Crime

Call for re-trial after 'shocking' summing-up

By Marcus Dysch, July 15, 2010

The full transcript has been revealed for the first time of a judge's summing-up in the trial of seven anti-Israel activists acquitted of damaging an arms factory.

Judge George Bathurst-Norman had told the jury at Lewes Crown Court that the group's leader should be awarded the George Cross for his campaign.

The group were cleared last month of causing £180,000 of damage to the EDO MBM factory in Brighton after they claimed they had acted "to prevent Israeli war crimes".

The company denied ever supplying Israel with arms equipment.

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Schools on alert as child snatchers stalk streets

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

Police have appealed for calm after reports of four attempts to snatch school children in south Manchester.

North Cheshire Jewish Primary school, in Cheadle, received a warning along with other Stockport schools after four attempted abductions were reported to police in two weeks.

Three children had to break free after being grabbed by a lone man in several locations across the borough. Two of the incidents occurred last week as they went home from primary schools in Hazel Grove and Brinnington Park, a few miles from the Cheadle Jewish school.

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Two more Brighton activists cleared of factory damage

By Jessica Elgot, July 2, 2010

Two more pro-Palestinian activists who broke into an arms factory in Brighton and caused £180,000 worth of damage have been acquitted after they argued they were trying to prevent war crimes in Gaza.

Elijah Smith, 43, of no known address and Christopher Osmond, 30, of Islington Park Road, Islington were cleared of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

The defendants' solicitor, Lydia Dagostino, said: "We are delighted at the result.

"It sends a clear indication that sometimes direct action is the only option when all other avenues have failed."

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Ambassador criticises judge in arms factory case

By Jessica Elgot, July 1, 2010

Israel's ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, has strongly criticised Judge George Bathurst-Norman over the direction he gave to a jury who acquitted five pro-Palestinian activists who broke into an arms factory in Brighton and caused £180,000 worth of damage. The five said they were seeking to prevent war crimes in Gaza.

The activists, Robert Nicholls, 52, Tom Woodhead, 25, Harvey Tadman, 44, Ornella Saibene, 50, all from Bristol, and Simon Levin, 35, from Brighton, argued that they were legally justified breaking into the factory, owned by EDO MBM.

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Neo-nazis sentenced for race-hate postings

By Jessica Elgot, June 25, 2010

A pair of neo-Nazis who posted abusive messages on the internet about Jews have been jailed for inciting racial hatred.

Michael Heaton, 42, was jailed for two years and six months and Trevor Hannington, 58, was jailed for two years. The two men, members of the so-called Aryan Strike Force, left comments on its website.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Heaton said of Jews: "...They will always be scum, destroy 'em with whatever it takes" and "I would encourage any religion or race that wants to destroy the Jews, I hate them with a passion."

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BNP man jailed for anti-fascist demo attack

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

A BNP party member has been convicted of attacking an anti-fascist demonstrator, in a protracted court saga.

Peter Tierney, 53, from Liverpool, was found guilty by a unanimous verdict at Liverpool Crown Court last Thursday for smashing Nicholas Barnett over the head with a camera tripod.

The incident, which took place on St George’s Day last year, saw BNP supporters and members of Merseyside Coalition against Racism and Fascism clash in Liverpool’s city centre.

Mr Barnett required hospital treatment after the incident.

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Shomrim praised for halting knife attack

By Leon Symons, June 24, 2010

Four members of the Shomrim Jewish security team have been praised by police after they disarmed a man wielding an eight-inch long blade at the height of this year’s Purim celebrations.

The man, 21-year-old Nyron Valentine Crichlow, had threatened a 12-year-old girl, an old man, and had pursued a woman in Bell Lane, Hendon, on the afternoon of February 28, Wood Green Crown Court heard.

Crichlow, of Tyrrel Way, Colindale, north west London, pleaded guilty to affray and possession of an offensive weapon and was jailed for 15 months and nine months, to run concurrently.

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Stolen jewellery recovered

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 22, 2010

A synagogue is to display a hoard of jewellery suspected of being stolen from Jewish people in Manchester and Liverpool so owners can claim back their property.

Greater Manchester Police are to run an open day at Liverpool's Allerton Synagogue on July 7 after they recovered a large amount of suspected stolen jewellery and silverware during an ongoing investigation by the Force's money laundering unit.

Photographs of the stolen articles will be on display from 3pm as part of a number of open days to glean information to assist the investigation.

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Plastic gun robber stays in jail

June 3, 2010

A dangerous robber jailed for a minimum of six years after wielding a plastic gun at his victims during two separate attacks has failed to win a cut in his sentence on appeal.

Last August at St Albans Crown Court, Paul John Wakenshaw, 38, of Watford, admitted two counts of robbery and two of having an imitation firearm with intent to commit
robbery.

He struck at Sophia Jewellers, on The Broadway in Stanmore, in December 2008, pressing a gun against a shop assistant's chest while demanding that she opened the safe.

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Manchester Police Chief: We'll fight hate

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2010

The Manchester community must do more to meet the threat of antisemitism in a city where they are more likely to face abuse than anywhere else in the country, according to its police chief.

In an exclusive interview, Chief Constable Peter Fahy said individuals must be more proactive in reporting incidents, and pledged to increase police numbers on campus significantly to thwart attacks such as the one suffered by Israel's deputy ambassador at Manchester University last month.

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