The week in court: From Chelsea fan's Nazi gesture to Jeremy Vine 'road rage' latest

Friday, November 11, 2016

Court News and talkRADIO round up the most intriguing court stories from across the UK over the past week.

Featuring a paedophile 'sting' with a twist, the latest on the Grindr murder, and a bizarre excuse for a stabbing, we have combed the length and breadth of the country for the weirdest, most riveting stories.

Featuring the fall-out from the Jeremy Vine 'road rage' video, racism at Chelsea FC and the truth behind the Pentonville prison break, we have combed the length and breadth of the country for the weirdest, most riveting stories.


Pentonville prison breaker 'had left stranger on brink of death'

One of the two prisoners who escaped from Pentonville jail by placing dummies in their beds was facing sentence for leaving a stranger "on the brink of death."

Matthew Baker, 28, and James Whitlock, 31, made the pillows look like bodies before using diamond-tipped cutting equipment to break their cell bars.

The duo then scaled the perimeter wall of the north London prison. Neither man was believed to have been required for work duties, which delayed the detection of their escape.

Whitlock had been charged with 19 theft offences relating to ATMs across the southeast of England between last December and August this year.

Baker was facing sentence for the attempted murder of Matthew Bennett, 25, who was repeatedly stabbed with glass and a knife at a flat in Dagenham, Essex. Bennett was left with almost 50 scars to his body as well as injuries to his heart and lung.

One of the wounds to his ear penetrated the temporal lobe of his brain, his trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court heard. Doctors operated on Mr Bennett for nearly three hours in a desperate bid to save his life.

A jury convicted Baker of attempted murder last month, despite his denial.

He was arrested at an address in Ilford, north-east London, but Whitlock is still at large.

Jeremy Vine 'road rage' driver appears in court

A driver caught on camera screaming abuse at a BBC presenter as he cycled from work in an alleged road rage confrontation has appeared in court.

Shanique Pearson, 22, allegedly shouted at Radio 2 and Crimewatch presenter Jeremy Vine, 51, after he stopped in front of her car on Horton Street, Kensington.

Hammersmith Magistrates' Court heard Mr Vine posted the footage on his Facebook page and also passed it to the Metropolitan police after the incident on August 26.

The court was shown footage of the incident, captured by cameras mounted on the front and back of Vine's bike. The footage seems to show to show Vine being tailgated by a black Vauxhall.

Worried the car was too close, he stops in the road before the driver appears to jump out and charge towards the Radio 2 host to confront him.

She seems to shout: "Why did you do that, do you not respect your f***ing life? You lot pi** me off. I've got to be within a car's width of the parked cars."

There are shouts of "Get the f*** out of the road."

After overtaking Vine, the driver approaches him again shouting: "Take a picture of me again and I'll knock you out."

The footage was viewed more than half a million times online.

Wearing a faux-fur black jacket and striped top, Pearson, of Orsett Street, Vauxhall denied using threatening behaviour, using a vehicle without a valid license, and driving in a public place without consideration for others.

Chelsea fan claims he wasn't making Nazi salutes, just waving

A Chelsea season ticket holder who made 13 Nazi salutes at Spurs fans in just 15 minutes claimed he was just waving to his mates, a court heard.

Fabien Richardson, 21, was caught raising his arm with a straightened hand towards rival supporters in the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in May, which handed the title to Leicester.

Richardson was caught after an image of him doing the salute was posted on a forum run by the Kick it Out anti-racism group, Hammersmith Magistrates Court heard.

Richardson claimed he did not know what the salute meant, adding: "I'm not a racist, I was just an idiot."

Robert Simpson, prosecuting, said: "It was the Chelsea-Tottenham game, and the defendant was seen by members of the public doing a Nazi salute towards the Tottenham fans.

"A photograph was placed on a forum of Kick It Out [the anti-racism football body], and he was identified by Chelsea Football Club.

"He had his arm out at a 90-degree angle in a Nazi salute. He did this 13 times in 15 minutes.

"Asked in interview by police he said he didn't know what it was, and asked if he had seen it in war films he said he didn't think so.

"He told them he was waving to friends but couldn't name any."

Spurs have long-standing links to the Jewish faith, but Richardson claimed he had no knowlege of this.

He said: "I didn't know at the time what it meant, now I've researched it I do.

"Everyone was doing it, so I thought I would do it.

"I'm not a racist, I was just an idiot."

District Judge Mike Snow handed Richardson a three-year football banning order, meaning he cannot attend any football matches in the UK, and must surrender his passport for England away games.

He said: "You didn't grow up during the dark period of football in the 70s and 80s. During that time football matches were marred by abusive violence and language. We can't slip back into that period.

"You and I both know that Tottenham and Chelsea is one of the feistiest matches of the season. We both know, in reality, that Tottenham is a club associated with the Jewish faith. You and I both know those fans are regularly the subject of abuse based on that presumption."

Richardson, of Crawley, West Sussex, was handed a three-year football banning order. He was also handed a £250 fine, ordered to pay £85 costs, and a witness tax of £30.

Turkish pensioner jailed for stabbing rampage

A Turkish pensioner has been jailed for 20 years for trying to murder two women and stabbing two others just 90 minutes after he was released by police.

Ethem Orhon, 66, went on the rampage outside Sainsbury's in Hampton, south west London, a day after he was arrested on suspicion of drugs possession.

He was also found with a blade and held overnight, but bailed the next morning to attend court at a later date.

Orhon rushed home, grabbed a 'Leatherman' knife and went out on his rampage.

Mother-of-two Janet Morsy, 62, was left fighting for her life in hospital after she was stabbed a dozen times in the bloodbath, Kingston Crown Court heard.

Suzanna Brand, 54, Jean Sullivan, 68, and Charandasi Chandiramani, 71, were also seriously injured.

Two boys from Hampton School distracted Orhon, warned others and called police, remaining on the phone with the 999 operator the entire time.

One of the boys described him as "bat sh*t crazy."

Orhon threw down his knife and gave himself up moments later after a police officer threatened to Taser him.

Police searched Orhon's home and found a Tube guide with the words "murder at green lights" written in pen, a newspaper cutting about a terrorist attack and brochures advertising Leatherman knives.

Following his arrest the divorcee claimed he was "not himself" when he walked out of the police station and claimed he had been hypnotised and framed by the police.

He said: "I was not myself, I was just stabbing and stabbing. I never wanted to hurt anybody.

"I was like hypnotised, I was not in my own control. It was like I was under the control of someone else, I didn't intend to kill anyone.

"I went to get the knife but not with the intention to kill."

The jury of four men and eight women at Kingston Crown Court took four hours and 50 minutes to convict Orhon of two counts of attempted murder, and two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He had previous convictions for possessing an offensive weapon, shoplifting, one of obtaining property by deception, battery, disorderly behaviour and three of failing to surrender.

Orhon came to the UK from Turkey in 1989, and had lived in a council property for 14 years, a property that was only minutes away from the supermarket.

He said he was humiliated by police the day before the attacks after being arrested for alleged drugs possession.

He said: "They strip searched me and left me naked for 20 hours. They laughed and one whistled. I was treated like an animal."

Orhon told jurors he remembered going to the Sainsbury's, but didn't remember the attacks. However he said he was "expecting" a lengthy sentence.

Orhon, who lives in Hampton, denied two counts of attempted murder, and two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Judge Paul Dodgson told him: "Four ladies were going about their business. It may have been meeting their mother, going to the gym, catching a bus or doing some shopping.

"You were probably suffering from paranoid psychosis. You clearly have an unusual personality, you were out of touch with reality.

"There is nothing to suggest you didn't know the nature or the quality of your acts. You took that knife quite deliberately to Sainsbury's.

"You went there with the intention of stabbing people and hurting people. This was a planned attempt to kill."

Judge Dodgson then turned his attention to the bravery of the two boys who distracted Orhon.

Awarding them £1,000 each, he said: "Their actions and their courage almost certainly prevented an even worse disaster.

"They will be invited to a ceremony by the Sheffield of London to receive these awards."

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