to sending an offensive communication.

The court heard his 47 previous convictions include daubing graffiti on the walls of a police cell calling a man with an Asian-sounding name a “nonce”.

Wright also admitted assaulting a man in an unrelated offence because he wasn’t happy with the quality of cannabis he had been sold.

He had also failed to comply with a previous community order.

For the racist Facebook post and the assault, Wright was sentenced to a community order for 18 months, with rehabilitation and supervision requirements.

He was also given a restraining order to keep him away from the assault victim and his girlfriend.

Mr Burns said Wright has a history of mental health problems but has recently started working.

Newcastle Chronicle

Geoffrey Farquharson sent a racist and homophobic voice message to Ben Bradshaw the day before Jo Cox MP was killed

Geoffrey Farquharson, 37, leaves Exeter magistrates court after receiving a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. Photograph: Rod Minchin/PA

Geoffrey Farquharson, 37, leaves Exeter magistrates court after receiving a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. Photograph: Rod Minchin/PA

A man who sent a threatening voice message to senior Labour MP Ben Bradshaw the day before the killing of parliamentary colleague Jo Cox has been given a suspended sentence.

In the two-minute message Geoffrey Farquharson, 37, shouts down the phone, swears repeatedly and makes threats towards the former culture secretary. The racist and homophobic message, which was left on the answerphone of Bradshaw’s parliamentary office, was sent the day before Labour MP Cox was killed in June this year.

The message made Bradshaw fearful for the safety of his staff, Exeter magistrates court heard. District Judge Stephen Nichols sentenced Farquharson to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

He was also given a 25-day community order, banned indefinitely from contacting Bradshaw or attending his constituency office, and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs.

The judge told him: “The message was clearly homophobic, Islamophobic and racist and there was clearly a death threat to Mr Bradshaw.

“You accept through your guilty plea that the message you sent to Mr Bradshaw was highly offensive. In the message, your voice became extremely angry and you make threats and use highly offensive and abusive language.”

In the message, which was played to the court, Farquharson starts by giving his full name and address and says he has just watched a video on Facebook about Muslim extremism.

Farquharson then launches a homophobic tirade against Bradshaw, who is gay, and repeatedly goads the MP to call the police. The defendant uses highly offensive language throughout, and describes Bradshaw as “evil”.

The call was picked up by a member of the MP’s staff, who raised the alarm. After Bradshaw reported the matter to the police, Farquharson was arrested the following day.

The court heard that the MP had made a victim impact statement, in which he said: “Having had death threats before I was not unduly concerned about myself and more concerned about my staff, particularly in Exeter, who have borne the brunt of Mr Farquharson.”

He went on to say that public servants should not have to put up with threats and abuse from members of the public and that his concerns had been heightened because of the killing of Cox.

At a previous hearing, Farquharson, of Exeter, had pleaded guilty to sending an indecent or grossly offensive message. Farquharson, who suffers from mental health issues, was accompanied by his carer when he returned to court to be sentenced.

The judge heard that Farquharson had autism and a difficult upbringing. Rob Jacobs, defending, said Farquharson’s “anger and annoyance” had been building up at what he saw as “concerns for others” and he had “lost his temper”.

Jacobs said: “Mr Farquharson is both very vulnerable and probably a very lonely individual. I don’t think he would mind me saying that that he has too much time to think and ruminate on his political views. It is true that his political views are strongly held.

“He would say that he does not hold homophobic or racist views himself and the words he used were a manifestation of his anger and frustration, rather than him holding any anti-social views.”

Last week, Bradshaw said the abuse dished out to politicians on social media had got worse since the death of Cox. He told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show he believed it was now “socially acceptable” to use Facebook and Twitter to abuse politicians and he hoped the killing would lead to a “deeper reflection” about the political culture in the UK.

The Guardian

GAF 1

GAF 2

But Cleveland Police questioned in court over claims Mark Trippett was only stopped because he had a far-right group’s shirt on

Mark Trippett, 35, of Carisbrooke Avenue, Middlesbrough, stopped by police and found carrying a knuckleduster

Mark Trippett, 35, of Carisbrooke Avenue, Middlesbrough, stopped by police and found carrying a knuckleduster

A man wearing a T-shirt seemingly proclaiming him to be a far-right group’s “soldier” was nicked after police caught him with a £1.50 knuckleduster.

Officers stopped Middlesbrough’s Mark Trippett while he was wearing a “right wing” North East Infidels shirt.

However, Trippett – who has EDL tattooed on his neck – insist he doesn’t share their views.

And he’s been spared prison for carrying the knuckleduster after a judge heard there was “no reason” to stop him, other than for his shirt.

Police used stop and search powers as Trippett walked along Corporation Road in Middlesbrough on July 16.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday that he had forgotten it was there.

“He said he didn’t intend on using it and it was a daft mistake,” added the probation service.

He handed the knuckleduster straight to police, with his solicitor adding it had been a “serene” incident.

“There were no threats to police and he handed the weapon straight over,” he said.

“Perhaps it was a macho thing at the time, and it wasn’t thought through.”

Trippett, 35, of Carisbrooke Avenue, Thorntree, had been wearing the North East Infidels shirt – emblazoned with the word “soldier” – when he was arrested.

The group marched alongside EDL and National Front members in Stockton last year.

The Teesside branch claim on Facebook the group is a “family”, but in court they were dubbed “right wing”.

However, Judge Martin Walker questioned if Cleveland Police had simply targeted him because of his shirt, with the court hearing there had been “no disorder” in the area to warrant stop and search laws being deployed.

Tracksuit-clad Trippett had pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon, which he claimed he’d bought for £1.50.

Judge Walker warned the offence would almost always carry a jail term.

But he instead handed him a one-year community order, but not without dishing out a dressing down.

“Certainly (the knuckleduster) is only used to cause serious harm to another human being,” added Judge Walker.

“That is what the knuckleduster is for – to enhance the power of the fist.”

Cleveland Police declined to comment. The weapon will be destroyed.

Gazette Live

ONE OF the men who admits a racially aggravated attack on Totterdown’s mosque has claimed in court that he didn’t know that bacon was offensive to Muslims.

Mark Bennett, 48, claimed he was not a racist and did not take bacon to the mosque in Green Street on January 17, 2016, intending to cause offence.

Instead, he said, he was trying to raise awareness about the plight of British armed forces veterans and homeless people who he felt deserved more attention.

Bennett, of Spruce Way, Patchway, his wife Alison Bennett, 46, Kevin Crehan, 34, of Springleaze, Knowle, and Angelina Margaret Swales, 31, of West Town Avenue, Brislington, have all pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence at the Jamia mosque.

Bristol crown court was told on June 17 that during the incident racial abuse was shouted at a Muslim man attending the mosque. Raw bacon was thrown and left hanging from the mosque’s railings and an English flag, the cross of St George, was left on the steps with the legend “No mosques, no refugees”, the prosecution said.

But the two men involved denied being racists, said there was no bacon thrown, and they did not hear any racial abuse. They claimed their protest was peaceful. Crehan said it was an attempt to get Muslims to “integrate”. “I grew up in Totterdown and I have got many, many Muslim friends,” he said.

Bennett drew a parallel with charitable activities.

“In my own time I go to the city centre and take coffee and bacon sandwiches to people who live on the streets,” he said.

Judge Julian Lambert asked Bennett if he expected people at the mosque to eat his bacon sandwiches and be grateful for them.

“Possibly,” Bennett replied. The court had heard that Bennett and his wife had bought the bacon and some bread in a £1 shop in Broadmead the same morning. The barrister for the prosecution, Ian Fenney, asked Bennett: “Did you expect people to eat raw bacon?”

“No,” said Bennett. “Where was the bacon going to be cooked?” asked Mr Fenney.

“It possibly could have been cooked in the mosque. I wouldn’t know, would I?” said Bennett.

He added: “I didn’t know that it was offensive to take bacon to the mosque. If I had known I wouldn’t have taken it. Mr Fenney responded: “I suggest you knew exactly how much offence would be caused by taking raw bacon and that’s why you did it. Why was bacon found on the door handles of the mosque? Because any Muslim entering the mosque would have to touch it.”

Bennett told the court he didn’t know the meaning of the word “jihad”.

The court was also told that in 2008 Crehan racially abused an Asian police officer at Broadbury Road police station, after he was arrested at his home during a domestic disturbance. Crehan said he was high on alcohol and drugs at the time but had since given both up.

Bennett was presented with several Facebook pages, posted in April 2016, in the name Marc Bennet, which contained offensive statements about Muslims and references to a recent attack on a mosque.

Bennett said the pages were not his and suggested they had been created to frame him by left-wing activists. He agreed that he had previously had another Facebook page in the name Mark English.

The four will be sentenced at another hearing on July 22, when the two women will be cross-examined.

The attack on January 17 resulted in an outpouring of support for the Jamia mosque, the oldest in Bristol. Hundreds of people attended an open afternoon the following weekend, and hundreds more pledged their support for the mosque being at the heart of the Totterdown community.

South Bristol Voice