The Police Took Care Of The Blues, But What Is The Government Aiming To Do About The Reds?

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05/00, KOMBRA DIVAKAREN, 43, LONDON

Died of head injuries two days after being attacked and abused by a gang attempting to steal from his shop. In January 2001, a 16-year-old girl and 20-year-old man were sentenced to five years. Two others were found guilty of affray.

06/00, GLYNNE AGARD, 34, WESTBURY, WILTSHIRE

On a night out with his brother, Stephen and friend Gary Belgrave, were attacked by a gang of eight who kicked and punched Glynne to death. In July 2001, Wayne King was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to manslaughter. A 21-year-old was jailed for four years for ABH. The judge said the murder was not racially motivated.

/01, GIAN SINGH NAGRA, 37, ELM PARK, LONDON

Found with serious head injuries after suspected racial attack, died later in hospital. In August 2001, Matthew Dorrian admitted manslaughter.

03/01, FETAH MARKU, 24, EDGWARE, LONDON

This Kosovan asylum seeker was beaten to death by a gang of men following an argument in a pub in Edgware, north London. Fetah suffered eighty injuries, twenty-nine of which were from sharp instruments. In June 2002, Richard Ellis, a Black man, was found guilty of his murder. The judge commented it was unlikely he was ‘solely responsible’. Ellis denied knowing any of the 20-30 strong gang that beat Fetah to death. In April 2007, Ellis was told that he must serve at least 11 years for the racially motivated attack before he could seek parole.

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04/01, SHIBLU RAHMAN, 34, BOW, EAST LONDON

Stabbed to death by a gang of White youth as he returned home from work. In November 2001, a 15-year-old boy was found guilty of murder. Two others were convicted of manslaughter and a 16-year-old was convicted of perverting the course of justice. Police said the murder was ‘purely’ racial.

07/01, SHARON BUBB, 30, BOW, EAST LONDON

Tortured and had her throat cut by 26-year-old Scottish man George McMaster. He was jailed for life after admitting her manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility. When arrested he said ‘It was because she was Black’.

05/02, FRANKIE KYRIACOU, 19, KENTISH TOWN, LONDON

A young Turkish-Cypriot died two hours after being stabbed outside his home. In 2002, John Geaney was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. The court was told how Geaney had wanted a fight and had stood outside the home of Frankie Kyriacou goading the young man and his brother. When they emerged from the house, the two were stabbed. Though Geaney had been heard making disparaging comments about Turkish people, the judge ruled that the attack was not racially motivated. In May 2007, Geaney was sentenced to serve at least 12 years.

10/02, DERRICK SHAW, 21, REDHILL, SURREY

Died five days after being fatally brain damaged after he was punched to the ground in a racist attack outside a take-away. 26-year-old James Green was charged with manslaughter and racially aggravated grevious bodily harm and threatening behaviour. The trial in June 2003 heard that Green, who was trained in martial arts, had been ‘fired up for a fight’ and had made racist comments. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision and Green, who denied the charges and claimed he acted in self-defence, was ordered to face a retrial. In December 2003, Green walked free from court after a second jury failed to agree a verdict.

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National Action (UK) (2013)

National Action is a neo-Nazi, British nationalist youth organisation that has been proscribed as a terrorist entity, by the Government of the United Kingdom. The group is secretive, and has rules to prevent members from talking openly about the organisation.The group was proscribed in the UK on 16 December 2016. In March 2017, an undercover investigation by ITV found that its members were still meeting in secret.

Due to the secretive nature of National Action, it is not clear who the leader of the organisation is. Former National Front member Ashley Benn (pseudonym Tommy Johnson) has been referred to as the organisation’s leader, and is thought to be one of a number of activists behind National Action’s founding document.

In an investigation by the Daily Mirror, Benjamin Raymond, age 25 in June 2014, was found to be the leader of National Action. He is a former double-glazing salesman who graduated with a degree in Politics from Essex University in 2013. By 2014, he had written on his blog: “There are non-whites and Jews in my country who all need to be exterminated. As a teenager, Mein Kampf changed my life. I am not ashamed to say I love Hitler.”He has expressed admiration for Anders Breivik, the far-right terrorist, who is “the hero Norway deserves”. Raymond told BBC News in 2015: “The source of all of the conflict in society is all the different racial groups that have been brought here.

National Action self-styles itself as a “revolutionary nationalist” organisation which grew out of a failed offshoot within the youth wing of the British National Party and has made effective, large-scale use of social media and blogging platforms.

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National Action also wanted to reintroduce Section 28, which prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools. On immigration, “Tom” says “With coloured people we’d say big no to them coming over. But with [white people] we’d be a bit more lenient”.

The group has distributed its material on at least 12 university campuses. In an interview with The National Student, an anonymous organiser for National Action explained why they target universities: “very soon they are going to find out just how hard the system has screwed them – if they knew what we know now we would have an army.

In November 2016, The Sunday Times reported that National Action was supporting Thomas Mair, the murderer of the Batley and Spen Labour MP Jo Cox, posting “only 649 MPs to go!” on social media. National Action also supported Mair personally, saying “don’t let this man’s sacrifice go in vain” and altered its listing on Google to state: “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain!”, a slogan Mair had said to a court when asked to give his name following Cox’s murder. The organisation also supported the Orlando gun homicide and has called for graphic and violent attacks on police officers in the UK. Mair, however, appeared to have little involvement with National Action or any other white nationalist groups within the UK.

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 04/03, PAUL ROSENBERG, 56, ISLE OF WIGHT

A South African taxi-driver working in the Isle of Wight was attacked and stamped to death by a passenger. Paul was a South African who arrived in the UK in 1951 and moved to the Isle of Wight in 1996 or 1997. The court was told that passenger Arnold punched Paul twelve times with ‘severe force’ before stealing his cash bag containing £300. Wendy Nolan, a friend of Arnold’s, told the court that Arnold told her: ‘I think I have killed the bloke. I only did it because he is Black. He looked dead. I think he’s dead. I kicked him.’ She, in turn, was so disturbed by what she had been told that she drove to where Arnold told her the attack took place and found Paul’s body. Paramedics were called and battled for 20 minutes to save him before he was declared dead. In May 2004, Arnold was sentenced to life for his murder and ordered that he serve a minimum of 11 years and 341 days. Det. Insp. Jason Hogg commented: ‘We are very pleased with the verdict. We feel justice has been done. This was a dreadful attack, made particularly horrible by the fact that there was a racist element.’ In April 2005, after an appeal, Arnold’s minimum tariff was reduced to just under 10 years.

05/03, JOHNNY DELANEY, 14, ELLESMERE PORT, LIVERPOOL

Johnny, who was from a Traveller family, was found with serious head injuries in a field and later died in hospital. In November 2003, the trial began at Chester Crown Court of two 16-year old boys charged with murder. One of the boys was allegedly heard to say that Johnny deserved it because ‘he was only a f**king Gypsy’. The two boys, who tried to blame one another, were found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter. The Judge, Mr Justice Richards, told the court he did not believe the attack was racially motivated. However, the police said after the verdict that the murder had been investigated as racially motivated because of the use of racist language. Johnny’s father, Patrick Delaney, commented, ‘There is no justice here. They were kicking my son like a football. Are they going to let this happen to another Gypsy?.. As far as we’re concerned it was a racist attack.’

06/03, AWAIS ALAM, 45, LEYTON, NORTH-EAST LONDON

This father of three was attacked by two White men on the busy Walthamstow High Street and later died. He allegedly confronted the men after they made racist comments. They then knocked him down and kicked him as he lay on the ground. Police were treating the attack as racially motivated.

11/03, QUADIR AHMED, 59, RUISLIP, WEST LONDON

An Indian restaurant owner died nearly a month after suffering head injuries in a racist attack outside his restaurant in Eastcote Village near Ruislip, west London. In September 2004, 19-year-old Daniel Palmer was jailed for life for Quadir’s murder. The court was told that Palmer and his gang had been throwing eggs at the Zhai restaurant on Halloween night and Quadir and his brother came out to remonstrate with the gang. Palmer attacked him with an estate agent’s ‘for sale’ sign. The gang were heard mimicking Asian accents and Palmer ran off laughing, boasting that he had broken Quadir’s nose. Palmer was sentenced to a minimum of twelve years.

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04/04, AKBERALI TAYABALI MOHAMEDALLY, 80, NORTHOLT, WEST LONDON

An elderly Pakistani man was attacked at the White Hart roundabout subway in Northolt, west London, and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police said they were treating the attack as racially motivated. Two youths were arrested and one was later charged with his murder. Michael Evans, 17, and James Carney, 20, were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years each.

05/04, BAPISHANKAR KATHIRGAMANATHAN, 24, ASHFORD, KENT

A Sri Lankan-born restaurant worker died two weeks after being racially attacked in Ashford, Kent. Bapishankar suffered serious head injuries after he and a friend were racially attacked on a footbridge in Victoria Road on 22 April 2001. Two men, James Rossiter, 22, and Tony Pile, 18, were charged with murder and remanded into custody. In July 2004, the men were convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 25 years. In October 2005, the Court of Appeal reduced the sentences from 25 years to 21 years, saying that the trial judges failed to take into account the men’s ages and that the reduction did not diminish the ‘horrific’ crime.

05/06, HAMIDULLAH HAMIDI, 31, LONDON

Two shop workers were injured in a racist firebomb attack on their shop in Kennington, south London. Khizar Hyat died after being trapped in his shop. His colleague died in hospital nearly a month later from injuries sustained during the arson attack. On 4 May 2006, 32-year-old Robert Torto appeared before Greenwich magistrates charged with murder. In July 2007, a judge ordered that he be detained at Broadmoor Hospital indefinitely after he pleaded guilty to three counts of arson with intent to endanger life on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He also pleaded guilty to a further count of arson at a Tulse Hill newsagent. Judge Peter Beaumont ordered Torto be detained for an indefinite period. Police officers found a handwritten note detailing different bombs and targets, including gay clubs, hospitals carrying out sex changes and non-Christian religious institutions.

07/06, CHANGEZ ARIF, 33, MANCHESTER

Changez was found stabbed to death in an alleyway near his home in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. Police ruled out racial motivation saying the attack was a revenge attack. In January 2007, Michael Skeffington, 19, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve 15 years for stabbing Changez five times in revenge after losing a fight. The case was only allowed to be reported in July 2007 after Skeffington pleaded guilty to another assault along with his twin brother David following an attack on another Asian – again involving a knife. In September 2003, Skeffington had been given a two-year ASBO by Manchester magistrates after being accused of racist behaviour which banned him from entering an area of Cheetham Hill.

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Combat 18 (1992)

Combat 18 (C18) is a neo-Nazi cartel associated with the Blood and Honour organisation, based on the principles of “leaderless resistance”, a strategy that was adopted and mentioned in the Combat 18 manifest, based on “The Turner Diaries”, written by William Luther Pierce under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald. It originated in the United Kingdom, with ties to movements in the United States and has since spread to other countries. Combat 18 members have been suspected in numerous deaths of immigrants, non-whites, and other C18 members. The 18 in its name is derived from the initials of Adolf Hitler: A and H are the first and eighth letters of the Latin alphabet. Members in the United Kingdom are barred from joining the British Prison Service and police.

Between 1998 and 2000, dozens of Combat 18 members in the UK were arrested on various charges during dawn raids by the police. These raids were part of several operations conducted by Scotland Yard in co-operation with MI5. Those arrested included Steve and Bill Sargent (brothers of Charlie Sargent), David Myatt and two serving British soldiers, Darren Theron (Parachute Regiment) and Carl Wilson.

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05/07, TARSEN NAHAR, 44, WEST LONDON

Tarsen Nahar, (aka ‘Cookie’), was found dead in Hayes on 19 May 2007. Daryl O’Connor, 18, was found guilty of murder and of aggravated bodily harm. The court was told in an unprovoked attack, O’Connor and his friends had been heard to say ‘We don’t like n*****s in our park’. O’Connor, who was 17 at the time of the murder, is said to have beaten Tarsen to the ground and then kicked him in the head, as the gang stole his phone and wallet. Tarsen was able to make his way to a friend’s house where he collapsed. Local police said the murder was investigated as racially motivated and that O’Connor was initially charged with racially aggravated ABH (as well as murder), however the ‘racially aggravated’ rider was dropped. In July 2008 O’Connor was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 13 years. (Read an IRR News story: ‘Convictions in three Black murder cases’)

06/08, HAMIDA BEGUM, 71 AND ALANA MIAN, 4, GREAT LEVER, BOLTON

A grandmother and her granddaughter died in an arson attack when a wheelie bin was set alight outside a house in Bolton. Saima Mian, who was visiting her parents in the UK from Australia, was seriously injured in the fire, suffering burns to her face and stomach. Fire fighters suggested the fire was deliberately set. A reconstruction on BBC Crimewatch, in January 2010 where police officers suggested the motive was racist, resulted in new leads.

08/08, NILANTHAN MOORTHY, 17, CROYDON

A young Sri Lankan student was stabbed to death following an altercation in a Croydon street with 31-year-old Steven Braithwaite. Nilanthan, a little drunk after celebrating the birthday of a friend in Croydon, started arguments with passers-by. Brathwaite passed by in a taxi and was heard to racially abuse the group, calling out ‘P**is’, Nilanthan, upset by the abuse attempted (but failed) to pull Braithwaite from his cab. Twenty minutes later, Braithwaite returned and resumed the argument with Nilanthan, stabbing him in the neck. Nilanthan died at the scene. In June 2009, Braithwaite was found guilty and sentenced to life for murder and ordered to serve a minimum of 19 years.

 09/09, EKRAM HAQUE, 67, TOOTING, SOUTH LONDON

This retired man died a week after being attacked by a Black gang outside his local mosque after evening prayers. He suffered head injuries in the attack (which is thought to have been racist).His 3-year-old granddaughter who was with him at the time of the attack was unharmed. Three young people aged 14 and 15 have been charged with GBH with intent and murder. And a 12-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to commit GBH and two counts of assault. The attack followed other assaults on elderly Asians near the mosque.

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05/10, MARCIN BILASZEWSKI, 19, WOOD GREEN, LONDON

A Polish teenager died after being stabbed outside Finsbury park tube station. His attacker, Alphonse Kruizinga, was said to be racist towards Polish people in particular and blamed Poland for the Second World War. He was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years.

07/10 KESTER DAVID, 53, PALMERS GREEN, NORTH LONDON

A bus driver, who was found burned to death under railway arches at Palmers Green underground station. An initial Metropolitan police investigation recorded the death as suicide. However David’s family believes that he may have been murdered because he was a police informer. The family also had concerns that the police failed to conduct a proper investigation because he was black. A first internal police report found ‘a failing in duty’ by the police and found a vast array of errors in the original investigation. David’s family further complained that no disciplinary action was taken against the police officers found to be at fault.

12/10 INDERJIT SINGH, 36, BEDFORD

Singh, of Indian origin, was stabbed to death on Christmas morning by BNP supporter, David Folley. Singh had mistakenly knocked on Folley’s door while looking for a friend’s address and was stabbed to death on the landing. David Folley, 35, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was also found guilty of ABH for assaulting another man in prison while awaiting trial.

 10/13 JOELE LEOTTA, 20, MAIDSTONE, KENT

This Italian man had been in the UK about a week when he was killed. The attack happened in a flat above a restaurant where Joele was working. According to an Italian mayor, ’informed sources’ said that the attackers had ‘broken down the door of their room’, yelling, ‘you’re stealing our jobs’. The police later denied any racial motivation. In January 2014, four Lithuanian men charged with murder pleaded not guilty.

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BNP Greenwich

The British National Party (BNP) (1982)

is a far-right political party in the United Kingdom. It is headquartered in Wigton, Cumbria, and its current leader is Adam Walker. It currently has one councillor in UK local government. During its heyday in the 2000s, it had over fifty seats in local government, two seats on the London Assembly, and two Members of the European Parliament.

Ideologically positioned on the extreme or far-right of British politics, the BNP has been characterised as fascist or neo-fascist by political scientists. Under Tyndall’s leadership, it was more specifically regarded as Neo-Nazi. The party is ethnic nationalist, and espouses the view that only white people should be citizens of the United Kingdom. It calls for an end to non-white migration into the UK and the removal of settled non-white populations from the country. Initially, it called for the compulsory expulsion of non-whites, although it has since advocated voluntary removals with financial incentives. It promotes biological racism and the white genocide conspiracy theory, calling for global racial separatism and condemning mixed race relationships. Under Tyndall, the BNP emphasised anti-semitism and Holocaust denial, although Griffin switched the party’s focus on to Islamophobia. It promotes economic protectionism, Euroscepticism, and a transformation away from liberal democracy, while its social policies oppose feminism, LGBT rights, and societal permissiveness.

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Reasons Not To Privatize The Feds: Part Two

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Going Country

More and more, city gangs are sending young runners out into the sticks to sell crack and heroin. We spoke to dealers, sex workers and police to get a better understanding of how the whole thing works.

As commuters arrive into Britain’s major cities from their homes in the shires, a different kind of commuter is travelling the opposite direction. They’re more likely to be young and wearing trainers, tracksuits and puffer jackets. Most of them generate more cash each day than their city-bound counterparts. The tools of their trade are a cheap mobile phone, a bag of class A drugs and a knife.

Last week, the National Crime Agency released its second report into the growing phenomenon known as “going country” – city drug gangs sending young runners to sell crack and heroin in market or coastal towns. The report found that these were no occasional day trips: over 180 urban drug dealing gangs have expanded into the jurisdictions of three quarters of British police forces.

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Going country, or “OT” (out there), is not an entirely new phenomenon. Gangs from the big four UK drug hubs – London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool – have been sending dealers to sell in less crowded areas since the rise of the highly profitable crack selling business, and of mobile phones, in the 1990s. The drug trade in Ipswich, Suffolk, for example, has been dominated by London gangs since 2003.

 HAINE, LAYet, in the last decade, across Britain the trickle has turned into a flood. Using motorways and trains, city gangs have expanded their reach far and wide, beyond the commuter belt, from Devon and Gloucestershire to Humberside and Scotland. London gangs – the most prolific of them all – have taken over the trade across the south of England: in west country towns such as Swindon, Melksham, Aylesbury, Bournemouth and Yeovil; in southern towns such as Hastings, Eastbourne, Worthing, Tunbridge Wells, Margate and Brighton; and in the east, in Colchester, Cambridge, Norwich, Leiston and Bury St Edmonds.

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What’s more, the dealers are getting younger, with children as young as 11 being found selling drugs in areas a world away from the inner city zones they call home. Meanwhile, as the newcomers increasingly discard the old school criminal code of local drug markets, rivalry, enmity and violence intensifies.

Despite recent police and media reports about this phenomenon, little is known about how these gangs operate and the impact they have on “host” towns. In truth, it’s a story about a collision point: where people’s desperation to escape poverty and pain meets head-on with the cold, hard economics of the drug trade.

G4s have demonstrated to the general public just how adept they are at managing national events and the probation service, they clearly aren’t. So where would they find the money for the kind of policing work that throws up this research data? Policing cuts have consequences.

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Reasons Not To Privatize The Feds: Part One

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A Heathrow airport drug smuggling racket importing more than £10million of cocaine into Britain was smashed following a series of dawn raids today.

The drugs, which also included 50 kilos of cannabis, was shipped into the UK in 15 months through the UK’s biggest airport.

Eleven suspects, including one woman and three baggage handlers, were arrested at addresses in and around London and the south east.

Today’s operation follows a number of seizures of drugs at Heathrow over a 15 month period – totalling around 100 kilograms of cocaine and 50 kilograms of cannabis.

The drugs are believed to have been sent by drugs lords based in Brazil for gangs selling on the streets of London. Please note, that these are not necessarily Afro-Carribean gangs, a number of ethnicities (Brazillian, Angolan, Columbian, Dominican,Polish, Romanian,Russian) are now a part of settled communities in London and have been for many years.

Those arrested are aged between 24 and 60 and were detained following the series of coordinated raids involving around 125 investigators from the National Crime Agency.

The operation NCA were assisted by officers from three police forces including the Metropolitan Police.

The suspected drugs ring members were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import class A drugs and are now being questioned at police stations around London.

The suspects are either linked to the South Americans in the drugs trade or ‘wholesalers’ based in London.  

G4S never stops talking about the money it can save police services but how many plain clothes hours inside & outside of London went into the preparation for this police operation? The face of London has changed, to discover to what extent & make all the necessary links between Columbian criminals & those indigenous to London costs patience, time & wages? Cuts have consequences.

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Tony Blair admits he is baffled by rise of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn

Tony Blair has said he is struggling to understand the appeal of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn because both are hampered by “the question of electability”.

The former British prime minister, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, admitted that he is finding it hard to grasp popular movements in both Britain and the USfavouring mavericks who will “rattle the cage” and which reflect a loss of faith in the progressive centre.

In a joint interview with the Guardian and the Financial Times in Washington, he emphasised that Americans must make their own decision but made clear his scepticism about Sanders, the leftwing senator whose challenge to wealthy eliteshas energised young supporters.

“It’s very similar to the pitch of Jeremy Corbyn,” Blair said. “Free tuition fees: well, that’s great, but someone’s going to have pay for it. An end to war, but there are wars.” But not wars with quite the ramifications of the Iraq war eh Tony?

Legal Highs – HMP Winchester, but not as you’d recognise it!

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THE use of ‘legal highs’ in Winchester prison has become so rife that three inmates were rushed to hospital in just one day after consuming a potentially deadly substance, the Chronicle can reveal.

Toxic drugs are being smuggled into the prison and have become “a new currency” an MP has warned – with guards and dogs struggling to detect them because of the chemicals they contain.

The epidemic at the Romsey Road jailhouse can be revealed as the Prison Officers Association warned that the problem of new psychoactive substances readily available and used by prisoners nationwide is getting “out of control”.

At Winchester three inmates were taken to hospital on the same day in September after taking a toxic concoction known as ‘spice’.

The revelations at the Winchester Road prison comes after Rev Graham Topping, a former chaplain at the jail, spoke out about how alleged bullying, secrecy and rock-bottom morale is affecting officers.

As previously reported, the prison has had five deaths in custody since July and a source at the prison said the impact they have on inmates is the most “destructive” he has ever seen.

Winchester MP Steve Brine is demanding action over New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in prisons and has helped move an amendment to a new blanket ban on legal highs to make possession of the substances inside the prison a criminal offence.

The problem at the jail has led to inmates turning violent suddenly without warning.

A source close to Winchester Prison said one prisoner under the influence of spice went on the roof of the prison, and another inmate attacked prison staff with a mop.

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The synthetic cannabis has worrying side effects such as vomiting, seizures, psychosis and, in some cases, death.

A source told the Chronicle how the drugs are now infiltrating the prison and are affecting inmates, resulting in several needing emergency medical treatment.

He said:“Legal highs are probably the biggest threat to prisons. There are a number of difficulties with legal highs, it is very difficult for dogs and staff to detect them due to the chemicals that are in them.

“It makes it easy to get them the drug dogs because of this.”

“I was there for years and I have never seen a drug have such a destructive affect.

“People who take them can go from being perfectly polite to then going completely nuts.”

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“I do not think Winchester has it worse than any other prison, but it makes what is a bad situation a hundred times worse.”

The problems are revealed after damning statistics showed that prison deaths across the country are at the highest level for a decade and the Prison Officers Association (POA) have said the issue is “out of control” across prisons in England.

A statement issued by the POA on its website said: “Members of the POA have consistently challenged budget cuts, staff shortages and the serious increase in prison violence and suicides but no one appears to be listening.

“There have been seven apparent homicides in prisons in the last 12 months and the use of legal highs is clearly out of control.”

In a debate on the Psychoactive Substances Bill in Parliament, Mr Brine expressed his concerns about legal highs which he said are being used as the latest “currency” inside jails.

Mr Brine said: “Reports given to me by HMP-YOI Winchester confirm the use of legal highs inside its walls is now widespread.

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“Winchester now has trained drugs dogs, but there are a variety of compounds used in NPSs, so if the core compound is not the same as the dog has been trained for, it simply misses the substance.

“It seems the new currency inside our prisons is not tobacco or cannabis, but the NPS known as Spice.

“It is a lethal substance existing under the brand names Herbal Haze, Damnation and Space Cadet. The governor told me that on one day last month there were three ambulances in the prison yard, after three prisoners had taken Spice.

Tougher measures to tackle legal high substance are set to be introduced when the new psychoactive substances bill is put through parliament.

 

‘Legal highs are gateway drugs linked to crime’

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Police incidents in Hampshire involving legal highs – also called new psychoactive substances – have shot up from 63 to 403 in just three years, and that is expected to rise as they become more widespread and available to buy.

The message is loud and clear – people of all ages run the serious risk of death or causing permanent damage to their body and health if they buckle to peer pressure and continue to consume these ‘toxic cocktails’.

Doctor Jane Boskovic, who specialises in substance misuse at The Baytrees drink and drugs treatment unit, in Milton, Portsmouth, said: ‘Legal highs are incredibly dangerous and devastating. Having seen some of the devastating results of people taking legal highs, people should be absolutely terrified of taking these drugs. They are equally as dangerous as classic drugs, if not more.

‘Maybe it’s an exciting thing to try these drugs, but people really are playing Russian roulette with their lives.

‘The reason for that is …with legal highs, we don’t know the effect they all have on people’s bodies. They are very addictive in very vast quantities.’

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While some legal highs have been banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act – such as meow meow naphyrone, BZP and GBL – many alternatives are still legal to buy and we are seeking for a blanket ban to be rolled out by the government.

It comes as Portsmouth City Council launches a drive, supported by The News, aimed at increasing awareness of the risks associated with legal highs.

Packs containing posters and postcards are being sent to all secondary schools in the area and specialist training sessions are being held for staff and pupils. Pubs and clubs are also being sent posters, banners and leaflets.

And plans are moving forward to ban legal highs in Portsmouth’s public spaces.

Hampshire police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes, who has campaigned hard on the issue, said: ‘I am totally supportive of The News’ campaign against legal highs.

‘I hope it raises awareness of the very real danger they pose to the public and deters people from putting their lives at risk by using them.

‘For a long time, I have been calling for either a complete ban, or regulation, of all mind-altering substance.

‘Recently, I was very encouraged to hear the police minister say in parliament that he too would like to see a blanket ban on all new psychoactive substances and that we cannot – and should not – tolerate the open sale on our high streets and over the internet of these substances.

‘I intend to continue lobbying the government to do everything possible to prohibit the sale of these toxic cocktails and I look forward to collaborating with partners and the public to limit the harm they cause – particularly to our young people.’

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Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, who has worked with affected families and campaigned against the rise of legal high ‘head shops’, said: ‘You are putting your life in the hands of a small drug – it could kill you the first time you take them.’

AIMS OF THE CAMPAIGN

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* To ensure the government delivers on its pledge to impose a complete ban on the production, distribution, supply and sale of legal highs by formerly adopting the Psychoactive Substances Bill.

* To raise awareness of the lethal dangers of legal highs, especially among teenagers.

* To ensure other authorities follow the efforts made by Portsmouth City Council to come up with a comprehensive action plan detailing how the ban will be enforced, and who people should contact if they think someone is under the influence or suffering from the effects of legal highs.

* To ensure the government delivers on its pledge to impose a complete ban on the use and sale of legal highs by formerly adopting the Psychoactive Substances Bill.

* To raise awareness of the lethal dangers of legal highs, especially among teenagers.

* To ensure other authorities follow the efforts made by Portsmouth City Council to come up with a comprehensive action plan detailing how the ban will be enforced, and who people should contact if they think someone is under the influence or suffering from the effects of legal highs.

Legal highs and sick rape porn led North Tyneside decorator to tie up and molest customer

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A decorator tied up and molested a terrified customer after going to her house to discuss doing work.

Graham Stevens, never in trouble before, suddenly pounced on the mum as they talked about the work, tying her up with masking tape and subjecting her to a serious sexual assault.

A court heard the usually respectable 53-year-old’s mind had been distorted by legal highs, pornography and rape fantasies.

He grabbed the woman from behind, tied her wrists behind her back, forced her upstairs, taped her mouth and subjected the crying woman to a serious sexual assault in an hour-long ordeal.

The terrified victim, who said he seemed to have been enjoying the attack, said he then suddenly stopped, saying “I can’t do this, I can’t rape you”, before apologising and freeing her.

Stevens was then followed by police as he drove to Holy Island to kill himself but was stopped on the causeway and arrested.

As the attacker, a regular cannabis smoker who spent the night before looking at porn taking legal highs, was jailed for false imprisonment and sexual assault, a judge said he had tried to carry out his sick fantasies.

Judge Brian Forster QC said: “The explanation for what took place appears to be you had been taking drugs and had an interest in pornography.

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“That interest, by reason of your consumption of substances, has led you to carry the fantasy into the reality of your life.”

The court heard Stevens knocked on the victim’s door in North Tyneside one morning in April.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister said: “They were chatting generally and, without warning and completely unexpectedly, he grabbed her from behind.

“He told her to shut up and do as she was told, pushing her to the floor and restraining her with his elbow or knee on her back.

“He had masking tape with him and put her arms behind her back and taped her wrists then lifted her to her feet and forced her to go upstairs, where he covered her mouth with masking tape, despite her struggling and bleeding.”

Stevens then began to molest the woman, who feared she was going to be raped.

Mr Pallister said: “Then all of a sudden he stopped it and took out a spliff and started to smoke it.

“He said ‘I can’t do this, I can’t rape you’.

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“He apologised and she asked him to take off the tape, which he did then left the house.”

Stevens then returned to his home, told his wife she deserved better and said he was going.

After the victim rang police, they spotted him heading north on the A1 and followed him up to the causeway at Holy Island, where he stopped.

He was arrested and admitted the attack, saying he had been smoking legal highs and watching pornography the previous night while his wife was working a night shift.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said the attack has had a significant detrimental affect on her life.

She said in a statement to the court: “What he did has impacted on many aspects of my life and has changed the way I live my life.

“He physically hurt me but far greater than the physical impact was the psychological impact.

“It took place in my home, a place I was happy and secure in.

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“I don’t sleep properly, have hot sweats and nightmares and flashbacks about what happened and I find it difficult to be in the area on the landing where this took place. I’ve even redecorated the area to try to change the way I feel about this area of the house.”

Stevens, of West View, Earsdon, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and sexual assault and was jailed for five years and four months and ordered to sign the sex offender register for life. He was also banned from going within 100 yards of the victim’s home or contacting her as part of a sexual offences prevention order.

Nick Peacock, defending, said Stevens was usually a hard-working family man who was respected in his community and had a reference from his local vicar.

Mr Peacock said: “He is devastated and horrified by what he has done and he accepts the victim must have thought the worst when this began. He wishes through me to apologise to her.”