Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Mirror reports on the sentencing of a man who punched a Kurdish passenger on a ferry so hard that the victim fell down to a deck below and sustained “severe injuries”.

Nathan Waterman, 28, who styled himself the “gangster from Bransholme” attacked the Kurdish victim on a P&O ferry sailing from Hull to Rotterdam, on 20 February 2016.

Waterman and his associate Haitham Saleh, 27, approached two Kurdish passengers who were on the deck of the ferry having a smoke. Waterman asked the men “Alright lads, where are you from?” before telling them to “Get me some salt and vinegar crisps”.

Waterman and Saleh then walked away but returned to their victim “at speed.” 

Waterman shouted obscenities at the victim saying “f*****g mother f****r, I’ll knock you out” and “I’m a gangster from Bransholme [an area of Hull], what are you doing here?”.

Prosecutor David Gordon told Hull Crown Court that Saleh was “being abusive, using foul language” while Waterman punched the victim so hard on the jaw he knocked him off the rail on which he was perched sending him flying 20 feet onto the deck below.

The court heard the Kurdish victim suffered “severe head trauma”, including “a broken right cheekbone, and a fractured rib”. Staff on the P&O ferry had to administer first aid to the victim before he was airlifted off the ferry and transferred to Hull Royal Infirmary. 

When the ferry arrived back in Hull on February 22, Waterman and Saleh were arrested whereupon Waterman was heard to say “F*****g P**i b*****d, any day” while Saleh told officers “If you had witnesses and CCTV, you’ll know I haven’t done anything.”

In the police interview, Waterman claimed to have taken exception to something the victim said. He admitted punching the Kurdish man but said he had caused “a split lip at most”.

In court, Waterman admitted grievous bodily harm with intent and Saleh admitted a public order offence.

Saleh was fined £450 and ordered to pay £450 towards the £2,800 prosecution costs of the case. Waterman was jailed for four years and six months. 

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC described Waterman’s conduct as “outrageous” telling him “You were abusive, in a racial fashion, towards two other passengers who were Kurdish.” 

He said his victim “must have been utterly terrified in those few moments as he went over the deck to the deck below, utterly terrified.”

News website, Cornwall Live, reports on a “foul-mouthed drunk” who has been returned to prison after launching “mindless tirades” at workers on an industrial estate in Truro.

David Bellman, 45, a homeless man who is subject to a criminal behaviour order (CBO) which prevents him from swearing and being drunk in public, subjected workers at the Newham Industrial Estate to offensive and racial slurs in a rant about “the Queen” and “Muslims” while also swearing to himself as people attempted to make their way to work in the early morning on Wednesday 25 January. 

Bellman was arrested and charged with a racially aggravated offence and breaching his CBO after Truro Police received a call from a member of the public. He was sent to prison for 60 days at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court last Thursday, 26 January. 

Sergeant Marc Sayers of Truro Police said Bellman’s behaviour was “very intimidating”, with workers having to find alternative routes into work to avoid being subjected to his bad behaviour.

It is the sixth time Bellman has breached the CBO since being handed the order in July 2016.

Bellman, who has been dubbed “Britain’s Sweariest Man,” was handed the CBO after subjecting railway staff and passengers to a “tirade of abuse” at Par railway station on July 7 last year. Bellman, who uttered “racist and homophobic abuse” was handed the three-year CBO which prohibits him from being “found in a state of drunkenness in any public space or place the public has access to or be found in possession of an open container of alcohol in the city centre. He must not use swear words, make threats, use physical gestures, use visual representation, cause nuisance or obstruction that would cause any person offence, intimidation or distress directly or indirectly within the UK.”

The most recent breach of the criminal behaviour order occurred earlier this month, on January 8, when Bellman was found outside Natwest Bank on St Nicholas Street in Truro. He was subsequently jailed for 20 days. His jail sentence last week comes just a week after his release from serving the 20 day prison sentence.

Inspector Milburn of Truro police said: “It seems that Mr Bellman is unable to keep a civil tongue and has therefore been jailed for 60 days for his foul behaviour. I’m pleased that this swift action means that they community will not continue to be subjected to his mindless tirades.”

News website, Kent Live reported in October on a man who was sentenced for racially abusing a family and assaulting a police officer at a beach in Swalecliffe near Whitstable.

John Hermitage, 36, had been drinking when he was seen by two police community support officers (PCSOs) racially abusing a family on the beach on 23 August 2016. As Hermitage was being arrested, he spat at one of the officers.

Hermitage admitted causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress and assaulting a police officer when he appeared before Thanet Magistrates Court in October 2016.

The court sentenced Hermitage to 90 days in prison, suspended for a year for the racially aggravated offence. He was given a concurrent 60 day sentence for the assault on the police officer, also suspended for a year.

Hermitage was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115, £85 costs and £100 in compensation.

PC Jamie Weale said: “Understandably the family, who were on holiday in the area, were very shocked and upset by his behaviour.” 

Kent Police recently confirmed via a Freedom of Information request that the offender had been abusive towards a Pakistani family.

Norwich Evening News reported in December on the court appearance of a woman who pleaded guilty to assaulting a Muslim taxi driver after he refused her demand that he give her and her dog “a lift”.

Laura Farrier, 52, appeared before Norwich Magistrates’ Court last month in connection with an incident on 14 June 2016.

The court heard Farrier had approached the driver with her dog and “asked him for a lift” but he refused saying he was not permitted to carry animals in his vehicle.

The court heard that Farrier “lost her temper” and in a “rather obscene manner” made references to the driver’s “cultural background and heritage”.

Prosecutor Oliver Haswell said Ms Farrier told the driver that “she was English” and insisted the taxi driver “would have to take her wherever she wanted to”.

Mr Haswell told the court the driver had filmed part of the squabble, of which some audio was played to the court. The incident culminated in Ms Farrier “punching the driver in the face through the window of the car”.

Farrier admitted racially aggravated common assault and was told by the District Judge Mike Snow that a custodial sentence was inevitable.

Judge Snow said: “I’m afraid those that racially abuse public servants in this country have to expect a custodial sentence. The courts cannot tolerate this type of behaviour.”

Norwich Magistrates’ Court confirmed Ms Farrier was handed a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. She was also required to pay £800 compensation to the driver.

The Edinburgh Reporter carries a story on a new initiative launched by Police Scotland and Edinburgh City Council, “Shared Vision – Your Decision”, which invites local people to vote for projects that can create a “city free from Islamophobia”.

Police Scotland, Edinburgh City Council and the Scottish Government have allocated a budget of £40,000 for projects that are voted upon by the local population. Chosen projects will receive up to £5,000 each to implement their vision.

Racial and religious hate crime in Scotland has fallen in the period 2011-2016 from 4,547 to 3,712 racist hate crimes and 896 to 581 religious hate crimes respectively.

Of the 581 religious hate crimes documented in 2015/16, just under a quarter, 134 crimes, were classified as Islamophobic (23%) according to data published by the Scottish Parliament. While Scottish Muslims make up only 1.4% of the region’s population, according to the 2011 Scottish census, they are vastly overrepresented in religious hate crime statistics.

Between 10 November and 12 December groups were asked to submit applications as part of the “Shared Vision – Your Decision” programme. The project aims are to eradicate Islamophobia and associated prejudice behaviour and foster positive relationships between Edinburgh’s diverse communities.

Bidders were encouraged to present new and innovative projects, with the guidance stating activities could address “commonly held misconceptions of Islam”,”raising awareness of religiously aggravated hate crime,” or “working with hate crime offenders”.

All bids had to evidence how the money would be spent. A total of 34 bids have been shortlisted for public voting.

Sergeant Scott Kennedy of Edinburgh’s Prevention’s Interventions & Partnerships (PIP) Team said: “It’s been really encouraging to see so many organisations and groups eager to be involved and who want to help create a city free from prejudice, so we’re really looking forward to heading into the next phase. 

“These projects are for the benefit of the people and communities of Edinburgh, so I’d urge residents to get involved and have their say in where this public funding goes.”

Voting opens on Saturday 28 January at a launch event at Methodist Church Hall and closes at midday on Monday 13 February 2017. Residents will be able to vote at the event at Methodist Church Hall or at their local Edinburgh library. Alternatively, people will be able to vote online. More information on how to take part can be found here

 

 

 

 

The Telegraph and Argus reports on the trial of a teenager who has denied making a pipe bomb at his home in Bradford in order to attack Muslims in the area.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is standing trial on charges of preparing for a terrorist act and an alternative offence of making a pipe bomb. He admitted in court that he had posted a message on his Snapchat account about his home-made bomb above an image of the Bradford skyline. The message on the picture read “Incendiary explosive and home-made black powder. More to come.” 

Prosecutor Barnaby Jameson, suggested the defendant had planned to attack a specific section of the population, saying the teenager had indicated “a particular group …shown here as somebody with a turban and a gun to their head.”

He went on to disclose that the teenager had been more direct in his choice of target having posted the message: “It’s time to enact retribution upon the Muslim filth.”

The teenager denied the suggestion he had intended to attack Muslims in Bradford, or elsewhere.

Defending the teenager, Rupert Bowers QC, asked whether he intended to attack people in Bradford, the teen answered “No”.

Bowers also asked if the teenager had planned to attack anywhere else, or if he intended to “attack some Muslims”, or if he carried out an internet search on ‘how to make a pipe bomb’ so he could “go and attack Muslims” – to all of which the boy answered “no”. 

The teen told the court he simply put the device made with powder from sparklers into a drawer from where it was later recovered.

Under cross-examination, the teenager admitted he had previously posted stickers from the far right neo-Nazi group, National Action, supporting a “white zone” in Bradford but he claimed not to regard the group as a “white supremacist organisation”.

He also accepted he had been photographed giving a Nazi salute and had posted the message “Hitler was Right” on his Twitter account.

He had also posted an image of Hitler with the number ‘1488’, which Jameson suggested represented the white supremacist slogan “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” and ‘Heil Hitler’ (8 signifies the eighth letter in the alphabet, ‘H’).

The teenager had previously told police that National Action’s ideology most fitted his own and agreed that he held National Socialist views.

 

The trial continues.

The Liverpool Echo reports on the appearance of racist, white supremacist stickers in the Merseyside village of Aintree. 

One of the stickers spotted on a lamppost in the village has a black and white design with a large ‘W’ and crown logo at its centre and features the words ‘WAKE UP WHITE PEOPLE’ and ‘SAVE THE WHITE RACE’, on its perimeter.

The stickers appear to be the work of a group called “The Creativity Movement” whose slogan reads “White Racial Loyalty Without Compromise”.

The US-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which documents white supremacists movements and their racist activities, has classified the group as a neo-Nazi organisation which labels Jews and non-whites as “mud races”.

Aintree Village councillor, Anthony Carr, told the Echo that he would not stand for that kind of discrimination in his area.

“I don’t want any discrimination in my ward at all. I really wouldn’t expect it in my ward, I’ve never come across it before. I do not understand why anyone could want to put this up in my area. I just find it appalling,” he said.

The councillor added, “It’s not the British way. The British way of doing things is about stamping out fascism.”

Sefton Council has confirmed it will be removing the stickers and advised people to contact the council or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if any more racist messages or stickers are spotted in the area. 

Inspector Ian Jones from Merseyside Police told the local paper the force would be making enquiries to find those responsible for the stickers.

He said: “These stickers are clearly unacceptable and offensive to our community and we will be conducting enquiries in the area to ensure this is investigated thoroughly.”

This incident comes only two months afterneo-Nazi stickers proclaiming a “Nazi controlled zone” were plastered across Liverpool. The stickers were found on lampposts, doors and pelican crossings around Sefton Park, and were attributed to the far-right group National Action. The appearance of other anti-Muslim, anti-refugee and anti-migrant stickers have also been reported in BlackpoolSouth Shieldsand Warwickshire over the past year. 

 

 

The Huddersfield Examiner reports on the conviction of a man who  assaulted a Muslim taxi driver after being asked to pay his fare upfront. 

Muhammed Naeem picked up Adam Tomlinson, 38, and a friend and asked them to pay the £13.80 fare up front. The two men asked to be driven to a cash machine and as they neared Leeds Road in Huddersfield, Tomlinson became aggressive.

Footage caught on the taxi’s camera  system showed Tomlinson verbally abusing the driver before attempting to smash his way through the security screen.

Tomlinson threatened Mr Naeem saying “I’ve got your f****** badge number. I’m going to f****** kill you.” He swore at the frightened driver numerous times before making further threats directed at Mr Naeem’s wife. 

Tomlinson goaded Mr Naeem telling him “Take us to the police station” before striking the dividing screen and car windows. He threatened the driver, saying “I will f****** ruin your f****** life you little b******.” 

At Kirklees Magistrates Court, Prosecutor Sarah Marsh said Tomlinson “made threats through the dividing screen, swearing and punching it and causing it to break.”

Tomlinson, who pleaded guilty to criminal damage, was fined £220 and ordered to pay £300 compensation to Mr Naeem. He was also required to pay £85 costs, a £20 victim surcharge and the £13.80 unpaid fare.

District Judge Michael Fanning, sentencing Tomlinson said: “Taxi drivers put up with these types of situations and it must not have been pleasant for the person working in that situation.”

Sadly, this is not the first time Mr. Naeem has been the victim of an attack while driving his taxi. Last year, Paul Knell, 28, pleaded guilty to charges of assault and criminal damage after a vicious attack on Mr Naeem in June 2015. Mr. Naeem criticised the community sentence handed down to Knell in January 2016, saying his attacker should have been jailed for the psychological damage he had caused him. 

The plight of taxi drivers and the prevalence of abuse has prompted some taxi firms to install cameras in their cabs as standard to capture footage of customers behaving badly and to assist the police in bringing perpetrators to justice.

Glasgow’s Evening Times reports on the sentencing of a man who verbally abused a Muslim family during their visit to Scotland last September calling them “terrorists”.

Christopher Tague, 33, had been at a Celtic vs Rangers football match on September 10, 2016 when he approached the Muslim family who were eating in the city’s George Square.

Tague abused the family saying things like “f*** Mohammad”, “you’re terrorists” and “f*** Muslims”.

The local paper notes several passersby attempted to interject as Tague shouted at the family before police were finally called. Officers arrested Tague and placed him in custody where he told them he was free to “say what he wants”. Tague was noted to be in a state of heavy intoxication at the time of his arrest.

Tague appeared before Glasgow Sheriff Court on January 19 where he pleaded guilty to racially aggravated breach of the peace.

The court was told Tague was “remorseful” for his conduct which he accepted was “deplorable and disgusting”.

Sheriff Cameron described Tague’s behaviour as “a disgrace” and said the only reason he would not hand out a custodial sentence was because Tague had a job.

Tague was handed a community payback order and told to undergo 155 hours of unpaid work with 25 of the hours added in relation to racial aggravation. He was instructed to complete the community payback order within six months.

The Enfield Independent reports on an alleged racist incident in north London where a Turkish family were confronted by a “mob” chanting “Ku Klux Klan” outside their home on Sunday night before waking up on Monday morning, 23 January, to find the letters ‘KKK’ etched onto the windscreen of their car.

The news site reports on a tweet posted by Haringey councillor, Peray Ahmet, who tweeted a picture of the graffiti on the family’s car with the message: “This is what a friend of mine woke up to. Last night a mob with covered faces were chanting KKK outside house. This happened in Enfield.”

The Metropolitan Police confirmed the matter had been reported stating: “On Monday 23/01/2017 police received a report of alleged racially motivated graffiti written in frost on the side a car. 

“Enquiries into the incident were carried out. 

“Any further evidence that comes to light or any further incidents will be investigated.”