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A 42-year-old man appeared in court for carrying a pen that could double-up as an offensive weapon in Dover.

Darren Vincent from Gillingham was arrested after he was spotted carrying a “Military/Tactical Pen” in Folkestone Road on January 30, when far-right and anti-fascist protesters clashed in Dover.

Then pen is typically made out of solid metal. It can be used as a “last-ditch self-defence tool”.

Vincent appeared at Thanet Magistrates Court on June 6 and was sentenced to 77 days in prison suspended for 12 months.

He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months and was given a three month curfew to stay at home between 9pm and 5am.

He must also pay £85 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Dover Express

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A man stabbed to the neck received life-threatening injuries following scenes in a North Wales village which were today compared to television’s “Shameless” programme.

David Craig Burnie, was jailed for five and a half years.

David Craig Burnie, was jailed for five and a half years.

A man stabbed to the neck received life-threatening injuries following scenes in a North Wales village which were today compared to television’s “Shameless” programme.

Victim Wayne Reginald Hodrien suffered two tears to the jugular vein in the left side of his neck.

The knifeman, David Craig Burnie, was today jailed for five and a half years.

He admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after an earlier charge of attempted murder was dropped.

Mold Crown Court heard that all parties were under the influence of something and it would never be known precisely what sparked off the violence on the Plas Madoc Estate at Acrefair outside Acrefair, one evening last August.

But following a confrontation at Alwen on the estate, Burnie, 23, went into his home, re-emerged with a knife, and later claimed it was to simply frighten off those who had gathered outside the house.

However, during a fight with Mr Hodrien, Burnie stabbed him to the neck.

In court, it was claimed by defending barrister Robert Parry-Jones that but for the seriousness of the injury the scene would fit into the Channel Four programme “Shameless”.

He said: “It was an appalling situation that occurred that day.”

Judge Niclas Parry told Burnie: “It could have been murder.”

The judge said that once again a person had taken a knife out onto the streets of North Wales to resolve a violent confrontation.

“Once again, a loss of life could have occurred in North Wales because of knife-crime,” he said.

Burnie, he said, had a knife when he was out of control of his senses because of drink.

There had already been a violent confrontation, the defendant did fear for his own personal safety but he could have remained in the house where he had retreated.

“But you chose to come out having collected a knife,” Judge Parry told him.

Outside the violence escalated, the knife was “inevitable used”.

“You used it to stab your victim in the neck. It was life threatening at the time.”

The defendant, he said, had previous convictions for an offensive weapon, two assaults and making a threat to kill.

The judge said that he accepted there was an element of provocation. The greatest mitigation was his guilty plea.

The court heard how the incident happened after the defendant and his girlfriend Claire Hiscock – who had since died – had been to register the birth of their baby.

They spent some time drinking in Wrexham and then returned on the bus to Acrefair.

It was a confused picture about what then took place but Wyn Lloyd Jones prosecuting, said that there appeared to be a number of people in the street, angry about various issues, who appeared drunk or under the influence of something.

The defendant had been involved in a confrontation, went into his house, got the knife, returned outside and was involved in a fight with Mr Hodrien. It was then that he lunged at him with the knife and stabbed him to the left side of his neck.

Mr Hodrien did not want to involve the police, initially said that he had fallen, he was taken to hospital where the wound was cleaned and he discharged himself against medical advice.

But police later returned him to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to the stab wound which involved two tears of the left jugular. The experience had left him suffering nightmares, sleepless nights, anxiety and he had lost confidence.

Burnie initially claimed that he had been defending himself but in his basis of plea said that at the time his belief was that he and his girlfriend were about to be attacked. He picked up the knife to frighten off those who came to his house, not to use it. But he accepted that the knife was used after blows were exchanged.

Robert Parry-Jones, defending, said: “We will never really know what happened.” Everyone was affected by something, whether drugs or alcohol.

Burnie did not go out looking for trouble, he did not start it, he did not go out to cause an injury. His perception was that those on the estate did not like him and did not like his girlfriend.

“She is now unfortunately deceased. She took her life. He is devastated about that,” Mr Parry-Jones said.

The defendant had made a serious attempt at his own life since the incident.

That night a group of people gathered outside his home and after what had occurred he knew it was not “for a cosy chat”.

The barrister said: “No one comes out of this with any credit at all. Burnie did not start it, he reacted, and he very much regrets the way that he did react.”

Daily Post

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A politician’s eight-year-old daughter was “petrified” when anti-Islamic protesters marched into the garden of their home with banners and banged on the window.

Lancashire MEP Sajjad Karim’s home was targeted by the English Defence League (EDL) as part of a day of protests against “radical Islam” in the county on July 2 last year.

Twelve admitted public order offences at Preston Crown Court for offences committed during the protests at another location in Brierfield and will be sentenced on May 25.

Speaking from Brussels, Mr Karim, who was due to give evidence, said: “It is not the sort of thing any child should ever have to be prepared for.”

Bernard Holmes, 26, of Bolton Road; Leonard Hawley, 47, of Worcester Road; David Wilson, 47, of Devon Road, all Blackburn, and Jason Smith, 43, of Torquay Avenue, Burnley pleaded guilty to racially aggravated provocation of violence while David Garrett, 45, of Beckett Street, Darwen, admitted having an offensive weapon.

Leanne Thornton, 26, of Oak Avenue, Todmorden; Graham Smith, 48, of Draperfield, Chorley; Paul Blundell, 45, of Lee Street, Longridge, John English, 24, of Shorrock Lane, Blackburn; Martin Corner, 31, of Corporation Street, Chorley; Jordan Lonsdale, 20, of Ribble Lane, Clitheroe, and Paul Jackson, 41, of Spring Bank Terrace, Blackburn, pleaded not guilty to violent disorder but admitted using threatening behaviour.

Sajjad Karim added: “To be afraid to leave ones house as a mob fuelled by hate protests outside is as frightening as it gets. They showed no regard to the fact my wife and daughter were at home.

“It left me hoping and praying that our four walls would keep us safe and you can’t begin to imagine how my young daughter felt.

“There were many more innocent people caught up in their violence that day and I am thankful this eleventh hour change of plea means they won’t have to relive their ordeal in a courtroom.

“We have not and will not allow such mobs to use their threatening ways to hound people in our society.”

Lancashire Evening Post

A convicted football hooligan has admitted his involvement in an attack where a bacon sandwich was thrown at a Bristol mosque.

Kevin Crehan, 34, of Stockwood Crescent, Knowle, was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence following the incident at Jamia Mosque in Green Street, Totterdown, last month.

In a five minute hearing at Bristol Crown Court he pleaded guilty to the charge, accepting a religiously aggravated offence to cause Nasir Ahmed harassment, alarm or distress.

Judge Martin Picton adjourned his case, pending a probation report, until March 24.

He bailed Crehan on condition he co-operates with the probation service.

Crehan’s bail also prevents him from going on the pavement outside, or within the boundaries of, any mosque in England and Wales.

The judge told him: “You have to understand this case carries custody.”.

On Sunday, January 17, a flag was said to be hung on a fence outside the mosque stating: “No mosque wanted here” and “Bristol United Patriots”.

Elderly worshippers attending the mosque were abused and bacon was thrown.

Self-styled anti-Muslim group, Bristol United Patriots, operate across the city but have publicly denied having anything to do with the attack.

It is not Crehan’s first brush with the law, which has included assaulting a police officer.

In 2010 he was sentenced to seven months in prison for breaching a three year football banning order.

At the time Bristol Crown Court heard the then 28-year-old was caught with a sawn-off pool cue down his trousers.

Crehan admitted four breaches which included failing to report to a police station during the World Cup and being inside an exclusion zone before a Bristol City versus Milwall match.

The court heard he had been banned from being within a mile of Bristol City’s Ashton Gate ground.

Crehan pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon and stealing a DVD.

Regarding the mosque attack Alison Bennett, 46, Mark Bennett, 48, both of Spruce Way, Patchway and Angelina Swailes, 31, of West Town Avenue, Brislington have all been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

The Bennetts and Swailes have been released on bail with a condition not to enter or go within 100 metres of any mosque.

They are due to appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on February 25.

Bristol Post

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Craig McLaughlin, 21, of Grange Road, Layton, pleaded guilty to an offence of threatening with an offensive weapon. His arrest followed an incident in the Hatfield Avenue area of Fleetwood on September 21 last year.

Craig McLaughlin, 21, of Grange Road, Layton, pleaded guilty to an offence of threatening with an offensive weapon. His arrest followed an incident in the Hatfield Avenue area of Fleetwood on September 21 last year.

Swinging a baseball bat at a stranger in the street has left a Blackpool man facing a six-month spell behind bars.

Craig McLaughlin swung the weapon towards a man riding past him on a bicycle, causing the cyclist to almost fall off his bike.

A court heard the defendant had consumed alcohol as well as cocaine beforehand and had no real recollection of what happened.

McLaughlin, 21, of Grange Road, Layton, pleaded guilty to an offence of threatening with an offensive weapon.

His arrest followed an 
incident in the Hatfield 
Avenue area of Fleetwood on September 21.

Mercedeh Jabbari, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said a man was riding towards a junction that afternoon when he noticed a man coming out of a gateway which led to the rear of some flats.

He told the court: “As he rode past the defendant, Craig McLaughlin, was rushing 
towards him saying ‘you think you’re hard, don’t you?’

“He began swinging the bat towards him.

“The male almost fell off his bicycle, but managed to swerve. He hit the kerb.”

The man contacted the police while keeping McLaughlin, who continued to shout, in sight.

While the man was on the phone to the police, the defendant had taken his top off and was running around.

He subsequently dropped the bat.

The prosecution said McLaughlin then showed passive resistance towards a police officer.

He would not providing any details of who he was.

McLaughlin had 35 previous offences on his record.

In October he was given 12 weeks prison for breaching a suspended sentence made in April of last year.

Julie Taylor, defending, said McLaughlin had drunk far too much at the time and had also taken cocaine.

She said: “He had had an argument.

“He had the baseball bat for his protection.

“He picked it up and after that he really hasn’t any recollection of making a threat towards the man.

“He accepts his guilt.

“He simply has no recollection, but accepts the man would have been extremely fearful during the incident.

“It is something for which the defendant has expressed remorse and wishes to 
apologise to him and to the court.”

Ms Taylor added that the prison term passed after the offence last September had been a real wake up call for him.

McLaughlin had given up drinking to excess and now only occasionally smoked cannabis.

BBC News

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FOOTBALL hooligan Jeff Marsh has been banned from football grounds for five years after admitting affray.

The 44-year-old Cardiff City supporter was found in possession of a knuckleduster when he was arrested for affray outside the Ninian Park pub in Canton, Cardiff, last June.

The self-proclaimed hooligan, who has written two books about his exploits with the city’s infamous Soul Crew and is one of the organisers of the Welsh Defence League, was fighting with Celtic fans after the inaugural match between the teams at Cardiff’s new stadium.

Marsh, from Barry, admitted affray and possession of an offensive weapon at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court in January and was sentenced yesterday.

He was given a four-month suspended jail term, 150 hours’ community service and ordered to pay £600 costs.

He was given a full five-year football banning order that will prevent him attending any football matches for five years.

Detective Constable Simon Chivers, of the Football Intelligence Unit, who arrested Marsh last summer, said: “Jeff Marsh is a convicted football hooligan.

“Behaviour such as he exhibited on the night will not be tolerated by Cardiff City or the police and anyone indulging in that sort of behaviour will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law, prosecuted and banned.”

It is Marsh’s first football banning order as his previous convictions for football violence came before the 1990 Football Disorder Act which introduced the banning orders.

In 1989 he was convicted of grievous bodily harm for stabbing two Manchester United supporters in Cardiff and was jailed for two years. In 1986 he was also convicted of a football-related assault in Halifax.

Marsh is an organiser of the English and Welsh Defence Leagues which describe themselves as “a ready-made army” against Muslim fundamentalists.

There have been riots and arrests in English cities, including Birmingham and Luton, which have led to scores of arrests after the group has clashed with anti-fascist campaigners. There have also been marches in Wrexham and Swansea.

The groups have been described as “divisive” and “hate-based” by Plaid Cymru AM Leanne Wood.

Wales Online

From 2010

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A HOMELESS man attacked a worker going home from a Christmas party so severely his face had to be reconstructed.

Nineteen-year-old Lee Wells, who was on bail for brandishing a hammer 10 days earlier, set on 42-year-old Robert Johnson outside the YMCA hostel in Harding Road, Hanley.

The incident occurred in the early hours of December 6 last year as Mr Johnson made his way from The Quality Hotel in Trinity Street.

He was left with a fractured jaw and eye sockets and had to undergo four operations to have plates inserted into his face.

Wells, of no fixed address, who pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm, was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday.

Paul Spratt, prosecuting, said: “Mr Johnson left the Quality Hotel in Hanley some time after midnight.

“He had no other recollection of the events that occurred except that he was the subject of assault leading to substantial injuries.

“On returning home he realised he had forgotten his keys and left them at the Quality Hotel.”

Mr Johnson then returned by taxi to the hotel, where he collected his keys and set off home again.

Mr Spratt added: “It was at the point that he was walking back from Hanley town centre past the YMCA that the attack occurred. He says he was attacked but has no recollection of the attack as it occurred.”

The court heard Mr Johnson had been left with headaches, numbness in his face and difficulty eating as a result of the incident.

At the time of the attack, Wells was on bail for an incident on November 25 when he was caught with a hammer in Harding Road. On that occasion, he was in the company of two other men who were found with an African-style club and a knife.

He tried to prevent arrest by hiding in a ground floor storeroom of the hostel but was discovered.

Sarah Badrawy, defending, said Wells had experienced a very difficult upbringing. She said: “He had a number of adverse events at a crucial stage in his life.

“He suffered from rejection from both his family and rejection from his foster family.

“It is at that stage he found himself of no fixed abode. He spent his life moving from different friends’ sofas and homeless hostels.”

Referring to two psychiatric reports, Judge Granville Styler said Wells was “very dangerous young man” but said he was limited in his sentencing options.

He imposed a 12-month jail sentence for possessing an offensive weapon and affray, and 30 months consecutively for the grievous bodily harm.

He said: “The public should know that the psychiatric report says he poses a high risk of serious harm to others.”

Stoke Sentinel