Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Middlewich Guardian reports on the fine and curfew order imposed on a man who launched a “tirade of racist abuse” at an Indian restaurant worker who asked him to move his car from disabled parking bays outside the restaurant.

Oliver Callow, 25, visited an Indian restaurant in Arclid near Sandbach on 26 June 2016 parking his car across two disabled bays despite there being other vacant bays available. 

When restaurant worker Anamul Islam asked Mr Callow to move his car into one of the other bays, Mr Callow hit out at the door of the restaurant and “launched a tirade of racial abuse at Islam.”

Callow condescendingly told Mr Islam, “do you know who I am?”.

Mr Callow’s defence team told Crewe Magistrates Court that his behaviour on the occasion was out of character and that he had tried to apologise for his conduct. The court was told the incident was a “one off” and that Mr Callow was “absolutely ashamed” of his behaviour on the day.

Callow pleaded guilty to racially aggravated provocation of violence and use of abusive words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence.

Chairman of the bench, Mr Graham Hall, told Callow: “You have behaved in an incredibly arrogant way – parking over two disabled bays and then taking exception to being asked to move. You then asked ‘do you know who I am?’

“If you think that makes you look big, believe me it does not. Your attitude suggests a lack of respect for the law and you have exhibited incredible arrogance on this occasion.”

Callow was handed a four month curfew from 8pm to 6am and ordered to pay a £585 fine over two months. His request to pay the amount over three months was refused by the court.

The Express and Star reported last week on the ruling handed down by the Independent Regulatory Commission investigating an “aggravated breach” of the Football Association Handbook by Newcastle United player Jonjo Shelvey, who was accused of shouting racist slurs against Wolverhampton Wanderers player, Romain Saiss.

The Commission investigated claims Shelvey made racist slurs at the 87th minute of a match fixture between the two teams on 17 September 2016. The incident happened when Mr Saiss made a gesture indicating his approval of a red card which was issued to Newcastle player Vurnon Anita after a tackle on a Wolves player.

Shelvey was said to have abused the Moroccan midfielder making racist remarks pertaining to his Arab origins. While three Wolves players, Dominic Iorfa, Matt Doherty and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, were called by the FA in its case against Shelvey, there is some confusion over the exact words uttered although all three witnesses recalled Saiss being referred to derogatorily as “Arab”.

Mr Shelvey denied making any such racist comments claiming he had called Saiss a “smelly breathed p***k”. But the FA Commission found that though the three Wolves players who gave oral evidence recalled different terms of abuse, “you Arab p***k” and “you Arab c**t,”  “smelly Arab c**t” and “Moroccan p***k” and “Arabic c**t,” it was unlikely that all three “misheard the use of the word “Arab” by Mr Shelvey.

Mr Saiss himself did not hear the words of abuse with the Commission noting “It is a feature of this case that Mr Saiss, who was the object of the alleged abusive words, did not hear the alleged words being spoken and neither did the referee.”

The FA’s Handbook 2016/17 Rule E3(1) and (2) stipulate:

(1) A Participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.

(2) A breach of Rule E3(1) is an ‘Aggravated Breach” where it includes a reference to only one or more of the following:- ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, religion or belief, gender, gender assignment, sexual orientation or disability.

The FA maintained Mr Shelvey had committed an aggravated breach of the Handbook, a decision affirmed in the ruling by the Independent Regulatory Commission. The Commission concluded the FA had discharged its burden of proof on the “balance of probabilities” and found Shelvey guilty of aggravated breach of Rule E(3)1.

The Commission sanctioned Mr Shelvey handing down a “mandatory minimum five match suspension” and a requirement to attend a “face to face mandatory education course”. The Commission also fined Mr Shelvey £100,000.

Sir Herman Ouseley, chairman of the anti-racism charity Kick it Out which campaigns against racism in sport called for an apology following the ruling. He said: “To bring closure to this incident so all parties can move on and to send out the right message, we hope both Newcastle United and Shelvey issue a public apology to the player concerned and his club, so that everyone can look forward to the remainder of the season.

“Kick It Out has been in contact with Newcastle United to offer support and will continue to liaise with the club, who have demonstrated their commitment to equality and inclusion by achieving the Preliminary level of the Premier League’s Equality Standard,” he added.

Mr Shelvey issued a statement last Thursday maintaining he did not use racist language but said that he would not be appealing against the Commission’s decision or his five match suspension.

The Cumbernauld News reports on a motion proposed by two local councillors at North Lanarkshire Council following an incident of anti-Muslim graffiti at the Islamic Education Trust earlier this month.

Independent councillor Alan O’Brien raised the emergency motion at a meeting of the local council after expressing alarm that the mosque had been targeted twice in two years. 

The motion states: “This council utterly condemns the recent repellant vandalism. The individuals or group for this heinous crime have no place in our society.”

The motion was seconded by Labour councillor Bob Chadha and “backed unanimously” by all parties on North Lanarkshire council.

Councillor O’Brien said: “All Cumbernauld councillors were hugely supportive of this motion.

Nobody should be in any doubt that we will not tolerate this disgusting behaviour.”

The Islamic Education Trust was vandalised sometime between 9pm on Friday 16 and 7.30am on Saturday 17 December with worshippers noticing the graffiti when they arrived for early morning prayers on the Saturday morning. The words “Saracen go home” and “Deus Vult”, a Latin term meaning “God wills it” were daubed on the outer walls of the mosque.

There are no reported arrests in connection with the incident as yet.

The Falkirk Herald reports on a racist incident at a Turkish takeaway where a customer racially abused staff after being refused a kebab when he failed to pay for his order.

Andrew Fay, 47, appeared before Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday (22 December), in connection with the incident at Hot Kebabs, on Melville Street, Falkirk, on November 24.

The court heard Mr Fay entered the takeaway shop around midnight and ordered food but when asked to pay for his order, he claimed he had already paid telling the shopkeeper: “Give me my kebab, I gave you a tenner.”

Laura Knox, procurator fiscal depute told the court Mr Fay then left the shop but came back in and called a member of staff “a black b*****d”. 

He later told staff “Call the police if you want” while continuing to abuse the shop staff. When police arrived at the shop, Mr Fay told officers “Whatever he said is not true and that is a fact”, Ms Knox told the court. 

Mr Fay pleaded guilty to acting in a racially aggravated manner and causing alarm and distress to staff at Hot Kebabs. He was ordered to pay £200 compensation to both complainers at £10 per fortnight, according to the local paper.

The Huddersfield Examiner reports on the successful sentence appeal of a young man who aged 17 was sentenced for the murder of Pakistani taxi driver Mohammed Parvaiz.

Mr Parvaiz was killed in Huddersfield in July 2006 by four teenagers, Graeme Slavin, 17, Steven Utley, 17, Christopher Murphy, 18, and Michael Hand, 19.

Mr Parvaiz was lured by the teenagers to Field Head in Golcar and subjected to a “horrendous assault with fists, feet and weapons”. Mr Parvaiz’s murder was “racially aggravated and planned” with property stolen from him afterwards by the gang of four youths.

Slavin was at the time sentenced to a “minimum tariff” of 17 years.

Last week, his appeal against his sentence was heard at the High Court where he was described as a “model prisoner” who had “matured considerably” during his time in prison. A senior prison officer wrote in support of Slavin and the changes he had since undergone stating: “I do feel that Mr Slavin has shown and displayed exceptional progress in custody beyond all expectations. He was reflective and showed true empathy towards the victim and the victim’s family.”

High Court judge Mrs Justice McGowan cut Slavin’s minimum tariff by two years from 17 to 15 years.

She said that the reduction in the tariff did not mean Slavin would be released from prison early, merely that a parole board could assess an application for release on license sooner than it might otherwise.

Justice McGowan also said that the reduction in the minimum tariff did not “in any way, diminish the wickedness and savagery of the assault which killed Mr Parvaiz.” 

Slavin’s successful appeal against his sentence comes several months after fellow teenager, Steven Utley, won an appeal also reducing his sentence by two years. In May, Utley had his sentence reduced to 15 years on account of his “progress” in prison.

Mr Parvaiz’s son, Ismaeel, who was 12 years old when his father was killed, reacted to the news in a Facebook post saying “This has brought back all the pain and anguish we went through 10 years ago. Is this fair? No!

“Someone who has put a family through so much difficulty and hardship should not be released from prison simply on the basis they have behaved good in prison,” he wrote.

The Daily Mail reports on a suspected racist incident on board the 105 bus service from Southall to Heathrow where a passenger was allegedly ordered off a bus because the driver took objection to his listening to “music” though he was actually listening to recitation of the Qur’an.

Footage captured by a fellow passenger and a female witness to the incident are cited in the news story although no date is offered as to when the incident occurred.

The newspaper reports the alleged victim accused the driver of being “racist” after the driver mistook the recitation of the Qur’an on the victim’s phone for music and ordered the passenger to desist playing and get off the bus. The driver is alleged to have stopped the bus and refused to drive further until the passenger got off.

A fellow passenger on the bus told the paper: “A male passenger on the bus was playing the Koran on his phone, not loud at all. The bus driver asked the passenger to turn it off and he turned it off without questioning him.”

The witness claims the driver then told the victim that he was “uncomfortable” driving the bus with loud music at which point the victim accused the driver of being “racist” because he wasn’t listening to music at all. The victim protested at the driver’s demand that he get off the bus saying he had paid his fare and had complied with the driver’s request to turn the “music” off.

The driver is alleged to have repeated his demand for the victim to get off the bus and threatened to call the police to which the victim is said to have responded: “call the police I have my rights you’re being racist because all I did was play the Koran.”

The MailOnline has posted footage from the incident on its website showing the row between the driver and passenger, although the passenger is seated and out of view.

A witness to the incident told the paper, “The passengers knew the bus driver was in the wrong then the bus driver said ‘it’s not even about the music it’s about your attitude.”

The witness also said police were “unhelpful” when they arrived and effectively told the passengers that it was up to the driver “whether he wants to drive the bus or not.”

The Metropolitan Police said they had no record about the alleged incident while Transport for London told the paper “We are looking into this incident alongside the operator Metroline.”

The Eastern Daily Press reports on the court appearance of a man who verbally abused staff at a Turkish takeaway and tried to damage their shop after he was refused service when they closed up for the day.

James Chew, 36, appeared before Norwich Magistrates Court this week in connection with the incident which happened at The Kebab Hut in Hoveton, Norfolk on 31 August.

The court heard Emre Aksahin was closing up shop at around 12.30am when Chew began banging on the door demanding food. When Chew was told he could not be served he attempted to set the timber door of the takeaway shop alight while abusing the staff and telling them he would “send them back to their country”.

Emre Aksahin told the court that he, his partner and his brother had been closing up for the day when Chew turned up demanding food. Aksahin said they had no more food left to serve and told Chew that they could not serve him.

Aksahin told the court: “He said ‘this is my country, I am going to get you kicked out of the country’.

“He said he was going to burn the shop down with his lighter. He took his lighter out and he tried to light the door. He said ‘I’m going to burn the shop down, I’m going to burn you all, I know where you stay’. When he was trying to light the door he said ‘lets have a fight one to one, I am going to send you back out of this country’.”

Aksahin said “I went outside the front of the shop and he grabbed me by the neck. He said, ‘I am going to send you back to Afghanistan’.”

Mr Aksahin explained to the court that he is not Afghani but of Turkish origin.

Aksahin’s brother, Hilmi, told the court Chew was “very drunk” while Aksahin’s partner, Hayley, described Chew’s attempts to set the door alight and her call to the police.

Chew denied the allegations saying he had not had a drink since being diagnosed with diabetes and denied uttering racist words. Chew told the court he had acted to “protect himself” after being “intimidated” by three men in the shop.

Chew was found guilty of racially aggravated common assault and threatening to cause criminal damage. The court heard he had five previous public order offences, one conviction for battery and another for assaulting a police officer.

Chew was released on bail on condition he does not contact Emre Aksahin or go to The Kebab Hut on Norwich Road. He will be sentenced on 25 January 2017.

The Sun newspaper reports eight prison officers at a Nottingham jail have been suspended pending an investigation into a “racist game” where they allegedly “goaded Muslim inmates until they had to be restrained” and then “kept score” with Muslims prisoners “worth the most points”.

The newspaper claims eight prison guards have been suspended, one of whom has been arrested in connection with other allegations pertaining to alleged bribes and drug related offences.

The Sun claims the prison guards goaded the inmates, targeting “mostly Black and Asian prisoners” with white prisoners “picked on” if they were “converts to the religion or drug addicts.”

Betting is alleged to have taken place among the group of guards with WhatsApp messages employed to “keep score”.

The newspaper cites a source who said: “The officers are said to have engineered a confrontation so they could have reason to restrain inmates. The language they are said to have used was vile.”

The newspaper claims officers’ phones and computers are now being scoured for the WhatsApp messages.

The officers are also “facing claims they smuggled new psychoactive substance Spice, steroids and heroin substitute Subutex into the prison.”

Police have confirmed the arrest of a 28 year old man on suspicion of conspiracy to cause actual bodily harm. The man is currently on bail.

The Prison Service told the paper the police investigation into the alleged offences made it “inappropriate to comment”.

Glasgow’s Evening Times reports on the sentencing of two men for theft and abuse after they stole bottles of cider and shouted slurs at police officers at a Morrisons supermarket in Merkland Court, Glasgow.

John McDermid, 25, and Conor Urquhart, 25, appeared before Glasgow Sheriff Court in connection with the incident which happened on 15 March.

The court heard the two men had stolen £15 worth of cider from the supermarket and were attempting to walk out with the stolen cans and bottles in a black holdall.

Security officers were alerted to the theft and called to the entrance doors of the supermarket where McDermid claimed to have a blade but didn’t. He later threatened the security staff with a glass bottle.

Two police officers who responded to the report were verbally abused by Urquhart who called one officer a “Taliban b*****d” and the other a “f***ing poofter” and “spice boy”.

McDermid and Urquhart, both admitted stealing a quantity of alcohol at Morrisons in Merkland Court on 15 March 2016. They also both admitted to shouting, swearing and uttering threats of violence at security officers on the same date at the same place and brandishing a bottle.

Urquhart further admitted to struggling violently with police officers and uttering racial remarks at a police officer and shouting homophobic remarks at another police officer.

Both men were sentenced to carry out unpaid community work.

John McDermid was sentenced to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work.

Conor Urquhart was sentenced to carry out 160 hours of unpaid community work.

The Mirror and Daily Mail both report on video footage published on LiveLeak last week which purportedly shows a Muslim taxi driver being abused by a woman who refused to pay her fare for a journey.

The woman, who was travelling with a friend, told the driver to “Go back to your own f****** country” when he asked for payment for the trip.

The woman and her friend got out of the taxi and when pursued by the driver for the money owed to him said: “you’re never going to get any money from us.”

The driver filmed the women to “name and shame” them but the woman retorted with a claim the driver had “tried hitting us.”

The driver told the woman to repeat her racist slur, “Go back to your own f****** country,” but she then says “I didn’t say that.”

The driver called the women “tramps” for failing to pay their fare but the woman merely responded by telling him “you’re a f****** taxi driver, get a proper job.”

It is not known if the footage has been sent to the police or a hate crime report logged. It is not certain where the incident took place. The Mirror states the incident was “apparently filmed “on a housing estate in the south of England”.