‘Man took his mother’s car after she refused him drug money’

Northern Echo | 3rd June, 2020

Neil Bennett, mitigating, said Bloomfield knows his behaviour to his mother was “inexcusable”, while his driving was, “clearly reckless”, and it was only fortunate that no-one was injured.

Mr Bennett said Bloomfield began taking cannabis at the age of 20 and it led to him losing his job as an hgv mechanic.


‘Partner stabbed in face by drunken girlfriend as she shouted ‘I’ll f***ing kill you”

Northern Echo | 4th June, 2020

The violent argument erupted after 25-year-old Cooper and her partner had spent they day drinking before returning home and smoking cannabis on April 25.


‘Killer caught brazenly smoking cannabis in front of police is spared prison’

Greenock Telegraph | 14th April, 2020 |

A CONVICTED killer caught brazenly smoking cannabis in front of police in the street has been spared prison because it was his first offence in five months since his release from his last jail term.

Stephen Shields — who was most recently locked up for a vicious head-kicking assault on a woman — was puffing on a joint in Port Glasgow’s Oronsay Avenue, when patrol officers spotted him.

Shields, 38, stubbed it out on the ground and then obstructed officers from carrying out a drug search by placing a piece of cannabis resin in his mouth and swallowing it.

He was previously sentenced to six years imprisonment for carrying out a fatal stabbing in the Port’s Rona Avenue in 2003.

Prosecutor Frankie Morgan said of Shields’ latest offences, committed on January 23: “This was 10.30am when police on patrol observed the accused at the locus, which is a residential area.

“Officers saw him smoking what appeared to be a reefer and there was a smell of cannabis.

“The accused was detained for a search.

“He was asked to put the joint out.

“He bent over and stubbed it on the ground and handed it to an officer.

“As he did so, he removed an item from his pocket, placed it in his mouth and swallowed it.

“The accused stated, ‘It was just a bit for a joint — I should have given it to you’.”

Shields pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis resin and to intentionally obstructing three police officers.

His not guilty plea to a charge of struggling violently with the PCs was accepted.

Shields, formally of Port Glasgow but now residing in Inverkip Street, Greenock, was also jailed in 2011 for a brutal baseball attack on a man.

He served his latest sentence last year after being found guilty of savagely punching and booting a woman in the Port’s Pladda Avenue.

Shields punched her on the head, caused her to fall to the ground, sat on top of her, seized her throat, repeatedly punched her on the body and kicked her on the head, all to her injury.

In 2003 he stabbed William Lyall, who was dating his sister at the time, twice — severing one of his arteries and causing him to bleed to death.

Sheriff Lindsay Kooner noted that there has been ‘nothing since his release from custody last August’.

The sheriff fined Shields a total of £385 for the cannabis offences.


‘Attacker Smoked Cannabis’ now in print

I am pleased to announce that Attacker Smoked Cannabis: Suicide and Psychopathic Violence in the UK & Ireland is now available: ‘Attacker Smoked Cannabis: Suicide and Psychopathic Violence in the UK and Ireland’

Amongst the reviews is this from author and Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens:

I have read this book…and recommend it very highly. I should note that in an article on the dangers of Marijuana legalisation in The Times… (25/11/2019) Clare Foges commends the work which has led to its publication. Mr Grainger (whom I know) has worked very hard and diligently to compile details of material which is reported locally but not nationally. He has done a public service. 30 years ago many of the horrific crimes he recounts would have featured in national newspapers and on national broadcast bulletins. But the growth in such violence has meant that such events are no longer as exceptional as they once were, and so made them less prominent in national coverage. That does not mean they are not important. They are very important indeed. The correlation between marijuana use and serious violence is strong and notable, appears [to] be meaningful (as there is also a correlation between marijuana use and mental illness) and should plainly be investigated properly to see if it is causal. Nobody, aware of the facts Mr Grainger has collected, could possibly support Marijuana legalisation until this link has been properly investigated and either confirmed or dismissed by research. The information he has compiled is extremely important and has also been submitted in book form to the current Government inquiry into drugs and violence led by Professor Dame Carol Black. The material is extremely disturbing, and paints a picture of modern Britain which is deeply distressing yet not much reflected in the literature or public discussions of the day. Anyone who reads it will benefit from the knowledge it contains. I very much hope it achieves widespread circulation, and recommend it without reservation.


Fire torture maniac is sent to jail

Birmingham Mail | 15th May 2007 |

Brotherton…had been smoking strong cannabis when he hatched his plot to get even and that had clearly affected his thinking.

A MAN who set a friend on fire after dousing him with petrol before laughing as he burned was today beginning an indeterminate prison sentence.

Judge Robin Onions at Wolverhampton Crown Court told Adam Brotherton his vicious attack had been “chilling in its conception, remorseless in its execution and horrifying in its consequences.”

He ruled that 22-year-old Brotherton should spend at least ten years behind bars before being considered for parole.

He told Brotherton: “I have to impose a sentence for the protection of the public. You represent a significant risk of harm to the public.”

Gardener Ian Smith, was tied to a tree at a secluded Walsall beauty spot and stabbed twice before being callously set on fire by Brotherton, the court heard.

The 24-year-old suffered 64 per cent burns in the attack, which robbed him of the “quality” of his life and Broth-erton had simply abandoned him at the Lime Pits nature reserve.

Brotherton had taken revenge on Mr Smith, of Friary Crescent, Rushall, because he had “grassed” on him to police.

Mr Smith had given the homeless, unemployed Brotherton a bed for the night and he repaid his kindness by stealing property including a Playstation and games from his flat.

“He showed you nothing but kindness and you simply helped yourself to his property,” said the judge.

Brotherton, he added, had been smoking strong cannabis when he hatched his plot to get even and that had clearly affected his thinking.

John Attwood, prosecuting, told the court how Mr Smith’s life had been ruined by the terrible attack.

He said Mr Smith had enjoyed gardening, fishing, cycling and dogminding but was now unable to fend for himself.

He cannot feed himself or even wipe his own nose and his movements have been restricted by the burns he suffered.

“He cannot go anywhere without people staring at him. The district nurse has to go in every day to treat his wounds,” said Mr Attwood.

“He is very frustrated because he cannot do the things he wants to do. His sleep is disturbed, he gets flashbacks and he suffers bad dreams.”

Brotherton, of Lichfield Road, Walsall, had denied attempted murder but was convicted on a unanimous verdict by the jury at the end of his eight-day trial.

Brotherton, who has 37 previous convictions, maintained in court he was not responsible for the attack and was with friends smoking cannabis.



Voodoo worshipper on skunk who stabbed his fiance in the head blamed ‘a spell’

Daily Mirror | 28th Sep 2019 |

Cannabis user Andrew Hunye claimed he was ‘under a spell’ when he attacked his partner at their home in east London

A voodoo worshipper who claimed he was under a spell when he stabbed his fiance in her head has been jailed.

Cannabis user Andrew Hunye, 33, almost killed Tessie Adeyemi when he attacked her with a kitchen knife after he had been smoking skunk at the couple’s home in Chadwell Heath, east London.

Wood Green Crown Court heard the victim heard him shouting at himself in the kitchen where she found him lying naked on the floor “speaking in tongues”.

He stood up, pointed at the ceiling, then gestured at her and said “I am God and you are the devil” before grabbing a knife from another room and stabbing her three times in the neck and the back of the head.

Afterwards he went out onto the communal landing and did a dance of celebration before returning to their flat for a quick shower.

Ms Adeyemi fled the flat and was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The pair, who had booked tickets to Nigeria and Dubai to celebrate their wedding, were both religious and believe the knife attack was caused by a voodoo spell.

Ms Adeyemi, who suffers from  from facial paralysis since the attack, was supportive of Hunye throughout his trial and told the court they had a ‘good relationship’.

Hunye said in evidence: “I was not in a right state of mind, I had lost my mind, I was hearing voices.”

Psychiatrists told the court Hunye was not suffering from mental illness.

Judge David Aaronberg told him: “You and Ms Adeyemi have strong religious beliefs.

“You are both devoted Christians, you also both have traditional Nigerian beliefs regarding Voodoo or Juju.”

But the judge added: “English law does not recognise the concept of possession by an evil spirit”, he said.

He said that instead the attack resulted from “a combination of the beliefs and the consumption of skunk cannabis”.

He added: “If the defendant believed in it it might have impacted how he acted that day.”

Hunye denied any wrong doing but was convicted of attempted murder and jailed for 12-and-a-half years.


Jail for man who raped woman, 67, on her way to Christmas dance in Ayrshire

Scotsman | 26 June 2019 |

“On your own account, on the day in question you had been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis and were angry.”

A sex attacker who brutally raped a pensioner as she made her way to a Christmas dance has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years .

James Black, 40, struck after the woman began walking through an unlit lane towards a hall in Saltcoats, Ayrshire.

A judge told Black: “You were convicted, on your own plea, of an extremely grave sexual offence, namely the rape to injury of a 67-year-old retired lady who was to all intents a stranger to you.”

Lord Arthurson said at the High Court in Edinburgh that the offence was “wholly despicable and utterly abhorrent”.

The judge said: “On your own account, on the day in question you had been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis and were angry.”

He told Black, formerly of Stevenston, Ayrshire, that he would have faced a 10-year prison sentence but for his guilty plea.

The judge also ordered that Black should be kept under supervision for a further three years and warned that if he breached licence conditions during that period he could be returned to prison.

Black earlier admitted assaulting and raping the woman in December 8 last year at a lane at Canal Street, in Saltcoats.

During the attack he grabbed the victim, put an arm across her neck and struggled with her before putting his hands round her neck and forcing her to the ground.

Black pulled down the woman’s leggings and pants and forced her legs apart before raping her during the violent ordeal.

The sex attacker was later arrested in connection with another matter but told police: “That wisnae me. I chased a guy away from there.”

He then told a social worker that he had fallen out with his girlfriend, had followed someone, that something bad had happened and the woman was “very scared”.

Forensic scientists also found material linking Black to the attack on the woman who was unable to provide a description of the rapist.

Advocate depute Mark McGuire said that the woman travelled to Saltcoats to meet a relative and they went for a drink at a pub before she went to another bar on her way to the Christmas event.

After leaving the bar she began walking through the lane when Black approached her from behind and put his arm across her neck.

The woman struggled and tried to push him away but was forced to the ground. She kicked out to try to stop him taking off her boots, but he pulled down her pants and leggings and prised her legs apart.

The prosecutor said: “Nothing was said by either the accused or the complainer during the rape.”

Black fled following the sex attack and the woman went to the dance venue. She revealed what had happened to her to a barmaid and a taxi driver who encouraged her to contact the police.

She woke the following morning with pain in her back and thighs and saw her legs were bruised. She later spoke to a relative who called the police.

A trawl of CCTV footage showed the woman leaving a bar with a man following her a short time later. He was seen returning to the bar about half an hour later with a hand injury and dried blood on his head and hand.

The victim was found to have extensive bruising on her inner thighs, including finger mark imprints and injury to her genital area.

Defence counsel Lorraine Glancy said that alcohol and drugs have been “problematic issues” for Black in the past.

She said Black understood that a prison sentence was the only disposal available and added: “It is fair to say that he, upon his release into the community, will require close supervision.”

Black was placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.


Residents raised fears over killer McIntosh, months before attack on Dundee woman Linda

Dundee Evening Telegraph | 23rd August 2019 |

 “People were very worried – McIntosh was behaving in a very strange way that was drawing attention – including smoking cannabis in the garden at 4am.”

Residents in the tiny village where murderer Robbie McIntosh was released on home leave have revealed they warned authorities he would strike again – three months before his brutal attack on Linda McDonald.

Locals in Bridgefoot aired their fears at a meeting of Strathmartine Community Council in May 2017.

They also spoke to two local councillors, Craig Fotheringham and Beth Whiteside, asking the elected officials to intervene on their behalf and prevent the killer being released back into their community.

Some residents even admitted to being so worried at the time of McIntosh’s release that they stopped going for solitary walks and some women even began taking self-defence classes.

McIntosh was on day release from prison at the time of the violent attack on Ms McDonald, as he served a life sentence for stabbing dog walker Anne Nicoll to death on the Law in 2002 when he was just 15.

He was allowed out of prison on home leave and stayed with his mum in her flat in Bridgefoot in May 2017.

During that time his presence was closely monitored by concerned locals.

Now the community council has broken its silence on McIntosh’s presence in Bridgefoot at the time of his attack on Mrs McDonald, following news the victim’s wait for a significant case review has been extended even further.

Mrs McDonald has been told she could face another Christmas without answers over why McIntosh was released.

And a spokesman for the council revealed: “People were very worried – McIntosh was behaving in a very strange way that was drawing attention – including smoking cannabis in the garden at 4am.

“His presence was discussed at the meeting and we asked if anything could be done to monitor his activities and behaviour. The community police officer present advised us there was nothing the police could do as McIntosh ‘hadn’t done anything’.

“People were very worried and we were being told the police had no powers to do anything.”

The spokesman added: “Our fears were justified. When we heard about the attack on Mrs McDonald there was widespread horror.Locals were left horrified when McIntosh carried out his attack on Mrs McDonald.

“We had flagged up our concerns about him three months previously but no action was taken and he was able to strike again.”

Residents had also brought the issue up with Councillors Whiteside and Fotheringham before McIntosh’s second attack took place.

Ms Whiteside said: “I was approached by a few constituents over their concerns that McIntosh was being left free to roam locally.

“I raised the matter with Angus Council and received an assurance he would be closely monitored.

“I had to accept that. Unfortunately, as we now know, he was not being monitored and was able to carry out his horrendous attack.”

Police Scotland declined to comment until after the SRI is published.Mr Fotheringham, who was also at the community council meeting in May 2017, added: “I’m aware Councillor Whiteside raised the matter and received assurances.”


Vincent Fuller: White supremacist car park stabbing ‘terrorist act’

BBC News | 10 Sep 2019 |

After the attack he tested positive for cannabis and alcohol and told detectives he had drunk a large bottle of cider and three cans of strong Special Brew lager.

A white supremacist who stabbed a teenager in what a judge described as a “terrorist act” has been jailed for more than 18 years.

Vincent Fuller, 50, attacked Bulgarian Dimitar Mihaylov in Stanwell, Surrey, a day after a gunman attacked mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Kingston Crown Court heard Fuller, who admitted attempted murder, had set out to kill Muslims.

Fuller denied a terrorist motive but Judge Peter Lodder QC rejected this.

On the night of 16 March, Fuller “roamed the streets” in a violent rage “looking for a target”, the court heard.

He initially armed himself with a Chelsea FC-branded baseball bat and went on the rampage.

During the spree he tried to force his way into a house, swung the bat at cars and was heard shouting racist abuse.

‘You’re going to die’

After the bat broke in half, Fuller returned home and armed himself with a knife.

He then approached 19-year-old Mr Mihaylov, who was parked outside a branch of Tesco with his friend, and stabbed him through the open window.

The court heard Fuller had twice shouted “You’re going to die” and plunged a large kitchen knife towards his victim’s neck.

Mr Mihaylov suffered defensive wounds to his hands, and the knife clipped his neck, the court heard.

“It was only by chance he was not killed,” said Judge Lodder.

Several witnesses heard Fuller screaming abuse during his “rampage”, including one who reported him saying: “All Muslims should die. White supremacists rule. I’m going to murder a Muslim.”

In a Facebook post just before the spree, Fuller praised alleged Christchurch gunman Brenton Tarrant, adding: “I am English, no matter what the government say kill all the non-English and get them all out of our of England.”

Judge Lodder told Fuller he was “motivated by the cause of white supremacy, and his personal anti-Muslim sentiments”, adding: “This was a terrorist act.”

“I find that it was your purpose to strike fear into the heart of people you described as non-English, in particular Muslims,” he said.

The judge added: “It is immaterial that there is no evidence that you were a member of, or subscribed to, to any particular group or organization.

“In my judgement a terrorist-related offence may be committed by a person acting alone, on his own initiative, and without any significant planning.”

In a police interview, Fuller, who has a British bulldog tattoo, denied being racist and said he could not remember what he had done.

After the attack he tested positive for cannabis and alcohol and told detectives he had drunk a large bottle of cider and three cans of strong Special Brew lager.

But the judge said a blood sample taken after the attack showed that Fuller – a regular drinker – was not intoxicated to a high degree.

Fuller, of Viola Avenue, carried out his attack the day after the murder of 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand by a white supremacist, who livestreamed most of the shootings online.

A video excerpt of the Christchurch massacre was found on Fuller’s mobile phone, the court heard.

‘Extreme right-wing view’

Fuller had previously admitted further charges of carrying a weapon, affray and racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.

He was jailed for 18 years and nine months on Tuesday, with an additional five-year extended sentence.

Outside court, Supt Andy Rundle, from Surrey Police, said it was clear Fuller had become radicalised and developed “an extreme right-wing view”.

Det Ch Supt Kath Barnes, head of counter-terrorism at Policing South East, said Fuller was “clearly an incredibly angry and dangerous individual who went out of his way looking for someone of non-white appearance to attack”.


Luis Temple inquest: Chantry School pupil did not intend suicide, says dad

Worcester News | 28 June 2018 |

He admitted his son had been smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol with friends on weekends, often in Worcester, since he was 13, but that this was almost never excessive.

THE dad of a teenager who hanged himself believes his son was “messing about” and did not intend to kill himself.

Luis Temple, 15, was discovered in his bedroom on the evening of Sunday, February 11, unconscious and not breathing before dad Wayne Temple began CPR before police and paramedics arrived.

During an inquest on Wednesday, coroner David Reid said while it appeared to be a deliberate act, “it’s not possible to reach a conclusion as to his intentions”.

However, Mr Temple told the court his son, a pupil at The Chantry School, was “always searching for the next thrill and the next thing that would give him a buzz”.

He admitted his son had been smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol with friends on weekends, often in Worcester, since he was 13, but that this was almost never excessive.

On the day of his death, Luis had spent the afternoon in Worcester with friends and admitted he had drank some alcohol when his dad picked him up at around 6.30pm.

A post mortem examination revealed he had a small amount of alcohol in his blood but no non-prescription drugs, said Mr Reid.

Speaking to the Worcester News after the hearing, Mr Temple, of Stourport-on-Severn, said: “It was not deliberate suicide. It was him being stupid and messing about.”

Sergeant Jemma Greenow, who was involved in the investigation into Luis’ death, said there were no suspicious circumstance surrounding the incident or any third-party involvement.

However, on examining his laptop and iPhone, officers found search “items that suggest Luis was looking at suicide videos” and information about depression medication.

She said these searches had been ongoing for a year with the latest as recent as three days before his death.

Luis was found unconscious by brother Rommi, 12, sometime after 8pm on February 11, before his dad and then two police officers performed CPR. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 9.40pm.

Mr Temple said Luis had fallen out with his main group of friends prior to starting at The Chantry and teachers told his parents for the first month he would often be alone at lunchtime.

However, he soon “found his feet” and built up a strong friendship group, including other teenagers in Worcester, where he spent most weekends.

Regarding his smoking cannabis, his dad told the court: “We talked about it quite often. We didn’t want to stop him outright and make him see it as the forbidden fruit.”

“People might disagree, but I am convinced our attitude stopped him moving onto other harder drugs.

“Some of his friends were taking ecstasy and various other drugs but Luis didn’t do any of that.”

Mr Temple said there was “no change to any mood or anything to cause concern”.

The court heard how Luis struggled to concentrate at school until in Year 10 he was diagnosed with convergence insufficiency, a condition in which the eyes are unable to work together when looking at nearby objects.

He was prescribed with special glasses and Mr Temple said his son’s school work improved, with the condition having caused him some distress before it was identified.

He said Luis was looking forward to life after his GCSEs, having just taken his mock exams, and was researching a catering course at the University of Worcester.

Mr Temple said while his son was a “happy chap” and could “talk the hind legs off a donkey” he and Luis’ mum Alison “didn’t have a clue” how popular their son was until after his death.

“The stories and things other kids were saying about the things he got up to in support of others, things off his own back to make other people feel better, were absolutely unreal,” he said.

“One lad at school had been scared to walk around on his own due to bullying and Luis would carry him around in a piggy-back, which meant he was late for his own classes. He then smoothed things over with the bullies.”

“Hearing all this made it easier because it was like we were still getting to know him, it was like he was still living,” added Mr Temple.

If something’s troubling you, Samaritans can be contacted 24 hours a day throughout the year for free on 116 123, or 020 8368 6789 at local call charge rates.

Alternatively, email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org/branches/worcester-samaritans



‘I will kill you all’ – what Sheffield machete attacker yelled inside McDonald’s as people fled in terror

The Star | 23 Aug 2019 |

[T]he defendant had come to the UK with his father and was ‘doing well’ until he fell in with the wrong crowd and started taking cannabis and then spice.

Daouda Sy sent terrified shoppers fleeing in fear of their lives, believing they were in the midst of a terrorist atrocity, as he launched the unprovoked attack on High Street, Sheffield, on the morning of January 31 this year.

The 21-year-old, of Wensley Street, in Grimesthorpe, was today jailed for 12 years after he admitted wounding with intent and possessing an offensive weapon.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how he had been high on spice, a synthetic form of cannabis, that morning when he went into the city centre intent upon attacking someone with the ‘murderous’ weapon, which had an 18-inch curved blade.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, told how Sy was walking past a busy bus stop on the High Street at about 9.30am when he made eye contact with a 47-year-old man waiting there and shouted ‘you don’t believe in God’ before drawing the machete and stricking him powerfully over the head, leaving him with a two-and-a-half inch gash above the ear.

The terrified victim, who was bleeding heavily, fled into the neighbouring branch of McDonald’s along with other ‘hysterical’ bystanders.

Sy followed them inside still brandishing the weapon, which he banged on a handrail, and shouted ‘if you don’t believe in God… I will kill you all… you best believe in Allah’.

He then calmly turned and left the store before crossing the road and walking down the street towards the Fitzalan Square tram stop, holding the machete by his side, until he was tackled by police who were on the scene within about 90 seconds and ordered him to drop the weapon, which he did, before pinning him to the ground.

Mr Sharp described how Sy, who was born in Guinea and came to the UK aged 18 with his father, had previously been arrested for brandishing an axe on High Street, Sheffield, on March 29 last year, for which he was sentenced to a 12-month community order.

The court also heard how the defendant had been arrested and released under investigation over allegations that he was in the street carrying two machetes on December 8, 2018.

Sentencing Sy for what he described as a ‘truly wicked attack’ with a ‘murderous weapon’, Judge Jeremy Richardson, the Recorder of Sheffield, said: “Not only was the victim injured as a result of your actions, ordinary members of the public who were in the city centre that morning were utterly terrified by your conduct.

“Those involved thought they were in the midst of a terrorist outrage and, having seen the DVD recording of the incident, I can wholly understand why they were utterly terrified.”

He continued: “Your intention that day was as clear as clear could be, and that was to attack anyone in the city centre.”

He added that it was highly likely the secretary of state would order Sy’s deportation back to his native country.

Sy, who was wearing a grey Gucci jumper and sat during the judge’s remarks with his hands clasped to his mouth, as if in prayer, said as the sentence was revealed ‘I didn’t mean to do it. I’m sorry’.

A video played in court showed panic-stricken members of the public scurrying into McDonald’s, followed by Sy, who was later seen to emerge and walk calmly away.

Mr Sharp said: “McDonald’s was busy that morning and numerous witnesses spoke about their terror at seeing the defendant speaking and behaving as he did.

“More than one thought a terrorist incident was taking place and that the lives of many wer [sic] in danger.

“One person was hyperventilating and had to use a paper bag to allow her to breathe. Several McDonald’s staff had to be sent home suffering from shock.

“The general reaction can be summed up by two witnesses who were inside McDonald’s.

“One said ‘I think the most terrifying part of this is that he could have attacked anyone and we were right there’.

“Another, who had run away and hidden in the toilets, said ‘I thought I was going to walk upstairs and find everybody dead’, while a third said ‘I honestly felt like I was going to die in a massacre’.”

The court heard how Sy was made the subject of an interim hospital order and admitted to Wathwood Hospital but psychologists concluded there was ‘nothing mentally wrong with him’ and his behaviour that morning was ‘wholly induced by his consumption of spice’.

Errol Ballentyne, defending, told how Sy could not remember anything from that morning and was ‘contrite’ and ‘full of remorse’.

He said the defendant had come to the UK with his father and was ‘doing well’ until he fell in with the wrong crowd and started taking cannabis and then spice.

He told how Sy had been the victim of racist chants from residents after moving to a council home and was himself the victim of a machete attack at a local shop on December 8 last year in which his hand was cut to the bone.

He claimed it was after this that the defendant had started arming himself for his own defence.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Sharp said: “Daouda Sy was a regular user of the street drug spice and was well aware of the effect it had on him, having already been prosecuted for brandishing an axe whilst under its influence in March 2018.

“This was an entirely unprovoked and vicious attack, and it is only by great good fortune that the consequences were not more serious still.

“Sy also put many bystanders in genuine fear of their lives that day through his actions. He is clearly an unstable individual when under the influence of drugs. The sentenced passed today underlines the gravity of his offending.”

Sy was sentenced to 12 years in prison for wounding with intent, two years for possessing an offensive weapon and 12 months for breaching the community order issued following the earlier offence, with all sentences to run concurrently.

He was also charged with a third count of affray, which was left to lie on file.


Man jailed after skunk-induced attack on vulnerable man with whiskey bottle

Gloucestershire Live | 9 Sep 2017 |

“It is an illustration of the dangers of smoking cannabis.”

Martin Francis has been jailed for ten years after hitting a vulnerable man over the head with a whiskey bottle in his own home in a drug-induced random attack.

Francis, 41, described as a ‘quiet and gentle family man’, assaulted Akinjide Otuneyinwa after taking some strong skunk cannabis, Gloucester crown court was told.

Mr Otuneyinwa, who is in his sixties and has an electric pump attached to his heart, was hit over the head twice with the bottle and kicked by Francis.

At the trial last month father of four Francis, of Great Western Road, Gloucester, was convicted by a jury of wounding Mr Otuneyinwa with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm on September 23 last year.

Mr Otuneyinwa was having supper and watching TV when Francis walked into his house in St Philips close, Hucclecote.

The householder was shocked to see Francis pick up a whiskey bottle, walk over to him and hit him over the head.

Mr Otuneyinwa fled the house and ran onto his driveway while his shocked five-year-old son watched on.

Francis chased after him and hit him again with the Jack Daniels bottle, knocking him to the ground and then kicked him.

Mr Otuneyinwa managed to get to his feet and flee to the home of neighbour Jean Young.

Bleeding profusely from a gash on the back of his head he smashed a pane of glass in her front door in his desperation to get help.

On Friday, dreadlocked Francis was back in the dock for sentence and his barrister, George Threlfall, urged the court not to pass as long a jail term as the 9-16 year bracket in the sentencing guidelines suggested.

“This is an unusual case because the defendant is not a man who is habitually given to violence or going into peoples’ houses,” said the barrister.

“I think I can say as a matter of common sense that this offence was drug related, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said he agreed, with the evidence at the trial showing Francis was agitated, disturbed and incoherent that day.

He said the scenario appeared to be that on his way to visit a poorly cousin in St Philip’s Close, Francis had witnessed a road accident and had been so disturbed by it he stopped and smoked some cannabis which he found to be unusually strong.

He then arrived at his aunt’s house, was upset by the condition of his cousin, and went out to smoke again – before wandering into Mr Otuneyinwa’s home by mistake.

Mr Threlfall said “He had smoked some skunk on route to his aunt’s house.

“It was stronger than he was used to and clearly took him by surprise – it ambushed him and destabilised his equilibrium.

“It is an illustration of the dangers of smoking cannabis.”

Francis was ‘deeply and genuinely remorseful’ about what he had done, the barrister said.

“Everyone who knows him speaks of him as a gentle, kind and loving partner and father. His relationship with his partner is solid and will endure the long separation while he is incarcerated.

“He is absolutely determined to stop smoking cannabis and to take advantage of the time in prison to overcome his dyslexia and learn to read.”

Sam Small, prosecuting, said Mr Otuneyinwa and his family had been so traumatised by the incident that they feel they will have to move house before Francis is released from prison.

Jailing Francis for ten years the judge told him “Mr Otuneyinwa’s life has been turned upside down by this. He has installed burglar alarms and bought himself a dog to protect himself and his young boy who was in the house at the time and was aware of something terrible taking place.

“Your childrens’ [sic] lives and indeed your partner’s life and your own have also been transformed – all because you decided to continue to break the law and smoke this drug.”

Francis blew a kiss to the public gallery before being taken to the cells.


Man jailed after leaving girlfriend for dead in Camden Road hotel – because he ‘thought dead friend was communicating with her’

Ham & High | 20 Aug 2019 |

A former student at City Academy, Hackney, he had been “smoking cannabis and drinking brandy” to excess in the weeks between his friend’s murder and the attack on Ms Albano. But despite smoking in the hotel bathroom, he had not been incapacitated by drink or drugs on the night in question, the court heard.

Japhet Bokwa, 19, was convicted of the brutal assault – which has left his former partner Joana Albano, with permanent brain damage – earlier this year.

He will serve a minimum of six and a half years in prison – less the year and a month he has spent on remand.

Judge John Dodds QC said the life sentence was justified because “there’s no way of telling the length of time you will remain dangerous”.

The attack happened at the Dome Camden hotel in June last year.

The young couple – who were both studying for further education qualifications – chose to stay the night there.

In the morning, Bokwa left the hotel after 11.30. Ms Albano – 18 at the time of the attack and from Hoxton – was found on the floor of their room with horrific injuries to her head, face, neck, arms and legs.

She spent the next seven months in a vegetative state.

Passing sentence, Judge Dodds said he had been left with no option but to consider Bokwa as dangerous and lock him up for life given the level of violence used towards the “much-loved” Ms Albano and the fact it had coincided with a psychotic episode – which medical experts had told the court was “likely” to happen again.

The unusually low minimum tariff reflected the fact that, in different circumstances, the judge would have passed a 13-year sentence.

He said: “On June 15 last year you and your girlfriend booked into a hotel in Camden intending to spend the night together. You left the hotel the following day. Your girlfriend was close to death. She had been brutally assaulted many times and left in a state of undress.

“You came very close to murdering her – that’s the harsh reality of this case. She had her whole life before her and you have taken that away from her and her family. She was an intelligent and ambitious young woman with great plans for the future. Those plans have been dashed.

“No sentence I can pass today can possibly […] repair the damaged caused.”

In mitigation, defence lawyer Ms Nerida Harford-Bell said Bokwa had been disturbed by the murder of “close friend” Israel Ogunsola in April 2018. Israel was stabbed by Jonathan Abora and another man who has yet to be found in Link Street, Hackney.

“That’s very much the background,” Ms Harford-Bell said, adding Bokwa had “no history of violence, anti-social behaviour or any criminal behaviour” prior to the attack.

The judge accepted Bokwa had suffered a pyschotic episode either during the attack or in its immediate aftermath.

A former student at City Academy, Hackney, he had been “smoking cannabis and drinking brandy” to excess in the weeks between his friend’s murder and the attack on Ms Albano. But despite smoking in the hotel bathroom, he had not been incapacitated by drink or drugs on the night in question, the court heard.

Although Bokwa did not give evidence, he had told a member of staff at the John Howard secure unit – where he was held for a number of months after being sectioned following his arrest – that he had “believed his dead friend was communicating with her” and that Ms Albano was “possessed by the devil”.

In a statement read in court by prosecutor Ms Usha Shergill on behalf of Ms Albano’s family, her cousin said: “The events of June 15, 2018, have totally transformed our lives. She was outgoing, focused and independent and she had a close network of friends. She was like a sister, and I remain in disbelief and shock.”

After the sentencing, Det Con Paul Needley of Camden and Islington’s safeguarding unit told this newspaper: “Bokwa’s actions resulted in what the judge rightly described as a brutal and sustained attack on a defenceless and innocent young woman. This attack has led to her life being altered forever.

“Domestic violence is a serious crime. It is a crime perpetrated by someone you love and who is supposed to love you. This case illustrates the real damage caused by this sort of offence.”

The detective added that, although Ms Albano had been unable to speak for herself at the trial, Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service “will always stand with victims of this horrendous crime and will prosecute those who perpetrate it”.



Prolific cannabis smoker and dealer stabs to death prolific cannabis smoker and dealer who stole his scooter

A dismal case that reeks of cannabis: Three men guilty of killing teenager Brandon Regan – trial updates

“Steven Jones suffered no injury. He was never struck a single blow. He stabbed Brandon Regan with a knife four times, in his own evidence as hard as he possibly could, and the final blow in the middle of the back broke the rib.”


Does knife and gun crime have anything to do with controlling drug markets?

An updated version of an article from several months ago.

In an article of February 2019, the Sun, as numerous other newspapers and activists have done before and since, claimed that ‘knife crime and shootings are on the rise fuelled by gang rivalry and disputes over drug markets.’ This theory is appealing, but erroneous. It is the effect of cannabis on the mind, not a desire to control the trade in it, that is the more common and important factor. To analyse this, let us examine the 132 cases of homicide that occurred in London in 2018.

Over 70 of these cases patently have nothing to do with gangs seeking to control a drugs market, but may have a lot to do with minds unhinged from drug consumption. They include:

  • a man who violently murdered an elderly neighbour, then set fire to her house;
  • a man who killed his wife with a meat cleaver;
  • a man who stabbed his wife to death, then drugged their two sons with a sedative and threw them and himself off a cliff;
  • a man who stabbed and strangled his wife in front of their young son;
  • a man who killed his heavily pregnant wife with a crossbow (which the eight-month-old baby survived);
  • a man who killed his wife of 50 years after she left him for another man;
  • a man who strangled his wife and set her body alight after taking out a £300,000 life insurance policy;
  • a woman stabbed over 50 times in her home by her nephew, who once claimed he was Jesus Christ and wished to be renamed ‘Emperor’;
  • a mentally ill man who strangled his mother and stabbed her with a knitting needle the day after she had taken him to hospital;
  • a man who strangled his mother after she asked him to move out of the family home;
  • a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’ man who stabbed his mother;
  • a man who killed his ex-wife after she refused to sleep with him ‘one last time’;
  • a man who stabbed his heavily pregnant girlfriend to death with a pair of scissors, killing the seven-month-old baby;
  • a man who stabbed his girlfriend over 50 times after he discovered another man had sent her a photo of his penis;
  • a woman who killed her neighbour with broken bottles, scissors and an ashtray;
  • a woman who killed her friend with a pair of scissors after a drunken night out;
  • a man who stabbed his brother to death, barricaded himself in his bedroom, and was eventually sectioned;
  • an inmate at HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs stabbed to death in his cell;
  • a shopkeeper killed by a head injury suffered during a fall caused by a drunk 16-year-old boy to whom he refused to sell Rizla papers;
  • a burglar who stabbed a pensioner in his home;
  • a fashion model who stabbed another model in a row over a girlfriend;
  • an illegal immigrant who stabbed a colleague 12 times with an axe after the victim discovered he’d been stealing money from their employer;
  • a man who stabbed his flatmate in a ‘drunken row’;
  • a man who stabbed his flatmate with a potato peeler;
  • a man who killed a friend in a row over a motorbike;
  • a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’ man who stabbed his 56-year-old female flatmate repeatedly and doused her body in lighter fluid after she failed to flush the toilet;
  • a prostitute who deliberately started a fire at a hotel that killed one of the hotel’s employees;
  • a young man stabbed in a shopping centre by a gang of five “hell bent on causing as much torment and misery as they could that evening, to anyone in particular”, according to a senior police officer;
  • a man who knocked a fellow bus passenger to the ground and repeatedly stamped on his head, then falsely claimed in court that he knew the victim and murdered him over a previous dispute;
  • a former altar-boy who viciously stabbed a convicted paedophile to death after learning that he once sexually abused a six-year-old girl;
  • a former ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ finalist murdered by her boyfriend;
  • the crushing to death of three-year-old Alfie Hoare;
  • the poisoning of prominent American businessman Eric Michels by a man he met on a gay dating app;
  • a man who killed a transgender woman.

In a further ten cases there is no mention of drugs or drug gang rivalry, while 38 cases are awaiting a verdict or a trial, or are still being investigated, but without any mention or suggestion that the death was the result of gangs fighting over trading areas.

That leaves 11 cases, nine of which say little about the wisdom of legalising cannabis as a pleasure drug and a great deal about the staggering effects it can have on mental health.

In one, a cannabis dealer named Mark Fontaine was stabbed to death by three teenagers because he refused to return a phone one of them dropped in his car during a failed mugging some days earlier.

In a similar case, Abdirahman Abdullahi was acquitted of both the murder and manslaughter of 25-year-old Ali Al Har, whom he knew, after robbing him at knifepoint of a large quantity of cannabis, of which he was found guilty. Moments after being robbed, Mr Har chased his assailant and a grapple ensued, in which Abdullahi fatally stabbed his victim in ‘self-defence’ with a ‘fearsome’ knife he had been carrying.

In another, 20-year-old Osman Shidane was stabbed to death by his 16-year-old cannabis dealer during a rendezvous that was not the first of its kind between the two, and to which both went armed with knives. The cause of the dispute is unknown, but there is no suggestion that the killer considered the victim a threat to his illegal trade.

46-year-old Ian Tomlin was beaten to death with a baseball bat and stabbed in the neck by two drug dealers he had aggressively confronted (the bat was his own) near his home in Battersea, the climax of many months of tension between the three men.

Daniel Frederick was stabbed to death in a case of mistaken identity in an unprovoked attack outside his home as he returned to his pregnant girlfriend by five stoned youths seeking revenge for an attack on one of their friends in prison by a member of a rival gang they wrongly believed their victim to be part of.

Alex Glanfield-Collis plunged a seven-inch hunting knife into her ‘controlling and domineering’ boyfriend as he slept, then smoked a joint and drank a beer as he lay dying.

Martin Welsh was stabbed to death by his wife during one of their frequent rows, which occurred despite the fact or because the couple smoked cannabis together.

30-year-old Marcel Campbell died after being stabbed 17 times by 22-year-old Reece Williams, who was cleared of murder, but found guilty of manslaughter. Williams claims the reason he joined Mr Campbell in a van being driven by one of Campbell’s friends the fateful afternoon was to purchase cannabis from Mr Campbell.

Why Gary Hopkins decided to violently murder his young drug-dealing associate Abdi Ali with a claw hammer and knife one August day in the house he (Hopkins) shared with his wife and three children remains a mystery (he is said to simply have “lost it”), but the nature of the crime, the fearful testimony of his wife that her husband was a “loose cannon” and Hopkins’ subsequent attempts to intimidate other dealers by showing them the body of Ali in his loft (which would lead to his arrest and conviction) suggest a level of mental lucidity that is less than total.

Finally, there is the murder of Rotimi Oshibanjo by his half-brother Mark Tyrone Thomas, who was wrongly convinced that his sibling was having an affair with his girlfriend. A report of the trial notes: ‘Over the last sixth months before the incident, [Thomas] started to change… His appearance declined, he was scruffy and he stopped bathing. He was listening to conspiracy theories on his laptop and smoking cannabis.’

That leaves two cases, the murders of Balbir Johal and Memunatu Warne, that ostensibly occurred because of rival drug gangs fighting over trading territory. When the trial in the former case ended, the Daily Mail claimed in its headline ‘Two drug dealers who killed rival, 48, with large kitchen knife after they caught him selling crack cocaine and heroin on their patch are jailed for a total of 43 years’, but this is contradicted by the defendants’ barrister, who said in mitigation, “there is no evidence of a drugs war or drugs feud…Southall [where the murder occurred] is a large place”, adding that the meeting of victim and assailants was a coincidence. It also appears that the defendants initially wanted only to intimidate the victim, but one of them, when beaten off, went back to his car to fetch a large kitchen knife. Put all this together, and what we have is not a simmering gang rivalry exacerbated by slim profit margins, but two young and likely drug-addled men who, after a pitiful attempt to intimidate a fellow drug dealer, reacted with savage violence.

The tragic death of Memunatu Warne, a 46-year-old headmistress from Sierra Leone, in a fire that was started deliberately, is the only remaining case that appears to fit the popular theory that London and the UK are awash with charismatic drug dealers who make calculated business decisions to eliminate rivals. Even here, though, as the prosecuting barrister in the trial acknowledged, there is no “direct evidence what the motive for it was”. Without that evidence, we are left with a case that resembles many others in this list and on this site in a number of telling ways: young men (aged 26 and 22) of no fixed address, with ready access to mind-altering drugs, commit a psychotic yet cack-handed and failed assassination. Had they crunched the numbers, and decided that the only way their illegal enterprise could survive was to eliminate a particular rival? Or was there very little in their heads at all, other than paranoia, insecurity and rage? Naturally, the Evening Standard, a new mouthpiece for Big Dope, claimed that this was a case of drug dealers attacking a ‘rival’s’ home, as it elsewhere claims that only with legalisation of cannabis will attacks like this cease. It is instead, as so often, the effect of cannabis on the brain, not a desire to control the trade in it, that is the prime factor.

Those ten shocking cases of psychopathic violence committed by men against women

Here are the ten cases (from a catalogue of hundreds) that I list in my recent article for Conservative Woman:

Youth guilty of Dundee murder:  ‘The court heard that McIntosh [the defendant], who had been smoking cannabis, alarmed three strollers on Law Hill with his odd behaviour shortly before the killing.’ (17 Apr 2002)

Killer’s chilling promise to victim: ‘She [Stephanie Hancock] was strangled, battered and stabbed at her Hampshire home. Winchester Crown Court heard how Caswell, 31, was unable to accept their relationship had ended. Days before the murder he told a friend that he would “probably kill her”. He fulfilled his promise on July 22 by murdering Stephanie as she slept at their home on Pegasus Close, Gosport. The court also heard how Caswell suffered from a personality disorder because of a long-term dependence on cannabis.’ (19 Dec 2002)

Jodi’s killer to serve at least 20 years in jail: ‘The boyfriend of Jodi Jones was told yesterday that he would spend at least 20 years behind bars for the murder of the 14-year-old schoolgirl. Sentencing Luke Mitchell, 16, at Edinburgh high court, Lord Nimmo Smith linked the attack to the killer’s heavy cannabis use and fascination with the occult and the goth rocker Marilyn Manson… The judge also linked Mitchell’s use of cannabis to the killing. “I do not subscribe to the notion that this is a harmless recreational drug,” he said. “In your case, I think that it may well have contributed to your being unable to make the distinction between fantasy and reality which is essential for normal moral judgments [sic]”.’ (12 Feb 2005)

Skunk addicted schizophrenic fulfils sick fantasy by killing a black woman:  ‘Psychiatric reports stated that Maxwell was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, and his abnormality was so great that it affected his judgment [sic].The reports also said his condition was exacerbated by the heavy use of skunk.’ (3 Apr 2007)

Teen guilty of dog walker murder: ‘Adrian Jones, 17, beat Kelly Hyde, 24, from Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, around the head with a barbell. Jones did not know his victim and police said they still did not know his motive. He sobbed in the dock as the verdict was read out… He told the jury he came across a dog lead used by Ms Hyde as he walked along the bridle path smoking cannabis on the day she disappeared.’ (17 July 2008)

Cannabis smoking led to brutal killing, court hears: ‘Marc Middlebrook, 27, had ignored repeated warnings to quit the drug when he stabbed Stephanie Barton 15 times with three knives as she lay naked in his bed. Middlebrook had become convinced she was part of a plot to kill him and he “wanted to put her out of her misery”.’ (7 Oct 2008)

Cannabis-smoking schizophrenic butchered gran on Christmas Day after wishing her a ‘merry Christmas’: ‘Labourer Maxwell Twyman, who had smoked super-strength skunk for the previous 10 years, knifed 62-year-old Valerie as she lay in bed in the Kent home they shared. After the brutal killing the 25-year-old calmly walked round to his aunt and uncle’s house to wish them season’s greetings and deliver presents before confessing: ‘I’ve killed my grandmother.’ (21 Nov 2008)

Gemma Simpson death: Martin Bell jailed for 12 years: ‘The new report confirmed that doctors had considered Bell’s cannabis use may have contributed to or exacerbated Bell’s illness and he had smoked the drug on the day he killed Miss Simpson in his Harrogate flat.’ (19 Dec 2014)

Church-going cannabis user who strangled his grandmother and drowned his aunt is jailed for life: ‘Christopher Whelan, 21, armed himself with an axe and a pen knife during the killing of Julie Hill, 51, and 75-year-old Rose Hill after cannabis use “exacerbated” his violent thoughts linked to an obsessional disorder.’ (21 Nov 2016)

Xixi Bi Llandaff murder: Jordan Matthews jailed for life: ‘He accepted he was smoking “quite a lot” of cannabis at the time and the court heard he felt “insecure” when his girlfriend visited her family in China.’ (21 Feb 2017)

An article in ‘The Conservative Woman’

‘THERE are many angles from which one can argue that cannabis is a dangerous drug, but, writing for The Conservative Woman for the first time, I shall take one I have emphasised only little since founding the website Attacker Smoked Cannabis last year, and that is the astonishing number of cases of psychopathic violence committed by men against women.’


Every word of judge’s speech as he locked up two teenagers following death of Yousef Makki

Manchester Evening Post | 25 July 2019 |

It is rightly recognised on your behalf that your use of cannabis that day, by your own admissions is an aggravating factor. As reflected in the evidence before me, cannabis consumption can alter peoples’ perception and behaviour.

You stand to be sentenced following your guilty pleas, in the case of the first defendant to one count of perverting the course of justice and one count of possession of a bladed article, and in the case of the second defendant to one count of possession of a bladed article.

Reporting restrictions apply in this case as you were each 17 at the time of commission of the offences for which you stand to be sentenced, and remain 17 at the time of sentence.

Accordingly I shall refer to you as D1 and D2.

At the end of a four week trial, you D1, were acquitted by the jury of the murder of 17 year old Yousef Makki on 2 March 2019 in Gorse Bank Road Hale Barns, the fatal injury to Yousef Makki being inflicted by a flick knife that you were holding at the time and which is the subject matter of your plea of guilty to possession of a bladed article.

It was one of a pair purchased by you D2 by mail order over the internet from China using a false name and delivered to the address of an unwitting friend. Your plea of guilty relates to your possession of one of those two flick knives on 2 March.

The count of perverting the course of justice relates to the misleading information that you D1 gave to the police at the scene which diverted police attention away from you and falsely suggested that those responsible for the stabbing had made good their escape in a grey VW Polo, which was taken seriously by the senior officer at the scene (PS Bamber), as is readily apparent from the body worn footage, and led PS Bamber to circulate the information on the police network.

The backdrop to your offending is depressingly all too familiar. A warped culture whereby the possession of knives is considered to be “cool” and “aesthetically pleasing”, and knives are routinely carried on our streets.

Mix that with youth as well as drugs and drug dealing, as in the present case, and it is a recipe for disaster and the tragic, but all too predictable, events that unfolded on the early evening of 2 March 2019, with the loss of the young life of your friend Yousef Makki who had everything to live for, and the irreperable [sic] harm that resulted, which has changed the lives of his family and friends forever.

The victim impact statement of Yousef’s mother speaks volumes in that regard.

You will both have to live with your actions that day and the consequences of the same for the rest of your lives. That is a different form of sentence to the sentences that I can and must pass in respect of the offending to which you have pleaded guilty.

It is a sentence from which there is no appeal, and it is a sentence that will never be spent.

The sentences I must now pass are for the offending to which you have pleaded guilty based on the seriousness and culpability of that offending, and nothing else. They are not based, and cannot be based, by reference to the tragic loss of a young life on that fateful evening.

From the evidence I have heard in the course of your trial it is clear that both of you had an unhealthy fixation with knives which is all too common amongst the youth of today. It must stop. There is nothing cool about knives.

Their carrying all too often leads to their use and to tragedy, and it is a fallacy that they can keep you safe – very much the reverse, as events all too often demonstrate.

Knife crime is a canker on society, and it affects all spectrums of society – the message that must be brought home is that knives kill, and knives ruin lives.

The best legacy of Yousef’s tragic death would be if this message could be got across – and knives regarded as “uncool” by the young in society going forward.

You D1 have admitted that you found knives “cool” and found particular knives “aesthetically pleasing”. You videoed yourself with knives – including a machete in your bedroom which you wielded with slashing motions at two friends, and stabbed your bed whilst seemingly acting out violent scenarios.

This seems to have led to a normalising process by which you became over familiar with the carrying of a knife, and with its handling.

You also listened to drill music and gangster rap glorifying the carrying and use of knives. I am quite satisfied that the use of such a soundtrack on one of your videos was not coincidental, but whether that is so or not it is clear that you associated yourself with the lyrics of that genre of music and the constant references to the carrying and use of “shanks” which deadened you to the risks and consequences of the carrying of knives.

You D2 also clearly have a fascination with knives. It was at your initiative that you went to the trouble and expense of importing the two flick knives by mail order from China. This required planning and conscious intent. You used a false name and you persuaded an unwitting friend to have parcels delivered to his home which unknown to him contained the flick knives. He was horrified, and rightly so, when he discovered the content of the parcels.

You wrongly regarded knives as something to show off and create an image with.

Those two flick knives had a sharp thin pointed blade that was deployed and retracted with the pressing of a button on the shaft of the knife. They are offensive weapons with no legitimate purpose. They are designed by their very nature to injure or to kill.

The ease with which they can do so was graphically illustrated in the present case. Neither of you had any legitimate reason for their possession, still less in a public place. It is no excuse D1 that you had be [sic] attacked in the past. That is not an excuse to carry a knife.

The adage that death and serious injury are far more likely to occur when a knife is present is all too true. You D1 say that you now recognise that – I hope that is true.

So it was that in the early afternoon of 2 March 2019 you two and Yousef Makki cycled into the Booths car park at Hale. You D1 are seen smoking a spliff as you arrive.

By your own admission you had more cannabis in your bag. We know from the toxicology evidence that following the stabbing both you and Yousef each had the products of cannabis and the benzodiazepine alzalopram (xanax) in your bloodstream.

We also know, by your own admission, that you D2 also smoked cannabis that afternoon. We will never know the precise amount of cannabis constituents in your bloodstream as your blood was never tested. It was also you D2 who arranged the ill-fated drug deal for you to purchase cannabis from your drug supplier that afternoon.

Before departing for that drugs meet the three of you compared knives, and Yousef showed you, D1, how the flick knives operated. Either at that time or later at the drugs meet you D1 came into possession of one of the flick knives from D2 that D2 had previously purchased.

You D2, by your plea of guilty, admit that you had one of the flick knives in your possession that afternoon.

For whatever reason (and the jury rejected the prosecution case that you conspired together to steal the cannabis) the drugs meet was not a success, and you D1 were beaten up and your expensive carbon fibre bicycle was thrown over a hedge.

You were to search for that bike for over an hour, it appears without success. On any view, and as you admit, you were angry with D2 and Yousef for leaving you, though you told the jury you were more angry with D2, and that Yousef helped you look for your bike.

The precise events that followed will never be known. What is known is that an altercation followed between you D1 and Yousef, during the course of which he suffered a fatal injury from the knife that you produced, and was one of the two knives that D2 had purchased.

Your immediate reaction to those events when the police arrived at the scene, and whilst attempts were being made to save Yousef’s life, D1, was to provide misleading information to the police which diverted police attention away from you and falsely suggested that those responsible for the stabbing had made good their escape in a grey VW Polo, which was taken seriously by the senior officer at the scene (PS Bamber), as is readily apparent from the body worn footage, and led PS Bamber to circulate the information on the police network.

Turning then to the approach to sentencing you in relation to the offences to which you have pleaded guilty.

You were both 17 years old at the time of the offences remain 17 years old as at the date of sentence. In sentencing you I confirm that I have had regard to, as I am required to do, the aim of the youth justice system which is to prevent offending by children and young people (Section 37 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998), and your welfare (Section 44 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933).

I have also taken full account of the Overarching Principles of Sentencing Youths guidelines issued by the Sentencing Council which apply.

In this regard whilst the seriousness of the offences will be the starting point, the approach to sentencing should be individualistic and focussed upon each of you.

I bear well in mind that children and young people are not fully developed and have not attained full maturity, and that the impact of punishment is likely to be felt more heavily by a child or young person in comparison to an adult.

I also bear well in mind that any restriction on liberty must be commensurate with the seriousness of the offence, and that in considering the seriousness of any offence it is necessary to consider the child or young person’s culpability in committing the offence and any harm which the offence caused, was intended to cause or might foreseeably have caused.

Turning then to the offences in respect of which you have pleaded guilty addressing first the count of perverting the course of justice to which you D1 have pleaded guilty. In this regard it is well established that the three factors to which the court should have regard are (1) the seriousness of the substantive offence to which the perverting of the course of justice relates (2) the degree of persistence in the conduct; and (3) the effect of the attempt to pervert the course of justice on the course of justice itself.

Guidance has been given recently in R v Coslett (Catherine) 2017 EWCA Crim 2376 . The principles to be applied are set out at paragraphs [16] to [22], in particular:

“16. Our attention was invited to the judgment of Stanley Burnton LJ in Tunney [2007] 1 Cr App R(S) 91, in which the court provided some guidance on sentencing for this kind of offence. He observed at paragraph 10: “The particular factors which the court must have regard to are, first, the seriousness of the substantive offence to which the perverting of the course of justice relates. Here the offence in question, murder/manslaughter, was at the most serious end of the spectrum. The second matter which the court must have regard to is the degree of persistence in the conduct in question by the offender. […] Thirdly, one must consider the effect of the attempt to pervert the course of justice on the course of justice itself. Here it is unsuccessful. Nonetheless, the substantive offence of murder or manslaughter could scarcely have been more serious.”

17. Other decisions were put before us in which the court has adopted a similar approach. They were said to establish the following principles:

18. A sentence of immediate custody is required in all but the most exceptional circumstances (Attorney General’s Reference No 35 of 2009 [2010] 1 Cr App R(S) 61 at paragraph 11).


20. Where the offender provides a false account to the police investigating a serious offence: “The general area of starting point for offences in the particular circumstances of this kind is bound to be measured in years rather than months, something probably between two and three years.”

21. (Attorney General’s Reference No 109 of 2010 [2010] EWCA Crim 2382).

Applying those principles to the present case. Here the seriousness of the substantive offence to which the perverting of the course of justice relates was at the most serious end of the spectrum, namely the murder or manslaughter of Yousef Makki.

Secondly in terms of the degree of persistence, you maintained this false account throughout the time at the scene and indeed it was some 24 hours before you corrected your lies.

Thirdly, and whatever scepticism was expressed about consistency of accounts and whether the full story was coming out, your account was taken seriously, you were treated at the scene as a witness not a suspect, and I have no doubt whatsoever that valuable police resources were wasted whilst a futile search was no doubt being made for the VW Polo – resources which would otherwise have been available to others in immediate need.

You lied convincingly and it did mislead the police.

Your conduct in terms of the disposal of the knife was an aggravating feature of your offending in this regard, but I will be careful to ensure that there is no double counting as this was also an aggravating feature in your offending in terms of possession of a bladed article.

You, as well as D2, are clearly, intelligent young people with a good education. It would be an insult to your obvious intelligence to suggest that either of you were unaware of the seriousness of the offence of carrying a knife in public and the risk of very serious harm that could result from the use of the type that you each had in your possession.

I note that you D1 were assessed by Ms Widdowson, in her detailed pre-sentence report, as having thinking and maturity skills commensurate with your age.

So far as the offence of perverting the course of justice, this is an even more serious offence striking, as it does, at the very heart of the judicial system.

Given your intelligence and level of comprehension and maturity displayed by the manner in which you gave evidence, which I was well placed to assess over an extended period during the trial, you D1 cannot but have been aware of the seriousness of what had just occurred and as to the serious effect of your lies on the course of justice, lies that you persevered in for some considerable time as you gave your initial accounts.

Again I note that Ms Widdowson assessed your emotional and cognitive maturity as commensurate with your age.

I am satisfied that you had the necessary maturity to understand the consequences of your actions – as did D2 in relation to the offending to which he has pleaded guilty.

I recognise that young people are prone to impulsive behaviour and may not appreciate the impact of their behaviour, but I am satisfied you were both aware of the dangers of carrying knives, and you D1 lied and lied convincingly to the police at the scene.

Whilst not cynical or pre-meditated your lying occurred with knowledge of what had just occurred and with clear intent of diverting the police’s attention away from you. There was nothing impulsive about your convincing account to officers at the scene.

The officers’ actions as a result of your account speak for themselves.

I bear well in mind the matters identified by your counsel in their helpful sentencing note, in particular that you had yourself been subject to a violent attack earlier in the evening from the Choudhary brothers and were involved in an altercation with Yousef that had led to his death from a knife in your hand, in circumstances where you considered that you needed to defend yourself.

I also bear in mind that you were aware that you had caused at the very least very serious injury to your friend, and I have no doubt that it was a very traumatic experience as you attempted to save Yousef’s life in the immediate aftermath of your actions.

Nevertheless I do not agree that your actions were unsophisticated or ineffectual, at least in the short term – anyone who has seen your performance on the body worn footage will appreciate that your performance was convincing as evinced by the fact that despite a potential fatality having occurred and you being at the scene, you were not treated as a suspect, and as your account was given, updates were given by PS Bamber clearly designed to search for the presumed offenders.

Your lies may have been short-lived and ill conceived but they had a real effect on the contemporaneous operational activities. Nor were they doomed to fail had you not had a change of heart and had the weapon not been located.

I bear well in mind the fact that you are of previous good character, the mitigation offered on your behalf and the character reference I have been provided with.

In particular I bear in mind that you faced charges of the utmost gravity from March to July 2019 and that your conduct has been the subject of intense media comment both before and after the verdicts, not all of which has been focussed upon the evidence that was heard by the jury.

I have also given very careful consideration to the contents of Ms Widdowson’s pre-sentence report which has been prepared with obvious care and identifies that you D1 know that you are facing a custodial sentence, and that a custodial sentence would go a long way in reinforcing to you that offences of this nature are extremely serious.

On any view the custody threshold has been passed and passed by some margin. This is not a case in which a referral order would be appropriate as Ms Widdowson recognises. I am asked to consider the possibility of a community disposal in the form of a Youth Rehabilitation Order with an Intensive Supervision Requirement, and I have given that careful consideration.

However a community disposal, as reflected in such an order, would not reflect the seriousness of your offending in relation to perverting the course of justice and possession of a bladed article and the circumstances of this case that I have identified.

I have had regard to your welfare and to the need to provide for your education and training and I am satisfied that your offending is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified. I am therefore going to make a Detention and Training Order.

Had you been an adult I consider that your offending is so serious that an appropriate starting point would have been one of 3 years’ imprisonment.

I bear well in mind your age, your previous good character and your personal mitigation. Given your age (17) and maturity (which I was well placed to assess during the course of your trial and giving evidence and consider to be at least equivalent to your chronological age if not greater) I consider a sentence around two-thirds of the adult sentence would be appropriate having regard to such matters as well as your personal mitigation.

Before full credit for your guilty plea I consider that the appropriate sentence would be 24 months. However I will also take into account the time you have spent on qualifying curfew (equivalent to 138 days) and also take into account that you have been subject to an intensive supervision and surveillance package.

Taking all that into account, and after giving you full credit for your guilty plea, I will round your sentence down to a 12 months Detention and Training Order.

This is the shortest period which in my opinion matches the seriousness of your offending and the mitigating factors in your case.

Turning to your plea of guilty to possession of a bladed article. This is clearly Category A offending with a starting point for an adult of 6 months with a range of 3 months to 1 year.

I have had specific regard to the Bladed Articles and Offensive Weapons (Possession and Threats) – Children and Young People Guideline, which identifies that in relation to possession of a bladed article whether produced or not a custodial sentence or youth rehabilitation order with intensive supervision and surveillance may be justified. In the present case the knife was not only produced by you D1, but inflicted a fatal wound upon Yousef. There is the significant aggravating factor of the attempts to conceal or dispose of evidence – which is common ground.

The toxicology reports also show that you had alprazolam (xanax) a benzodiazepine, and Carboxy-THC a constituent of cannabis, in your bloodstream when tested later that night (and so at the time of your offending).

I have had regard to the agreed facts and the medical evidence of Dr Wilson. Dr Wilson’s evidence, which I accept, is that these can alter peoples’ perception and behaviour.

Whilst it is not possible to say precisely what influence such drugs had on you, I consider the use of such drugs is an aggravating factor. At the end of the day you drew a knife in public which was on any view an unwise thing to do, and your judgment cannot have been assisted by prior consumption of both a benzodiazepine and cannabis.

I also bear in mind the established evidence of community wide impact of knife crime (such wider impact being an aggravating factor under the Sentencing Children and Young Person Definitive Guideline).

Again I have had regard to your welfare and to the need to provide for your education and training. In all the circumstances I consider that the seriousness of your offending is such that only a custodial sentence can be justified.

If you had been an adult I consider that the appropriate sentence would have been one of 11 months’ imprisonment. Having regard to your age and the personal mitigation offered on your behalf and to totality (and having studiously avoiding any double-counting), I consider that after giving you full credit for your guilty plea the appropriate sentence is a Detention and Training Order of 4 months, consecutive to the sentence passed for perverting the course of justice.

This is the shortest period which in my opinion matches the seriousness of your offending and the mitigating factors in your case. The total period of your Detention and Training Order is accordingly 16 months (as to permissible DTO consecutive sentences see R v G.N. 2000 WL 1480067).

You can expect to serve up to one half of the sentence in detention and training. When you are released, you will be under supervision until the sentence has ended.

If you break the terms of your supervision or commit a further offence during that period, a court can order your detention in secure accommodation.

D2, you stand to be sentenced for one offence of possessing a bladed article. In your case too this is clearly Category A offending with a starting point for an adult of 6 months with a range of 3 months to 1 year. I have had specific regard to the Bladed Articles and Offensive Weapons (Possession and Threats) – Children and Young People Guideline, which identifies that in relation to possession of a bladed article whether produced or not a custodial sentence or youth rehabilitation order with intensive supervision and surveillance may be justified.

It is rightly recognised on your behalf that your use of cannabis that day, by your own admissions is an aggravating factor. As reflected in the evidence before me, cannabis consumption can alter peoples’ perception and behaviour.

It will never be known if you were actually under the influence of cannabis (as your blood was never tested) but you had consumed cannabis that day and on D1’s account that would have been before the knife that inflicted the fatal wound was passed by you to D1 immediately before the drugs meet that you had arranged for you to purchase further cannabis.

That drugs meet, at which you were all present, followed on from a meeting in the Booths carpark where all the knives were out and compared, and cannabis was consumed by D1. Part of the factual matrix to your offending that I consider is also relevant is that you had purchased the two flick knives and had then given one of those flick knives to D1, which inflicted the fatal injury on Yousef Makki.

You also disposed of one of the knives (not the knife that inflicted the fatal wound, nor the knife that you had previously had in your possession) at the scene, and prior to the arrival of the police.

Again I also bear in mind the established evidence of community wide impact of knife crime (such wider impact being an aggravating factor under the Sentencing Children and Young Person Definitive Guideline).

I bear well in mind your age (17) and your previous good character (including the character references testifying to your character) and the personal mitigation offered on your behalf, including your age, your previous good character, your expressed remorse and regret and the impact of your offending upon you both in terms of the matters identified by Dr Latif, and also in terms of repercussions upon you.

I acknowledge that you yourself have suffered health wise and have been diagnosed with PTSD accompanied by a generalised anxiety disorder – but these are all consequences of your own actions that led up to the chain of events that resulted in the death of Yousef Makki from a knife you had purchased, and passed to D1, on your own admission.

I have had careful regard to the pre-sentence report prepared by Bonita Jordan. I do not consider that a referral Order with an Intensive Contract would begin to reflect the seriousness of your offending.

As with D1 I have given careful consideration to whether a community disposal in the form of a Youth Rehabilitation Order with Intensive Supervision and Surveillance would be appropriate. However a community disposal, as reflected in such an order, would not reflect the seriousness of your offending in relation to possession of a bladed article in the circumstances of this case. I have no doubt that a custodial placement whether in a YOI or a Secure Training Setting will be difficult for you, but you have committed a serious crime, and one that only justifies a custodial sentence.

There is a price to pay for your actions. I can only hope that other young people in your position will learn from your mistakes, and will be put off taking knives onto the streets.

I have had regard to your welfare and to the need to provide for your education and training and I am satisfied that your offending is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified. I am therefore going to make a Detention and Training Order.

Had you been an adult I consider that your offending is so serious that an appropriate starting point would have been one of 10 months’ imprisonment prior to mitigation and credit for guilty plea.

In all the circumstances, and after having full regard to the personal mitigation available to you and giving you full credit for your guilty plea, I consider that the appropriate sentence is a Detention and Training Order of 4 months.

This is the shortest period which in my opinion matches the seriousness of your offending and the mitigating factors in your case.

In reaching this sentence I have also given careful consideration to whether, in the exercise of my discretion, it would be appropriate to take into account time spent on non-qualifying curfew but in the circumstances of your offending, and the lack of electronic monitoring, I do not consider that it would be appropriate to do so.

I note the expressed concern about the impact of any custodial sentence on your ability to resume full time education. In terms of the length of sentence I have passed, the reality is that it is not of such length that it will prevent you carrying on studies in full time education upon your release, albeit it may delay the commencement of those studies depending on when you are released. A custodial sentence is, however, necessitated by the seriousness of your offending.

You can expect to serve up to one half of the sentence in detention and training. When you are released, you will be under supervision until the sentence has ended.

If you break the terms of your supervision or commit a further offence during that period, a court can order your detention in secure accommodation.

I order the forfeiture and destruction of the knives. The victim surcharge must be paid in each case and I make a collection order in that regard. I make no order as to prosecution costs.


A trio of modish, stupid, irresponsible dupes: Sir Norman Lamb (@normanlamb), Jonathan Djanogly (@JDjanogly) and David Lammy (@davidlammy)


Here is modern Britain: three MPs, one each from the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and Labour, standing contentedly in front of a large amount of a powerful and dangerous psychoactive pleasure drug, as part of a “fact-finding mission” in Canada paid for by a large cannabis company, accompanied by journalists from the BBC eager to report their “findings”.

This is dismaying and worrying in the extreme. It’s as if the recent flurry of psychopathic violence committed by cannabis smokers (with verdicts reached in eight murder trials this month alone) has reinvigorated the legalisation lobby. Rather than stop and admit that cannabis can never be safe, that the law against possession of it has not been enforced in any meaningful sense in Britain since 1973, and that legalisation will benefit only mega corporations and their allies in Big Tobacco, this trio of fools flies across the Atlantic to make propaganda for Big Dope. For the sake of balance, I wonder, will these same MPs go to Japan to learn how enforcement of the drug laws deters use? Of course not.

What this disgraceful sojourn shows, amongst many other things, is that there is no real difference between the three largest political parties in the UK. No party that supports this reckless and stupid policy will ever have my vote. I hope other voters will make the same pledge.

Mary Sowerby death: Son jailed for stabbing mum as she watched TV

BBC News | 24 July 2019 |

“The defendant was experiencing hallucinations, hearing voices and tried to cope by drinking and smoking cannabis.”

A man who stabbed his mum to death in a “brutal and frenzied” attack as she watched TV has been jailed for life.

Lee Sowerby, 45, stabbed Mary Annie Sowerby “with the largest kitchen knife possible” in her home in Dearham, Cumbria, on 22 January.

Preston Crown Court heard the 69-year-old was stabbed repeatedly in the chest and neck and died at the scene.

Sowerby pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to a minimum of 11 years.

Judge Mark Brown QC described Sowerby as “extremely dangerous”.

He said: “This was a brutal and frenzied attack on a victim who had no chance.

“You had considered ending her life for some time.

“The bitter ironies are that your mother had been devoted to you and done her very best for you.

Lee Sowerby

Prosecutor Tim Evans told the court that Sowerby had a history of mental health issues dating back to the mid-90s after taking drugs “as part of the rave scene”.

The court heard he had been diagnosed with Paranoia Schizophrenia and had previously been the subject of two hospital orders by courts, including in 2008 when he was “millimetres away” from stabbing his brother’s ex girlfriend.

He was given an absolute discharge in 2012 but by October 2018 his mental health was deteriorating as he refused to take his medication, the court was told.

A week before he stabbed his mum, Sowerby was taken by his father Leonard to a mental health team after he had walked to Dearham in the middle of the night.

Mr Evans said: “The defendant was experiencing hallucinations, hearing voices and tried to cope by drinking and smoking cannabis.

“Mr Sowerby senior was plainly seeking to support his son.”

In a victim impact statement, the Sowerby family said the death had been “devastating” and expressed “frustrations of failures at the hands of the mental health services”.

The judge said there were “justifiable concerns” about how the case had been handled, adding: “It does seem there should be some investigation or inquiry as to what has gone wrong.”

Sowerby had initially been charged with murder but his guilty plea to manslaughter was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.