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Life sentence for rapist who breached child-contact ban

Keith Martin was banned from having contact with under-16s, but admitted tickling and play-fighting with a five-year-old girl.

29 April 2010 12:40

A convicted rapist who breached a court order by playfighting with a little girl and tickling her has been handed a life sentence.

Keith Martin was banned from having contact with under-16s under a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) issued in 2006. However, in 2008, the 44-year-old befriended the youngster's pregnant mother and began visiting their flat regularly, where he would tickle the youngster and pretend to fight with her.

The woman and her partner had no idea about martin's criminal background. However, the friends fell out in 2009 and the woman reported Martin to a council official who knew about his past offences. He was then arrested and charged with breaching the order.

At a previous appearance at the High Court in Edinburgh, unemployed Martin admitted breaching the SOPO between October 2008 and March last year. On Thursday, Lord Malcolm imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR) on Martin, saying he had been assessed as a very high risk offender.

The judge told him: "This is a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period. You will only be released from custody if and when the Parole Board considers that, having regard to public safety, it would be appropriate to do so."

Lord Malcolm added: "Clearly it is now very much in your interests and indeed the interests of everyone else that you take full advantage of all programmes and assistance offered to you now and in the future."

The judge told him that he took account of his "serious, lengthy and diverse record of previous convictions" and that he had been given numerous chances to address his behaviour.

He ordered that Martin should serve a minimum period of 11 months in jail before he can apply for release, warning: "You will only be released if and when the Parole Board considers it safe to do so."

The judge added that if Martin was freed he would be subject to a lifelong licence and could be returned to prison if he breached its terms or re-offended.

Defence lawyer David Nicholson had argued that Martin's latest offence was "very much at the lower end of the scale". He said that, although a psychiatrist came to the view that the offence had a sexual motivation, Martin strenuously denied any sexual motivation towards the child.

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Teenager faces life in jail for murdering disabled neighbour

A teenager is facing a life sentence after he was found guilty of murdering his disabled neighbour by stabbing him to death in a "brutal" attack.

Sonny Dear was aged just 17 when he attacked Huntingdon's disease sufferer Brian Johnstone at his home in Adamson Place, Glenrothes, as his wife looked on.

A jury of 10 men and five woman found him guilty by majority verdict after a trial at the High Court in Dundee.

Dear, now 18, of Alexandria Street, Kirkcaldy, had denied murdering Mr Johnstone by striking him on the body with a knife repeatedly.  The jury rejected his special defence of self defence.

The trial heard that Mr Johnstone had been found in the doorway of his cul-de-sac home.  The 47-year-old later died in hospital.

A trail of blood ran out to the pavement following the stabbing.

Following his death, Mr Johnstone's family paid tribute to him, and said: "This is a tragic and sad loss and he will sorely be missed by all."

Mr Johnston is survived by his wife Margaret and was a much loved brother and uncle, his family said.

A keen walker, his other hobbies included breeding bull finches and playing pool, though his game was affected by his illness, which affects the central nervous system.

Judge Lord Kinclaven told Dear he faced a life sentence when he returns to the High Court in Aberdeen on June 8 following the preparation of background reports.

Detective Inspector Andrew Girdwood of Fife Constabulary described the killing as "brutal".

He said: "Brian was stabbed to death in front of his wife Margaret who witnessed his final moments as he succumbed to the stab wounds inflicted by Sonny Dear.

"My thoughts are therefore with the Johnstone family today and I hope that the jury returning a guilty verdict will go some way to allowing the victims family to find some level of closure."

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Brother jailed for intimidating witness in Wishaw murder trial

Mark Hart tried to get a witness to lie so his brother David would get away with a murder in the North Lanarkshire town.

A man who threatened a prosecution witness in a bid to get him to lie in court has been jailed five years.

Twenty-two-year-old Mark Hart, whose brother David Hart was due to stand trial for murder, demanded that witness William Brown should give false evidence in the case. Hart threatened Mr Brown on various occasions between August 2008 and January 2009 in Wishaw town centre.

Despite this intimidation, Mr Brown gave evidence in court last October which helped convict David Hart. Just days after the conviction, Mark Hart was part of a mob which gathered outside Mr Brown's Wishaw home and shouted abuse, threw stones at the windows and door and tried to force entry to the property.

On Thursday, after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Mark Hart was convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice and committing a breach of the peace.

Jailing him temporary judge Rita Rae QC said: "The proper administration of justice depends on witnesses giving evidence in court without interference from people like you.

"You attempted to to get Mr Brown not to give truthful evidence  in a murder trial. You also, along with others ,attacked Mr Brown's home in a most disgraceful fashion. This took place in the background of a murder trial in which your brother was convicted and Mr Brown was an important witness."

The murder trial of 21-year-old David Hart heard that he watched Mr Bean on TV while his dying victim Christopher Rooney, 39, groaned in agony for hours in the garden outside. Hart is serving life in prison and must spend at least 15 years behind bars before being considered for parole.  

He repeatedly punched, kicked, stamped and jumped on Mr Rooney, who suffered 79 separate injuries in Ryde Lane in the North lanarkshire town in April, 2008. At the time of the offence, Hart was on bail for four charges, including carrying a knife. He and was wearing a tag.

Hart carried out the attack with another brother Ryan, 19, who was later ruled insane and sent to the state hospital at Carstairs.

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Glasgow man in court over Pollokshaws murder

STV News understands the victim and the accused are father and son.

A Glasgow man has appeared in court charged with the murder of another man in Pollokshaws.

Martin Trusdale, 28, appeared in Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday charged with the murder of a man of the same name on April 5.

The 55-year-old victim was found with fatal head injuries in his Wellgreen Court flat.

STV News understands the victim is the accused’s father.

Mr Trusdale made no plea or declaration when he appeared at court.

The case was committed for further examination and the 28-year-old was remanded in custody.

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Two teenagers charged with Cambuslang attempted murder

Dean Haddow and Linzi Easter are accused of trying to kill Stephen Gormley.

By Graham Fraser

29 April 2010 16:32 GMT

Two teenagers have appeared in court charged with the attempted murder of a man in Cambuslang.

Dean Haddow, from the town, and Linzi Easter from Hamilton appeared in Glasgow Sheriff Court over the alleged attempted murder of 32-year-old Stephen Gormley.

Mr Gormley was found seriously injured in his house in the town’s Main Street at around 11.40pm on Sunday.

Both Mr Haddow and Ms Easter made no plea or declaration and were remanded in custody in the meantime.

They are next expected to appear in court next month.

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Third arrest in connection with Easterhouse death

19-year-old man arrested in connection with the death of Robert Gemmell.

29 April 2010 10:15 GMT

A 19 year-old man has been arrested in connection with the death Robert Gemmell following an incident in the Easterhouse area of Glasgow on Sunday.

Robert Gemmell, 21, was found dead following an alleged disturbance in Duntarvie Road at 5.45am on Sunday.

Mr Gemmell, of Dyke Street in Baillieston, died at the scene.

On Wednesday a woman and a teenage girl appeared in court charged with the murder of a man in Easterhouse.

Thirty-three-year-old Catherine McAllister, from Easterhouse, and 17-year-old Kerry Ellen Horner, who is also from the area, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Both made no plea or declaration and the case was committed for further examination.

Ms McAllister and Ms Horner were remanded in custody.

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Trio in court over Glasgow park death

Two men have been charged with the murder of Andrew Curran while another is accused of seriously assaulting him.

By Graham Fraser

28 April 2010 08:40 GMT

Two men have been charged with the murder of a man in a Glasgow park.

Andrew Curran, 41, was allegedly attacked in Maryhill Park on April 16.

Twenty-five-year-old Angus Malavin and 17-year-old Zac Malavin appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Angus Malavin was charged with a breach of the peace, assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement, and murder.

Meanwhile, Zac Malavin was charged with assault to injury, two incidences of assault to severe injury, a breach of the peace, assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement, and murder.

Co-accused Steven Souley, 20, was charged with breach of the peace and assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

All three men, who are from the Summerston area of Glasgow, made no plea or declaration.

Their cases were committed for further examination and the trio were remanded in custody in the meantime.

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Teenager jailed for attempting to rape eight-year-old girl in Cambuslang

Ryan Wilson carried out the attacks in woods last year.

28 April 2010 13:24 GMT

A teenage sex beast who was seen laughing and joking minutes after attempting to rape an eight-year-old girl has been given a life sentence.

Ryan Wilson, 19, sexually abused and battered the schoolgirl after joining in a game of hide and seek she was playing with her two pals in Cambuslang on May 25 last year.

At the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday, temporary judge Michael O'Grady QC branded Wilson a danger to children and placed him on an order for lifelong restriction. The judge added Wilson must serve at least six years in prison.

The 19-year-old will now be kept in jail until he can satisfy parole officers that he is no longer a danger to the public. Advocate depute Gillian Wade, prosecuting, said that during the attack Wilson threatened to murder the girl and her dad if she ever told anyone what he had done.

The court heard that Wilson told his victim's two young friends to start counting while he and the girl hid. Wilson took the girl on a 15-minute walk to a secluded wooded area. Once there he repeatedly asked her to show him her pants and when she refused he hit her with one of his trainers.

Ms Wade added: "The accused, by his own admission says that he punched the girl on the face more than once and that she fell to the ground. He also admitted putting his hands around her throat and sexually assaulting her. The assault lasted approximately an hour and once it had finished the accused walked away leaving her alone."

The girl was found later in the woods crying and with her clothes covered in dirt by two young boys who comforted her and walked her back to her home.

The court was told that Wilson walked to his grandmother's where he was laughing and joking. Later when questioned by police, Wilson said: "It was a sexual assault and violent."

An examination of the clothes Wilson wore that day revealed the girl's DNA on them. Wilson admitted attempting to rape the girl and assaulting her.

He was originally charged with rape and attempted murder, but the Crown accepted his guilty pleas to the reduced charges. Defence QC Ian Duguid said his client was disgusted by what he had done.

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UK authorities 'given up' on Madeleine McCann

The father of the child, who vanished in Portugal in 2007, speaks out before the third anniversary of her disappearance.

28 April 2010 04:21 GMT

The father of missing Madeleine McCann said his "innocent, vulnerable" daughter had been "essentially given up on" by British authorities.

During an interview days before the third anniversary of her disappearance, Glasgow-born Gerry McCann urged the Government to carry out a "comprehensive review" of the case.

He said: "It's not right that an innocent, vulnerable British citizen is essentially given up on.

"And I don't think it's right that as parents, that we have to drive the search. Of course we will, but not everyone has had the same resources and support that we have had to be able to do that. And I think it's pretty cruel."

The pre-recorded GMTV interview with Lorraine Kelly will be broadcast on Wednesday.

Mr McCann said it was "incredibly frustrating" that police in Portugal and the UK are not doing more to find the missing youngster.

At the time of her disappearance, the couple were criticised for leaving their three children alone in a holiday apartment as they went for dinner nearby. Mr McCann said that if they could go back, they would not have left her alone.

He said: "If we could turn back the clock and change what happened, obviously we wouldn't have done it. We can't. And what I would say is, you know, people have got to put themselves into our position. What would you do if it was your daughter? After this, what would you do?"

The parents still believe Madeleine, who went missing when she was three, is alive and are releasing a pack for people to take abroad and put up posters featuring her picture.

Kate McCann said: "Certainly in my heart I feel she is out there. I mean I know there is nothing to say that she isn't, so we have to carry on working and thinking like that.

"I mean logically I can't say, I mean none of us can say for definite other than the people involved. But I know we can't give up because there is no evidence to say that she is not."

Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007. A massive police operation and worldwide publicity followed, but no trace was found.

The McCanns hired private investigators to look into their daughter's disappearance, and have previously expressed shock that Portuguese police failed to follow up apparent new leads.

Mrs McCann said she finds her daughter's birthday, May 12, harder to cope with than the anniversary of when she vanished.

"Her birthday is actually (a) much more difficult day for us than May 3. May 3 really is just another day without Madeleine, but the 12th is obviously a day when we should be celebrating Madeleine, celebrating with Madeleine."

She said that the couple spend lots of time with their five-year-old twins Sean and Amelie and manage to have some kind of "normality", but the burden of Madeleine's absence is always there.

"It will just suddenly stop you. We had a lovely day last week and it was really sunny, and you could smell the grass being cut and I thought, 'oh it's really nice'. And then it just kind of gets you - Madeleine is still not here," Mrs McCann said.

Her husband, who is a consultant cardiologist, said that it was difficult with his patients when he first returned to work.

"Most people are just really glad to see me and most of the patients, initially, have been quite reserved or just left messages with the staff.

"But it was awkward in the early months when I went back and I was doing ward rounds and quite often it would be Madeleine on the front page of newspapers or ourselves and various other things. So that was a little bit awkward, but generally it's not been a problem."

Public reaction

Mrs McCann said it helps her to cope when members of the public acknowledge Madeleine's disappearance.

Her husband said: "A lot of time people will want to skip round it, they don't know whether to mention it or not. And of course we live with this every day of our life and it's a huge part of it."

When asked about the level of criticism aimed at the couple, Mrs McCann said it has now eased off.

"I think there is just a small minority now. And, you know, there is a certain group out there who, this is their job really, is to pick on a vulnerable family. And I'm sure after us they will move onto another family."

Mr McCann said: "Anyone who is in the public eye for whatever reason gets criticised. And early on when we were campaigning, you know, you would say, 'oh my goodness, we are getting criticised for doing this and doing that,' and you start to let that influence what you do.

"But then you realise you get criticised whatever you do from some quarter. And what you need to do is make the decisions for the right reason and do it with the best intentions and really stick to your guns."

At one point Amelie wrongly believed that her older sister had run away, but the McCanns, who are from Rothley, Leicestershire, told the twins that someone had taken her.

Mrs McCann said: "We said just because you really want something or you really like something, if it belongs to somebody else you shouldn't take it. So that's how they understand it. So they know somebody has taken her and they actually - they know it's wrong."

Mr McCann said: "They believe that it was a man that took her, and it was a naughty man and we need to try and find him. So it's part of what they say - that Mummy is working to help find Madeleine."

Mrs McCann said she cannot give up until her daughter is found. "If we haven't found Madeleine, if we don't know what has happened, you haven't done enough. I mean there is obviously more that can be done.

"And it might just be time. There could be a group of people out there who are sitting with this on their conscience. And every time Madeleine is mentioned or every time there is an image - again, it's just pricking their conscience.

"And it might just be a question of time until they come forward. Their situation might change and they may then feel comfortable to come forward."

Mr McCann said whoever took their daughter is dangerous and must be caught.

She said: "We don't know who has taken her and what the motive is. And until we find that person, it is very hard, but we have just got to keep going and keep working away.

"But more importantly we need to have a proper review of all the information - that's how we will move the investigation forward. And at the end of the day, the person that has taken Madeleine is still out there and they are a potential danger to other children, so they need to be brought to justice."

Former GP Mrs McCann added: "We do this in medicine. You know, if there is a case that you don't seem to be getting the diagnosis, somebody will come in and review it.

"They'll go back to square one, they will go through all the information, all the data, all the results that you've got and work through it. And that's where you find out what else needs to be done and it will help point you in the right direction."

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".

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Reply with quote  #70 

Three in court over Musselburgh murder

One man and two women have been remanded in custody, charged in connection with the death of Dennis Parker.
Three people have been remanded in custody after appearing in court in connection with the murder of a man in Musselburgh.

Dennis Parker died as a result of injuries he sustained in an incident at his home in the town's Eskside West on Saturday.

James Henry appeared at Haddington Sheriff Court on Tuesday, charged with the 27-year-old's murder. Mr Henry is also accused of attempted murder, assault with intent to rob, and conspiracy.

Two women were also remanded following appearances in connection with the case. Karen Cosgrove, 32, and Gemma Marie McGowan, 24, are both accused of conspiracy.

Mr Parker died after being knifed through the heart by two men wearing balaclavas who burst into his flat in the town's Eskside West in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Mr Parker was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but doctors were unable to save him.

A 21-year-old friend of Mr Parker was also stabbed in the attack, but managed to stagger from the property.



Admin says: Ms Cosgrove - I personally hope you get a long stay in Cornton Vale, and I hope you finally begin to understand what it's like to be on the receiving end of merciless bullies. Now THAT'S what I call irony.

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".

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Girlfriend killed Martyn Barclay by shooting him in the head

UPDATE: Jury finds Caroline Igoe guilty of murdering her boyfriend and rules her brother attempted to help her cover up the crime.

Guilty: A jury took four hours to find Caroline Igoe guilty of murder.

A wannabe-model who shot her boyfriend in the head after they rowed over his going out drinking is facing a life sentence for his murder.

Caroline Igoe denied murdering Martyn Barclay on his doorstep in January. However, following around three hours of deliberations at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday, a jury reached a unanimous verdict that she was guilty of the murder.

Igoe's brother, Paul Igoe, had also stood accused of the killing but was found not guilty. However, he was found guilty of a firearm offence and attempting to defeat the ends of justice, after he attempted to help his sister cover up the killing.

The verdicts were met with cries of "yes" and "get in there" from members of Martyn Barclay's family who were in court.

In turn, relatives of the Igoes shouted threats at the Barclay family, before being ordered to leave the court.

Mr Barclay, who had worked as a labourer, was discovered dying in the street outside the home he shared with Ms Igoe and her family in the Inch area of Edinburgh.

The court heard that after pulling the trigger, killer Caroline Igoe went to the hospital to be at her dying partner's bedside and in the wake of his death, associated herself with his grieving relatives in an act described as "breathtaking hypocrisy".

Ms Igoe later went on to send up an online tribute site on which she described Mr Barclay as her "soul-mate".

However, the court heard that just two to three weeks after the killing, she attended an audition for cheerleading troupe the Score Angels, where she told witness Lisa Carson: "I am gutted but I will get over it. I will get a new man."

The court heard that Ms Igoe and Mr Barclay rowed over the phone in the hours leading up to his death. Ms Igoe told the court she hadn't wanted Mr Barclay to go out because she had a launch night the following evening in Glasgow and he was to go with her.

She said she later had a number of phone conversations with him and that he had been "really drunk".

Ms Igoe's solicitor insisted that the idea their row had gone as far as murder was "pure fantasy", however, the jury rejected the defence case, finding Ms Igoe guilty of the murder.

Judge Lord Bracadale then told Igoe, who has previous convictions and was on bail at the time of the murder, that she was guilty of an act of "great wickedness".

He said: "The jury has found you guilty of murdering Martyn Barclay by shooting him in the head with a handgun in a public street in Edinburgh.

"In any view that was an act of great wickedness."

Turning to her brother, who was convicted of possession of a gun and attempting to defeat the ends of justice, Lord Bracadale said his crimes were "serious" and they will both return to court for sentencing after background reports are filed.

Following proceedings, Martyn Barclay's family released a statement saying: "We have been through a long and emotionally exhausting 15 months waiting for this day and we are delighted with the verdict the jury has reached. We are satisfied that justice has been done today for Martyn's young son, Michael, and the rest of the family. All of us were devastated by his loss.

"We would like to thank the many people involved in this case and the Police and Crown for bringing it successfully to court - we know they have worked very hard to achieve this result. We would also like to thank the jury for the unanimous verdicts they returned today.

"Martyn was much loved and will be forever in our thoughts. However, throughout this painful process we have shunned publicity and now we would ask that our privacy be respected."

Lothian and Borders Police said: "The verdict today is a testament to the commitment and determination of the Police and prosecutors involved in this murder investigation.

"This was a particularly challenging inquiry undertaken by Lothian and Borders Police which involved continued and very close working with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

"On behalf on the investigation team, I would like to thank the many members of the Inch community who showed great tolerance and provided invaluable assistance and support."

A force spokesperson added: "Primarily, our thoughts are with the Barclay family today. This has been a harrowing 15 months for them and during such an emotional roller coaster they have shown courage and dignity.

"Throughout the investigation, the actions of Caroline and Paul Igoe and many other family members frustrated the investigation.  While this not only prolonged the inquiry, more importantly it delayed Martyn being laid to rest and a mother, father, brother, sister, young son and his mother, and extended family members being allowed to start a grieving process.

"I sincerely hope the Barclay family can now put such aspects behind them and move on with their lives."

Last updated: 30 April 2010, 19:21

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".

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MI5 says 'We can't tell relatives of 7/7 victims why we didn't investigate bombing ringleader... because it could help Al Qaeda'

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:05 PM on 30th April 2010 

Mohammad Sidique Khan

7/7 ringleader: Mohammad Sidique Khan

Families of July 7 victims have been told MI5 will not reveal why it failed to investigate the ringleader of the attacks as it could give Al Qaeda plotters an ‘invaluable weapon’.

Bereaved relatives want to use the forthcoming inquests into the deaths of those killed into ask security service officials why they did not follow up Mohammad Sidique Khan after he was witnessed meeting known terror suspects.

But MI5 told a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to decide the scope of the inquests that allowing this would aid those planning the next atrocity.

Neil Garnham QC, counsel for the Home Secretary and MI5, described the 2005 London bombings as ‘the deliberate action of evil and callous killers’.

But he went on: ‘The appalling truth is, however, that there are people out there who applauded and celebrated this appalling act.

‘And there are others who would like to repeat it, to emulate the action of these murderers and see to it that there are other innocent people bereaved like the families here.

‘Not all such people are stupid. Some of them are both evil and intelligent.’

Mr Garnham told the hearing that allowing the bereaved families' lawyers to question at the inquests why Khan was not fully investigated might provide al Qaida plotters with an ‘invaluable weapon’.

‘Can there be much doubt that potentially the security service's answer to that question would be of the greatest interest to an intelligent planner of the next terrorist outrage?’ he said.

Tavistock Square bus

Detestation: A bus the bombers blew up at Tavistock Square, Central London

In early 2004 Khan was watched, photographed and followed by counter-terrorism officers during an inquiry into a group of extremists planning a fertiliser bomb attack.

But MI5 concluded that diverting resources to place him under detailed investigation or surveillance was not justified.

Khan, 30, and three other suicide bombers killed 52 innocent people when they detonated explosives on three Tube trains and a bus in central London on July 7 2005.

It was disclosed yesterday that West Yorkshire Police have only just discovered that they held Khan's fingerprints on file for 19 years before the attacks.

The coroner, Lady Justice Hallett, must decide what form the inquests - expected to start at the Royal Courts of Justice in October - should take.

Lawyers for many of the bereaved families say they should include a broad-ranging investigation of whether the authorities could have prevented the bombings.

But MI5 argues this is both unnecessary and impossible because doing so would require the disclosure of top secret intelligence files.

The Edgware Road train where Khan killed himself with a bomb

Personal damage: The Edgware Road train where Khan killed himself with a bomb

Another key issue the coroner must rule on is whether the inquests into the deaths of the four suicide bombers should be combined with those of the victims.

Relatives of those killed oppose having the hearings held together because of the distress this would cause them.

The coroner said she hoped to announce what form the inquests would take within two to three weeks.

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Teenage racist faces joining his neo-Nazi father in jail after being convicted of terror charges

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:37 PM on 30th April 2010 

White supremacist

Remanded in custody: White supremacist Nicky Davison, 19, has been convicted of possessing terrorist documents

A teenage white supremacist faces jail aftef being convicted today of three counts of possessing terror documents.

Former milkman's assistant Nicky Davison, 19,  was a founder member of the Aryan Strike Force set up by his 41-year-old father Ian.

Davison Sr already admitted six charges, including producing deadly ricin, one of the world's most dangerous substances.

The jury at Newcastle Crown Court took 50 minutes to convict the teenager of three counts of possessing information useful in committing or preparing terror acts.

The court heard the group planned to fight against what they called the Zionist Occupied Government and believed the state had been taken over by Jews.

Jurors heard a police raid at the home he shared with his mother and younger brother found copies of The Poor Man's James Bond and the Anarchist's Cookbook on two computers.

The defendant denied any knowledge of the documents and the court heard a 'mischievous' friend downloaded them.

In his defence, he said he joined the group to please his racist father.

They will be sentenced at a later date.

Judge John Milford remanded Davison in custody, and he was taken away after hugging his weeping mother in the public gallery.

The racist gang was fully intending to use the deadly ricin, Detective Superintendent Neil Malkin said outside court.

'I have no understanding of their intended target,' he said.

'What I do know is the nature of the organisation and what it had pulled together in terms of the ricin, pipe bombs and the manuals can only give me concerns that the next step was to take it to the streets.'

He said the deadly substance was found in a sealed jar and was in a usable state.

It has now been taken to the UK's chemical weapons centre at Porton Down.

Mr Malkin said the father, a former pub DJ, was the head of the organisation which had 'abhorrent views' towards 'ethnic minorities and Jewish people'.

But the son was old enough to know his own mind, the detective said.

'He lived in an atmosphere of extreme right-wing white supremacist neo-Nazi rhetoric and he has embraced that.

ricin plot

Police officers stand guard outside the home of white supremacist Ian Davison in County Durham, after the deadly poison ricin was discovered in a jam jar in his kitchen

'Nicky certainly had his own mind and he has gone on to further that by being involved.'

He added: 'It has been a long, complex case. With the help of colleagues from the counter-terrorism world, I have come to understand the virtual world of the internet.'

The Aryan Strike Force communicated online and members used code names to identify themselves while sharing extremist violent views.

The group was in the early stages of preparation when it was raided, but planned paramilitary operations which aimed to topple the government.

Terror Manual

DIY terrorism: publications such as The Poor Man's James Bond provide tips on making weapons

The guides the 19-year-old downloaded ran to thousands of pages and explained how to make bombs, detonators, silencers and pistols.

Davison Snr, of Burnopfield, County Durham, admitted preparing for acts of terrorism and producing a chemical weapon last summer.

He also admitted three counts relating to possessing the handbooks.

Ricin is extracted from the castor bean and exposure to small quantities can be fatal.

The U.S. Centre for Disease Control suggested that as little as 500mg - about half a grain of rice - could be lethal if injected or inhaled, and it has no known antidote.

The Aryan Strike Force members believed themselves to be the most racist group in Britain.

Davison Jr, of Annfield Plain, County Durham, had written online that he was prepared to 'die fighting'.

But in his defence he claimed he was now 'disgusted' by his white supremacist views.

The Davisons will be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on May 14.

Mr Malkin said others investigated as part of the inquiry will face prosecution later this year.

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Facebook vigilante posts 6,000 photos of convicted paedophiles and sex offenders online as 'invaluable tool for parents'

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:06 PM on 30th April 2010

Chris Wittwer has posted the names and photographs of 6,000 convicted sex offenders on Facebook

Chris Wittwer has posted the names and photographs of 6,000 convicted sex offenders on Facebook

A vigilante is celebrating after completing a database of 6,000 convicted sex offenders and paedophiles across every county in Britain and posting their names and photographs on Facebook.

Chris Wittwer said he has created the largest photographic gallery 'in the world' after spending 'every waking hour' gathering police mugshots of registered sex offenders.

Nearly 18,000 people have joined his Facebook groups since the 34-year-old started compiling the huge online bank two years ago.

A total of 44 groups on the social networking site feature 5,930 names and photographs of sex criminals who have been convicted in Britain's courts.

Mr Wittwer, from Exeter, who works as a warehouse operator said today: 'I feel really proud.

'It's quite an achievement and if it helps people spot sex offenders living in their area, who are a known risk to children, then I've done a good thing.

'It's a really big project - way bigger than anything before like the other site RatBook.

'But it's not a question of being a hate mob, it's the simple fact that on the national sex offenders register you can access some information but you can't see the faces of those who commit the crimes.

'With my groups you can see the picture of the offender, their name, the date of their offence and where they were resident at the time.

'Because of the repeat nature of many child sex offences it is an invaluable tool for parents who want to keep a watching eye over their kids.'

Mr Wittwer had his first group closed down by police when he first started the venture two years ago for the county of Devon.

But the online portals were started back up again because the campaigner was able to show he was not breaking any laws by presenting information already in the public domain.

He has stuck religiously to only putting up details of convicted sex offenders by checking local newspapers and court records.

Nearly 18,000 people have joined his Facebook groups since the 34-year-old started compiling the huge online bank two years ago

Nearly 18,000 people have joined his Facebook groups since the 34-year-old started compiling the huge online bank two years ago

He then cross-references the name of a sex criminal against the national sex offenders register before giving himself the green light to put up the name.

He said: 'I definitely cross all the t's and dot the i's - nothing is left to chance.

'I use press releases from the police as well as local paper cuttings and newspapers' own archives.

'No hearsay or unconfirmed allegations go on the site. That's how I've been able to continue legally.

'The list is growing all the time - I cover 62 counties in all across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so I'm constantly adding new names.' 

Mr Wittwer says he gets 40 messages every day from people praising his work on the social networking site - with many victims turning to him for support.

He said: 'It's very difficult when you get a victim asking for your help because I'm not a qualified counsellor.

'All I can do is offer them a bit of advice and tell them where to turn to.'

But he said he has also come in for some hostility from actual sex offenders who have tracked him down and tried to attack him for what he has done.

He said: 'On a couple of occasions I have had paedophiles try and hunt me down. I guess it's an occupational hazard.

'They don't want their names out there. But fortunately it hasn't come to anything.'

Mr Wittwer said he started his 'mission' after working as a pub barman a few years ago where he found out about a regular who had been molesting a child.

He said: 'It created shockwaves and it sickened me. I just wanted to do something about it. This is my way of helping I suppose.'

He added proudly that his list actually helped track down one sex offender who had been spotted working in a local sweet shop - opposite a primary school.

He said: 'This particular person was on the sex offenders register but had failed to keep police informed of his movements.

'Thanks to my site he was recognised and when police caught up with him they found he had been abusing again. He went back to jail.

He added: 'I'm really pleased I've managed to cover the whole UK now. I've just finished doing the last remaining places in Scotland last week but it will be an ongoing job to keep it up to date.' 

The online groups have been a massive hit with users as the site states on its opening page: 'On this site we aim to expose the paedophiles, perverts and child abuse animals that infest our society today.

'Is it just and right what I am doing? I don't care! If I can help to save one child from these crimes then it has all been worth it.'

Group members have called on Mr Wittwer to release people's addresses and some have even suggested torturing paedophiles.

But Facebook confirmed that he has done nothing wrong in the eyes of the social networking site, which has millions of users across the country.

A spokesman said: 'We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feeling of others.

'It is within the terms of the site for users to express their views about a public figure, which includes views about someone who has been convicted of a crime and details related to the crime that are freely available in the media.' 

The spokesman added: 'However, bullying and harassment of a private individual is against the terms of use of the site and any content or users found to be in violation will be removed.

'As a community, Facebook is highly self-regulating, and we encourage users to report questionable or offensive content.

'Facebook takes all complaints by users seriously and we have a dedicated team investigating these complaints and comments by users.'

A Kent Police spokesperson said: 'Any information taken from the internet and sites such as Facebook should be treated with caution as its authenticity cannot be confirmed.

'Part of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) includes assessing risk to members of the public and where they should be told about offenders in their community, we tell them.

'We encourage anyone with concerns about offenders to report the information to the police or through Crimestoppers.

'By providing the police and our partners with information, members of the public can help to protect themselves and others.'

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Why would anyone CHOOSE to die by firing squad? Murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner will be shot dead by five riflemen next month

By Andrew Malone
Last updated at 12:10 AM on 1st May 2010

Next month this murderer will be strapped to a chair with a target pinned over his heart, and shot by five riflemen with silver bullets. What's more, it's the death he wants.

The last thing Ronnie Lee Gardner will see on this earth will be five men clutching hunting rifles.

They will be standing exactly 20ft away, behind a low wall built as a rest for their weapons, and the gun muzzles will be pointing at a white handkerchief pinned directly over his heart.

Then, after being asked whether he has any last words, Gardner will have a black hood slipped over his head and the gunmen will open fire. Seconds later, he will be slumped in a pool of blood.

For Ronnie Lee Gardner currently awaits the ultimate state sanction in the U.S.: execution. And, controversially, this sadistic double killer on Utah's death row has exercised his right to be shot.


The view through a rifle slot for the execution of Gary Gilmore at the Utah State Prison. Gilmore was strapped to a chair, with a wall of sandbags placed behind him to absorb the bullets

Indeed, Utah is the last U.S. state to operate a firing squad, a no-nonsense method of capital punishment that has been used only twice against civilians since the American Civil War.

His request was granted last week. 'I would like the firing squad, please,' said Gardner, 49, when a Utah judge offered him the choice of being shot dead or strapped to a medical trolley and given a lethal injection.

And with the death warrant now signed, his wish will finally be fulfilled on June 18.

Not that he appears to be too concerned about it. Chatting with a prosecutor before being led away from his court hearing, Gardner, a charming but savage and deeply cunning psychopath, was asked how he felt now he was, quite literally, staring down the barrel of a gun. 'Good . . . considering the circumstances,' he smirked.


Facing execution: Double killer Ronnie Lee Gardner

Indeed, while he has given no indication as to why he chose the gun rather than the needle, legal sources say the condemned man hopes that death by firing squad will be quicker and less painful than the increasingly controversial lethal injection.

For Gardner has reportedly been horrified by accounts of botched executions, particularly that of Romell Broom last year.

Broom's executioners spent two hours trying to find a vein for the lethal injection, stabbing needles into the condemned man's arms, legs, hands and ankle bone.

Broom even tried to help the executioners find a vein; at one point, even advising officials on how best to use a syringe. Eventually, the punishment was suspended.

Yet if Gardner hopes his own choice of death will be any less terrifying, he is wrong  -  as he will discover soon after midnight in six weeks' time.

Ronnie Lee Gardner

Ronnie Lee Gardner sits with his lawyer Andrew Parnes in court at the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah

When night falls on that Friday evening, he will be served a final meal of his choosing and spend time with the prison chaplain, before being dressed in dark blue overalls.

The white handkerchief will be attached by Velcro over his heart  -  a clear, easy target for the marksmen preparing themselves nearby.

In the darkness, with his legs and wrists in iron cuffs, Gardner will then be taken to his Utah prison's execution chamber, last used in 1999 for the lethal injection execution of Joseph Mitchell Parsons, a career criminal who stabbed to death an innocent man in a frenzied attack in 1987.

The condemned man will then be strapped to a specially-designed chair which has a hole in the seat to allow blood to drain into a metal pan beneath. Sandbags will be placed behind the chair. His arms, legs and neck will be strapped to the chair's back. 

Five members of Gardner's family will be allowed to watch this grisly spectacle from behind one-way, bulletproof glass.

The glass is to 'physically and psychologically' separate witnesses from the condemned, and to ensure they are not hit by any ricochets.

Ronnie Lee Gardner

Gardner is restrained on the lawn at the Metropolitan Hall of Justice, in Salt Lake City after the courthouse shooting death of attorney Michael Burdell during Gardner's failed escape attempt in April 1985

Five members of Gardner's victims' families will also be invited as witnesses, along with local media and the chaplain.

The marksmen  -  trained volunteers drawn from the local police force  -  will use .30 calibre Winchester rifles and silver-tipped bullets, popular with local hunters tracking deer and black bears in the nearby mountains.

Only four of the shooters, however, will have live rounds in their weapons. Neither Gardner nor the shooters will know which of them has the blank cartridge, ensuring no one can be sure who fires the fatal rounds.

Lining up, the marksmen will rest their weapons on the low wall in front of them, steadying their rifles so they can get a clean shot. Then all eyes will be fixed on the white target, waiting for the bullets to hit home.

The marksmen will all aim for the chest because, quite simply, it's easier to hit than the head. The four bullets should rupture the heart and lungs, meaning the condemned man should die swiftly from shock and massive internal haemorrhaging.

Ronnie Lee Gardner

Reinard Knutsen, right, of the American Civil Liberties Union hands out anti-death penalty sign's before a news conference held by 'Utahans for the Alternative to the Death Penalty' at the Matheson Courthouse

To avoid accusations of profiteering  -  in China, prisoners are shot in the head so their organs can be harvested  -  Utah state officials have decided that Gardner's organs will not be used to help the desperately ill.

Instead, after the prison doctor has checked that he's dead, his remains will be placed in a cheap coffin and handed to his family.

Not surprisingly, the case has divided America  -  and prompted worldwide interest in the use of such a means of execution by the West's leading power.

It is certainly an antiquated form of execution and Utah was one of only three states to allow execution by firing squad when the U.S. reintroduced the death penalty in 1976.

Even Utah withdrew the option in 2004. Indeed, Gardner has had his request granted only because he had stated that it was his favoured method of execution before the ban came into force.

With vigils already being planned by anti-death penalty campaigners outside the jail, Amnesty International last night called for the sentence to be commuted to life without parole.

'In Utah, they go back to the Old Testament and cite "an eye for an eye" whenever it suits them,' says Amnesty's Linda Kalish. 'These people [convicted murderers] may be the worst of the worst, but it's wrong to do as they did.'

Ronnie Lee Gardner

Ruby Price holds a anti death penalty sign and waits for a news conference to start held by 'Utahans for the Alternative to the Death Penalty'

The powerful U.S. Catholic lobby has also called for Gardner to be spared. 'The firing squad is archaic, it's violent and it simply extends the gun violence we already experience as a society,' says Bishop John C. Wester, of Utah's Catholic Diocese.

Not that Utah government lawyers have the slightest misgivings about putting Gardner to death  -  or employing the means he has chosen. Indeed, they even plan to issue specially-minted commemorative coins to the officers involved in the execution.

They have, however, banned all interviews with Gardner, claiming they want to limit the attention he receives. Other officials, meanwhile, have told me that he remains a highly-dangerous individual who would still kill if given the chance.

The people he killed, of course, were given no choice as to how and when they would meet their end. Gardner, a career criminal from an abusive, poor Utah family, claimed his first victim after escaping from jail by faking an illness and then overpowering a guard.

On a violent robbery spree, he shot dead local barman Melvin Otterstrom. On his way to a court hearing for that murder, he arranged for a gun to be slipped to him by a girlfriend.

Once there, Gardner opened fire, killing respected lawyer Michael Burdell with a single shot to the head and taking a number of hostages. Only when police surrounded the building did he throw down his weapon and surrender.

Ronnie Lee Gardner

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, right, and lead attorney for the Utah Attorney General office Thomas Brunker, look over the warrant of execution signed for Ronnie Lee Gardner

After being sentenced to death, Gardner was far from a model Utah inmate. In 1987, he and another inmate held hostage two female visitors, forcing them to perform sex acts. He also stabbed an inmate repeatedly during a separate jail fight.

Extraordinarily, however, even Michael Burdell's family have now joined the campaign for clemency. 'He [Burdell] would not have wanted Ronnie Lee Gardner's execution,' said Donna Nu, the dead lawyer's girlfriend, who pointed out that her partner had refused to carry a gun after being drafted to serve in Vietnam. 'If Michael had lived, he would have defended him [Gardner].'

But with all legal appeals now exhausted, it seems Gardner will not have time to write the autobiography he has planned for so long.

In a letter smuggled from jail in 2000, the condemned man revealed: 'I'm anticipating having my sentence overturned real soon and I'm looking for someone that would be interested in helping me write a book.'

In a staggering display of self-aggrandisement, the murderer added: 'There are many twists, turns, plots and subplots to my story. I think now is the perfect time to get this project rolling.

'If you are interested in helping me with my project and have the skills, let's get started. Always and forever, Ronnie Lee. Death Row, PO Box 250 Draper, Utah.'

Now, a decade later, bullets rather than the bestseller list beckon. And Paul Murphy, a former Utah journalist, has bad news for Gardner: he will feel the pain of death.

One of the few people ever to witness execution by both firing squad and lethal injection in the U.S., he says injections are like watching a 'minor operation in hospital', while death by firing squad is 'more of an honest execution. It more accurately depicts what has happened. A man is being put to death'. 

Indeed, after being invited to witness the firing squad death of John Taylor in 1996  -  which was branded grotesque and barbaric by campaigners, and which saw 150 television crews from all over the world descend on Utah for the spectacle  -  Murphy still shudders at the memory.

'We saw this very large man strapped to a chair,' he says. 'His eyes were darting back and forth. At 12.03am, on the count of three, the five riflemen fired at a white cloth target pinned over Taylor's heart.

'As the volley hit him, Taylor's hands squeezed up, went down, and came up and squeezed again. His chest was covered with blood. Four minutes later, a doctor pronounced him dead.'

That execution took place because Taylor, who had raped and killed an 11-year-old girl, said he didn't want to 'flop around like a dying fish' after receiving a lethal cocktail of drugs. It's thought that Gardner, who has poor veins, also fears dying in agony.

But Tom Brunker, prosecuting lawyer for the Utah Attorney General, who has got to know Gardner during years of court battles, dismisses claims that there is anything barbaric about the method of execution, pointing out that Gardner is the author of his own misfortune.

'Death is totally appropriate for Ronnie,' Mr Brunker told me. 'We don't say the word "psychopath" any more. We say he has a dangerously anti-social personality. He's very articulate, but he remains a dangerous man.

'Whatever your objections to the death penalty, or whether there is the option of life behind bars without parole, this doesn't apply to Ronnie. He's murdered to escape. He's murdered while escaped. He has stabbed another inmate.

'Someone who has proven they can't be locked away, someone like that, even just for practical reasons, should be executed. We will vigorously oppose any further stays of execution.'

And for all the arguments among the great and good, ordinary people in Utah  -  and throughout America  -  have no objection to the death penalty, with more than two-thirds in favour.

Indeed, America's attitude to the death penalty was encapsulated by a Utah caller to a U.S. news debate about the sentence.

The man said: 'Since when does the criminal get a say in the matter? Gardner surely didn't allow his victims any decisions. No firing squad for this bum. Hang him slowly from a public bridge for all to see.'

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Admin says: This may be a long shot (no pun intended), but the firing squad have less chance of botching up the execution - old sparky has been known to malfunction a few times.

I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".
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