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A FORMER Lugar and Craigmark footballer who hurled shameful racist abuse at a demonstration over Syrian refugees being housed in Scotland was spared jail for the offence this week.

Non-league midfielder Steven Kerr was arrested during clashes between pro and anti-refugee groups in Monkton.

The 31-year-old – who is known as “Kerso” – was detained after hurling racist abuse during the demonstration on Sunday, November 15 last year.

Tempers flared in Monkton’s Main Street when members of the Scottish Defence League and pro-refugee demonstrators expressed their views about around 150 refugees being granted emergency accommodation at the nearby Adamton Country House Hotel.

Kerr was held to yell “black b******” at the rally, which took place just hours after the Paris attacks which left 130 people dead and a further 368 injured.

The demo – which saw a pro-refugee group marching through the village – also took place following Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge that Britain would receive 1,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees before Christmas.

Kerr was held in custody pending a court appearance and was charged with breaking Section 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010.

Prosecutors claimed he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner which was likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm by shouting, swearing and making racial remarks.

He was due to go on trial at Ayr Sheriff Court last month but struck a deal with prosecutors which saw him plead guilty to an amended charge just minutes before his trial was due to start.

Kerr, who is also a member of the Ayr Protestant Boys Flute Band, admitted shouting a single racist remark during the clashes.

Sentence was deferred so he could assessed by social workers and he returned to the dock this week to learn his fate, with the threat of a possible 12-month jail term hanging over his head.

Procurator fiscal depute Lucy Adams told Sheriff John Montgomery that a pro-refugee group was marching through Main Street, Monkton, when they were met with an anti-refugee group.

Words were exchanged between the attendees, some of whom are understood to have been members of the far-right Scottish Defence League, insults were traded and Kerr was heard to shout the single racist comment.

Defence solicitor Steven Maxwell said Kerr had been provoked and reacted angrily because someone with a loudhailer shouted, “Get these Nazi scum off our streets” in his ear with the amplification device as he walked passed.

Sheriff John Montgomery then asked if Kerr’s attendance at the demo was evidence of racist views he holds.

He said: “Why did he go to this? He must have some interesting views?”

Maxwell replied: “In meetings I’ve had with him he doesn’t appear to have any particularly strong views.

“He had gone there with some friends.”

The lawyer asked for leniency for Kerr, who works as a delivery driver for Benson’s For Beds.

As he spared Kerr jail and fined him £750 for the offence, Sheriff Montgomery said: “I don’t think custody is necessary for this.

“You should be aware, Mr Kerr, that such derogatory and racial views can lead to more serious things taking place.”

Kerr has also played for Junior sides Ardrossan Winton Rovers and Whitletts Victoria in his non-league footballing career.

He left hometown club Whitletts Victoria in February this year due to work commitments.
Cumnock Chronicle

Shaun Jones, who has a lengthy record of violence, was drunk and high on cocaine at the time. His defence said he was ‘frightened of custody’
SJ
A far-right thug bit off a man’s ear – after being confronted for gate-crashing an 18th birthday party buffet and helping himself to food.

Shaun Jones, 35, who has links to nationalist protest group ‘North West Infidels’, has been jailed for four years for the attack.

A Manchester Crown Court sentencing hearing was told he turned violent after he and his twin brother were told they couldn’t have any more sandwiches.

Trouble flared in the Royal Oak pub, at Barton Road, Eccles , after Shaun Jones’ twin, Daniel, went into a side room where food had been prepared for party guests.

After Daniel was spotted pinching food for himself and his brother, the host’s brother told them: “Touch those f***ing sandwiches again and I’ll smash your face in.”

The pair ignored him and went back and helped themselves to more nibbles.

A 62-year-old man, who was the event’s ‘official photographer’ then challenged Daniel, telling him: “It’s for a birthday, you shouldn’t be nicking the buffet.”

Daniel reported this to Shaun, who the court heard is the bigger of the pair and has a lengthy record for violence.

Drunk and high on cocaine, Shaun reacted by thumping the 62-year-old man in the head.

As the victim lay on the floor, Daniel punched him about the head and kicked him repeatedly in the backside.

When the victim got to his feet, still holding his pint, Shaun Jones gripped him in a bear hug and bit down on his right ear.

The attack left the victim’s ear ‘hanging by a thread’, prosecutor Rob Hall said.

At the time of the brutal assault, Shaun Jones was subject to a conditional discharge after shrieking racist abuse at locals at a protest against a mosque development in Bolton staged by North West Infidels.

He was also subject to a suspended sentence for beating his wife, was on bail for another offence of violence, and was due to appear at the magistrates three days afterwards.

Shaun Jones of Cromwell Road, Eccles, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent following the pub row at 9pm on May 30 last year.

His sentencing hearing was told his lengthy history of violence includes drunken and abusive offending, attacks on his wife, a police custody officer, and a pub landlord.

Bob Elias, defending, said Shaun Jones ran a successful removals business and was supported by his ‘long-suffering wife’ – with whom he enjoyed a holiday in Egypt shortly before being locked up.

“It was his brother filching food, he joins in stupidly”, Mr Elias added.

“He is frightened by what he did and the lack of control, his wife is frightened too, she knows how things can be when he’s drunk.

“He’s had an ultimatum from her, she is long-suffering, she has been abused by him in the past, but they are a couple and the most powerful influence over a rational human being is his partner.

“He’s not dangerous – he didn’t start this quarrel, he involved himself in his brother’s quarrel, and took matters into his own hands. He is in many ways a commendable hardworking man.

” He’s frightened of custody and the person he becomes when he’s drunk. It takes courage to realise you can be a Jekyll and Hyde character – that could cause the court to have a tincture of mercy.”

Daniel Jones, 35, of Anson Street, Eccles, admitted a public order offence for his part and was given a community order with unpaid work.

Defending the railway worker, who has previous convictions for drink driving and benefit fraud, Hunter Gray said: “His taking of the sandwich was not designed to be aggressive or provocative, it was only with the involvement of his brother who threw the first punch that the matter devolved into physical violence – but for that involvement it would have been no more than a scuffle at most.

“I suspect police would never have been involved at all had the matter ended there and then.”

The victim’s ear has since been repaired, although he suffers permanent scarring.

The court heard Shaun Jones breached his bail by using Facebook to apologise to the victim, who says his camera suffered £1000 of damage, but told court in a statement he had made peace with his attacker and did not wish to see him jailed.

Sending down Shaun Jones, Recorder Michael Duck QC said: “You were behaving on any interpretation in a pretty boorish fashion, you were seen to be taking food.

“(The victim) did his best to persuade you to try and desist. Anyone hearing the facts would be appalled – I’m told you have come to recognise the appalling havoc your use of alcohol has caused – this particular night was no exception.

“You know if you mix alcohol and cocaine you are potentially a very volatile man, you are physically a very big man, capable of causing considerable harm.”

Manchester Evening News

Mosque protest

Mosque protest

A PROTESTER has been convicted of shouting racist abuse from the top of a bus leaving a demonstration against a planned new mosque in Astley Bridge.

Shaun Jones had been at a demonstration led by the North West Infidels at the site of the proposed mosque in Blackburn Road on on Saturday, August 2, last year.

After the protest, Jones was seen to racially abuse a group of Asian men after poking his head through the roof of the bus and gesticulating at the crowd.

Jones left but police circulated his description and he was promptly arrested.

The 34-year-old, of Cromwell Road, Eccles, pleaded guilty to the charge at Bolton Magistrates Court.

He was conditionally discharged for three years and ordered to pay £415 costs.

Jones had previously denied the charges but changed his plea, with the period of his conditional discharge rising from two to three years because it was racially aggravated.

Ch Supt Shaun Donnellan said: “There is no place for any type of racist behaviour, especially those individuals who use the guise of a peaceful protest as a way of verbally attacking our community.

“Any reports made to police will be thoroughly investigated and positive action will be taken.”

Dozens of protestors attended the rally organised by the far right group the North West Infidels.

It was the second large-scale demonstration at the site of the application made by Taiyabah Islamic Centre, with dozens of police officers deployed to control the protests.

Hundreds of members of the local community also took to the streets.

Plans were approved by Bolton Council in July at a meeting which was disrupted by angry protesters from campaigners when the decision was made.

Councillors had to be escorted from the Festival Hall at Bolton Town Hall while the protesters were escorted out.

Cllr Guy Harkin, who represents Crompton ward, said: “Some of the behaviour at the protests was obscene and disgusting.

“I am very pleased that there has been a conviction and regret that there have not been more, although I understand that the police have to keep the peace and it is very difficult to gather evidence in this sort of melee.”

The plot of land just off Canning Street has been earmarked for a mosque, complete with a dome, minaret tower and 19 classrooms.

Those behind the proposals say the new building will bridge the gap between “negative perceptions” of Islam and the faith’s true meaning.
Bolton News

An English Defence League protester who punched a policeman during last weekend’s banned demo in east London has been jailed for five months.

Darrell Copeland, 44, charged a line of police and smashed Sergeant James Lloyd in the face as the officers struggled to control demonstrators from the far-Right group.

Copeland, who had been drinking, struggled violently as he was arrested, headbutting a window, threatening to do the same to police and shouting anti-Muslim abuse, City of Westminster magistrates’ court was told.

He was held in custody after Saturday’s protest until his court appearance, when he admitted assault. District Judge Daphne Wickham heard that Copeland, from Milton Keynes, had previously been jailed for racist abuse.

Victoria Forbes, prosecuting, said he had joined EDL demonstrators at Aldgate station, where they chanted: “Let’s go f**king mental,” as officers tried to control the crowd.

He claimed he had come to London to visit his mother, not specifically to take part in the demonstration.

Evening Standard

From 6/9/11

AN ENGLISH Defence League demonstrator has lost an appeal against a conviction for shouting racist abuse at a rally in Farnworth last year.

John Banks was among the EDL supporters who congregated at Farnworth Park on August 26 last year where there was also a counter demonstration staged by Unite Against Facism.

Within seconds of getting off a coach at the park, Banks was arrested for shouting a racist remark.

He was later found guilty of using racist threatening or abusive words or behaviour in a trial at Bolton Magistrates Court on November 26 and yesterday, at Bolton Crown Court, he appealed against the conviction.

Banks, aged 55, of Adwick Lane, Toll Bar, Doncaster, arrived at court dressed in a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Gay Rights in Islam”.

Recorder Abigail Hudson and two magistrates hearing the appeal had to halt the proceedings three times after Banks tried to use it as a stage for his political beliefs instead of concentrating on the facts of the case.

The police officers who arrested Banks said that Banks arrived in the park carrying a loudhailer and behaving “loudly”.

A man was seen holding up a flag with an Islamic symbol on it and the court heard Banks shouted a racist remark towards the person carrying it as he was arrested.

Banks, who boasted that he had been arrested in several towns around the country, told the court: “If someone comes to an EDL demonstration they are not going to watch Bambi.”

Recorder Hudson told Banks the case against him had been proved and his appeal was dismissed.

Bolton News

Andrew Currien
Andrew Currien, a key member of the EDL leadership bodyguard team from Lanesfield near Wolverhampton, was one of six men convicted in 2009 after a 59 year old man was crushed to death by a car following a violent brawl in an apparently racist killing. He was jailed for 18 months after admitting affray.

Express & Star

Hope Not Hate

 

 

A PAIR of women have been warned they may face jail after admitting involvement in a religiously-motivated assault on a Kurdish woman at a city centre takeaway.

Hayley Wells, 28, and Kelly Watterson, 30, were charged in relation to an attack on Sawda Kurdo at Istanbul Kebab in Exeter Street on August 31, 2011. The pair were due to stand trial, but changed their pleas to guilty at Plymouth Crown Court today.

  1. Hayley Wells, 28, and Kelly Watterson, 30, were charged in relation to an attack on Sawda Kurdo at Istanbul Kebab in Exeter Street

    Hayley Wells, 28, and Kelly Watterson, 30, were charged in relation to an attack on Sawda Kurdo at Istanbul Kebab in Exeter Street

Watterson, of St Peter’s Road, Manadon, admitted one count of affray and Wells, of Shell Close, Leigham, admitted one count of religiously aggravated common assault.

The prosecution offered no evidence in relation to the charge of affray against Wells and religiously aggravated assault against Watterson.

They were released on bail and ordered not to go within 100 metres of the kebab shop.

Recorder Jonathan Barnes told the pair: “This is a serious case. In adjourning it, I make no promises about what the sentence will be. All options, including immediate custody, are on the table.”

The Herald previously reported that Wells and Watterson were among a group drinking in the Wild Coyote pub near the kebab shop on the night of the incident. A court was told that the Kurdish family inside the kebab shop were subjected to racist abuse by a group shouting ‘EDL’.

Watterson was alleged to have thrown a glass into the shop which shattered.

Last year Michael Rafferty, 34 and formerly from Devonport, was convicted of resisting a police officer during the “large scale disorder” which involved about 30 people.

Wells and Watterson will be sentenced on February 22.

This is Plymouth