Saturday, 31 May 2014

Teacher At Private Primary School Caught Drink-Driving After Hockey Club Celebration

A PE teacher at a private primary school was caught driving in the early hours at nearly double the drinks limit after attending his hockey club's end of season celebrations.

James Figgis, 28, of Highfield School, Highfield Lane, Liphook, Hampshire claims he was looking for a better place to park and sleep for the night after the alcohol-fueled dinner in central London.

He pleaded guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates Court yesterday to driving his VW Golf in Hurlingham Road, Fulham on April 13 with 67 microgrammes of alcohol on his breath – the legal limit is 35.

Prosecutor Miss Helen Clutton told the court: “He was seen driving at 3am with no lights on and that is why he was stopped and it was apparent he had been drinking that night.”

Figgis' lawyer Mr. Ben Holden said: “Mr. Figgis lives in Hampshire, he is a teacher at a school and he was in London to have an end of season meal with his hockey club and intended to sleep in his car afterwards.

“It is something he has done on many occassions in the past and leaves his keys in the boot and has a sleeping bag in the car and sleeps in the passenger seat, that was his intention.

“He has had a few drinks and learned there was a classic car rally in Fulham the next morning and the roads where he was parked would be full and it would take him a long time to get away the next morning.

“He learned that if he drove over Putney Bridge he could park in a residential area, but was stopped by the police three hundred yards after setting off.

“It does seem to be a stupid error by Mr. Figgis. He was not trying to sneak home and dodge the police.

“He is a teacher at an independent primary school and has been there for three years and is looking to pursue a teaching career.

“A conviction like this is going to be on his record for the rest of his life because of his career, working with children.

"He lives at the school and there are no local buses or train links and the disqualification is going to cause a detriment to his private life when trying to visit friends and family in Guildford and London.”

Figgis was fined £405, with £85 costs and ordered to pay a £40 victim surcharge and disqualified from driving for eighteen months.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Top Personal Trainer Caught Sleeping Off Booze In Car

Hammersmith Magistrates Court

A personal trainer at an exclusive club, who needs his driving licence to visit clients at their country estates, was found by police passed out behind the wheel of his car while over the drinks limit.

Lonan O'Herlihy, 24, of Westwood House, Heathfield Avenue, Ascot, Berkshire had left the engine running for warmth and the lights on after pulling over for a kip in a petrol station parking area.

He pleaded guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates Court (pictured) to being in charge of a vehicle while over the alcohol limit - an offence that does not result in automatic disqualification – and was fined £200, with £85 costs, ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and was given 10 penalty points on his licence.

The court heard O'Herlihy's Audi R8 was parked in the forecourt of Tesco's, New King's Road, Fulham at 3.30am on April 10.

“The defendant was slumped over the steering wheel and he told police he was using the car to keep warm and admitted he had a few drinks that night,” said prosecutor Miss Helen Clutton.

He gave a breath-test reading of 50 microgrammes of alcohol – the legal limit is 35.

Oxford-educated O'Herlihy, who resides in a £2.5m property, and was chosen for the university's rowing and tennis teams while studying at Malvern College, is employed by Belgravia's White Room Fitness.

“I was parked and trying to sleep,” O'Herlihy told the court. “I was asleep in a parking spot and I had been there for two hours.

“I do use my car for work, I'm a personal trainer and in marketing and many of my clients are in country houses, where I spend a couple of days a week.”

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Duo In Court For Dealing In £1.1m Worth Of Stolen Pharmaceuticals

In Court: City of London

A company director and a pharmaceutical dealer, accused of handling £1.1 million worth of medicinal drugs stolen from a lorry nine years ago, have appeared at City of London Magistrates Court.

Vincent Quigley, 67, of Daleside, Thornhill, Dewsbury and Kenyan-born Mahmoud Azizi, 56, of Princess Court, Bryanston Place, Mayfair will appear at the Old Bailey on June 16.

Quigley is charged with one count of handling and one count of receiving stolen goods on or before October 16, 2007, namely 1,620,000 Comtan tablets; 510,000 Lopressor tablets and 480,000 Femara tablets.

He indicated a not guilty plea to both charges and was bailed unconditionally.

The tablets, which had been stolen in 2005, were traced to a warehouse in Yorkshire on October 16, 2007 by a private detective hired by the loser, Swiss-based Norvartis International.

Comtan is prescribed to patients with Parkinson's Disease; Lopressor is for the treatment of high blood pressure and Femara is for breast cancer patients.

Canadian citizen Azizi was extradited from Vancouver and appeared in custody charged with one count of receiving stolen goods on October 16, 2007, namely medicinal products belonging to Norvartis International.

He was bailed on condition he provide a £250,000 surety, surrender his passport, not apply for any travel documents, reside at his recorded address and report three times a week to Marylebone Police Station.

However, this decision was immediately appealed by the Crown Prosecution Service and Azizi will remain in custody until a crown court bail hearing.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Cocaine Courier Jailed For Smuggling Drugs In His Stomach

Cocaine: Gatwick Airport 

A convicted drug dealer, who was caught smuggling £23,000 worth of cocaine he swallowed before boarding a flight from Peru, has been jailed for three years and four months.

Lloyd Iain Powell, 36, of  Greenfields, Sellindge, Ashford, Kent pleaded guilty to smuggling 303gms of the drug at Gatwick Airport on February 14.

Croydon Crown Court heard the cocaine had a purity of between 62% and 76% and a street value of £23,616.

He had flown in from Peru via Spain and x-rays taken by suspicious Border Force officers revealed suspicious contents within his stomach.

While detained at HMP High Down Powell developed deep vein thrombosis in his leg and is awaiting an operation.

He also remains on the prison's 'danger of self-harm programme'.

Powell's lawyer Mr. Nicholas Hamblin asked the court to pass a more lenient sentence, stating the defendant was not an organiser.

“It is a lesser role. There is an element of pressure involved,” he said.

When remanded in custody for a medical report Recorder John Bate-Williams told him: “This is inevitably going to be a custodial sentence.

“Any time you are serving now will be credited against the eventual sentence.”

The court ordered the cocaine to be forfeited and Powell must pay a £120 victim surcharge.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

RMT Picket-Line Striker Accused Of Branding Management Trainee A "Scab"

Striker: Mark Harding
A London Underground tube driver, who was picketing Hammersmith station during RMT industrial action, intimidated a strike-breaking trainee manager he branded a "scab" a court heard last Friday.

RMT official Mark Andrew Harding, 51, of Gomm Road, Rotherhithe was standing outside the station with two fellow strikers at 5.47am on February 6 when graduate trainee Gareth Robert Scott, 25, crossed the picket line.

Prosecutor Mr. Sam Roarke told City of London Magistrates Court: "The Crown's case is that Mr. Harding used intimidation to compel Mr. Scott not to do his job."

The prosecution, brought under the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act, is an important one for the RMT and the conviction of branch secretary Harding would be very damaging.

Union activists see the prosecution as politically-motivated and it has become something of a cause celebre for the movement, with union leaders, plus 15 MP's issuing a statement calling for the end of "anti-union laws."

Mr. Scott told the courtroom, which was packed with RMT supporters: "One gentleman approached me, made a beeline for me. 

"As I approached the station he came very close to me at a fast walking pace.

"At one point he was approximately five inches from my face, he was very close.

"When he got up close to me he shouted at me: 'Can you respect the picket line?'

"I avoided the gentleman and made my way towards the gates and he started shouting that I was a scab.

"He was shouting: 'You are a scab. What happens when your job is on the line?'

"I felt really shaken and frightened. i was concerned about what he was going to do. I was concerned he would follow me into the station.
Breaker: Gareth Scott

"I was working as an incident station supervisor to cover the strikes. I was told to cover the shift as there was no supervisor that day."

The industrial action caused travel chaos across the capital for thousands of commuters and was brought in response to plans to cut the numbers of station staff.

Mr. Scott, who has since abandoned his career with the London Underground called the British Transport Police (BTP) from the station office.

"I was really worried about having to work there that day and be subject to abuse and similar taunts.

"When I got home I got really worried about what would happen next."

Mr. Scott entered counselling as a result and says the incident played a part when weighing up wether to stay with London Underground.

"It was an invasion of my personal space," he explained. "I have not experienced anything as confrontational as that on the Underground.

"I expected to be able to attend work without being called names."

He denied that as an up and coming manager he was "point scoring" against the union to impress his bosses.

Harding admits he challenged Mr. Scott, but simply said: "I'm asking you to show solidarity and not cross the picket line."

He did not give evidence, but was backed by fellow RMT striker Sean McKenzie, who was on the phone with the defendant while picketing King's Cross Station during the incident.

"I could hear him trying to convince someone not to go into Hammersmith Station. He was quite calm and respectful."

When asked if he heard Harding shouting or calling anybody a 'scab' Mr. Mckenzie replied: "I'm quite shocked and relatively appalled by the suggestion.

"He did not shout, he was calm, he did not use the word 'scab' or any other derogatory term."

Harding was picketing Hammersmith Underground Station with his brother Jim and customer services assistant Steve Hardwick, who told the court: "There was no shouting at all, that's the truth.

"He wasn't called a 'scab' at all."

The trial was adjourned until June 2 when Harding will hear the verdict.

He has pleaded not guilty to intimidation during a trade dispute, namely used, without legal authority, violence or intimidation towards Mr. Scott.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Sister Batters Brother To Ground During Family's Day Trip To The Capital

Sibling violence broke out yet again during a Lowestoft family's trip to London, which ended with the sister battering her brother to the ground in front of a crowd of onlookers outside Victoria Station.

Voluntary charity worker Caole Ann Watlow, 28, of Whiting Road, Oulton pleaded guilty to assaulting Paul Shackell, 33, in Buckingham Palace Road on October 22, last year and was sentenced to nine months probation, which includes anger management sessions.

“This was a very unpleasant incident that lasted quite a long time,” bench chairwoman Valerie Gorter told Watlow at Hammersmith Magistrates Court. “We understand you and your brother have a history of aggression and conflict with each other that has to end now.”

Prosecutor Miss Helen Clutton said: “The victim is Miss Watlow's brother. They live in Suffolk and were visiting London on the day of the offence.

“They arrived outside Victoria Station and Miss Watlow accused her brother of taking her train ticket.

“The dispute attracted the attention of a security guard and members of the public who witnessed Miss Watlow pulling him onto the floor, hitting him and kicking him as he lay there without fighting back.

“Mr. Shackell sustained a cut above his left eye.”

The court heard Mr. Shackell was convicted of assaulting his sister in 2007 and 2008, on the first occasion punching her in the face several times and pulling her hair and a year later punching her in the forehead.

He was cleared of punching her in the face last year and Watlow herself was cautioned in 2000 for a street assault with a knife on her brother when he received grazes.

She told the magistrates: “Me, my mum and brother were picking up a family member and my brother was drunk and kept going on and on all the way there through the journey.

“I asked for the tickets back and he strangled me and that's when I over-reacted and hit him. I didn't pull him to the floor, he fell over.”

Watlow, who only admitted the offence on the day of the trial after initially pleading not guilty, was also ordered to pay £150 costs and a £60 victim surchage.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Restraining Order Slapped On Ex After Abusive Texts

Henry: Abusive Texts

A Cambridge man, who bombarded his ex with abusive text messages during a twenty-four hour period two weeks after they split-up, has been slapped with a six-month restraining order.

Jobless Jeff Henry, 38, who lives with his grandmother in Fanshawe Road pleaded guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates Court to harassing Laura Flanagan between March 5 and 6 and was placed on probation for twelve months and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

The restraining order bans him from contacting Miss Flanagan and entering Clarendon Road and Dulford Street, Notting Hill, west London.

Prosecutor Miss Helen Clutton told the court: “Laura Flanagan had been in a relatonship with Jeff Henry for two years and they have two children and split-up two weeks before the offence.

“The victim spotted the defendant in the street on March 5 and he started shouting at her, calling her a 'd***head' and making her feel embarrased and she then received unwanted texts and phone calls from Jeff Henry.”

Police were called, but when the defendant was interviewed officers were unable to check his phone because he smashed it in anger.

However, evidence of the harassment was on Miss Flanagan's phone.

“She does send texts back to Jeff Henry and some are abusive, but not as abusive as the defendant's texts,” added Miss Clutton.

“He told police he did not intend to carry out the threats in the texts.”

Henry, whose children with Miss Flanagan are aged one and two years-old, told the court: “The last eight weeks have been very difficult for me. I have not seen my daughter, who has cystic fibrosis.

“I'm sorry, I did not mean it to get out of control, but I've supported Laura through thick and thin, I've lied for her in court so she can keep the children and and they don't go into care.

“Not seeing my daughter is killing me,” added Henry, urging the magistrates not to impose a restraining order, which would mean all child access would have to be via a solicitor or family court.

Bench Chairwoman Valerie Gorter told Henry: “The harassment by text was persistent behaviour. She asked you to stop and you didn't.

“They were prolific, but not really threatening texts and I think you did not fully appreciate the effect of these texts on your ex.”

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Ex-Husband Rips Up Wife's Wedding Dress

A recently-divorced husband ripped his ex-wife's wedding dress to shreds in a symbolic gesture that their marital life was over when she was late returning to relieve him of child-minding duties.

Other clothing was destroyed during the wrecking-spree and was followed-up with a catalogue of abusive phone calls and texts to the ex-wife.

Painter and decorator Anthony Ranford, 48, of Samuel Lewis Trust Dwellings, Ixworth Place, Chelsea pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to clothing and footwear belonging to Aimee Ranford and Sarah Holliday at Hawthorn House, Townmead Road, Fulham on New Year's Day.

He also pleaded guilty to communicating an offensive message on January 3 after his ex received thirty-one calls and texts from him between 10am and 12am.

Prosecutor Miss Helen Clutton told Hammersmith Magistrates Court the couple had a ten-year relationship, were married for the last four years of it, and had two children.

“On January 1 Mr. Ranford was looking after the children and Aimee Ranford woke up late and called to apologise and he became abusive.

“When she returned home she found her wedding dress was ripped and had blood stains on it, a leather jacket was damaged, other clothing and a pair of trainers belonging to Sarah Holliday.”

Ranford told the court his marriage ended due to his ex-wife's infidelity, claiming she already had another man lined up when they parted.

“We split on October the fifteenth and my wife had her first date on the sixteenth, she says, but I know she started dating in August.

“The offences were due to her adultery, unsuitable babysitters and her Skyping her new boyfriend on Christmas Day and texting him on Christmas Day.

“The damaging of the wedding dress was an acknowledgment that our married life was over.

“I thought the trainers belonged to my ex-wife. All the other items were purchased by me.”

Ranford also complained he was paying excessive maintenance via the Child Support Agency, adding: “I've been paying over the odds in money.

“It's been £100 per week even when I have them five days a week, which means I should pay £38.

“The whole wedding I paid for and I was arrested for stealing the £4,000 wedding ring, but it's since resurfaced.”

Ranford was placed on probation for twelve months and must complete 100 hours community service work; pay £2,500 compensation to Aimee Ranford; £200 compensation to Sarah Holliday; £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

We feel you have shown no remorse,” bench chairwoman Valerie Gorter told him. In fact, you have sought to justify what you've done, but there is no justification.” 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Violent Ex Behind Bars

Custody: Hammersmith Magistrates Court

A disgruntled former husband, who has waged a violent campaign against his ex-wife and her mother, was remanded in custody yesterday for a probation report after yet another violent incident.

Mohammed Khairul Hoque, 38, of Tudor Street, Cardiff had already pleaded guilty to assaulting his one-time wife Shabana Begum at a flat in Braithwaite Tower, Hall Place, Paddington on October 11, last year.

Prosecutor Miss Helen Clutton told Hammersmith Magistrates Court: “The defendant is someone who has violent tendencies.

“She says he is her ex-husband, which she denies.”

Hoque was remanded in custody until May 29 for sentencing.

The court heard that in 2000 Hoque was convicted of stalking and stabbing both his ex-wife and mother-in-law in the head with a knife.

In 2003 he forced his way into the mother-in-law's address and threatened to kill the pair of them and in 2009 was convicted of wounding in an unrelated violent incident.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Former CPS Case Worker Gets Life For Murdering Elderly Bridge Partner

An ex-Crown Prosecution Service case worker is starting a life sentence for battering to death a fellow bridge club member – one hour before the pensioner was due to leave for a cruise.
Gambling addict Thomas Blazquez, 51, had quit his civil service job after fourteen years of dealing with criminal cases and run up debts as his life went off the rails.
He lived with his parents in Onslow Gardens, South Woodford and still left home every morning as if he was still working and there is no clear motive why he murdered 77 year-old Rosemary Shearman.
Blazquez arrived on the doorstep of her house in Platford Green, Hornchurch at 10.38am on September 3, last year as she waited for a taxi to take her to Dover to set-off on a ten-day cruise of the Norwegian fjords.
He knew her through the bridge club the widow was also a member of and they had been paired together on a handful of occasions.
At 11.45am the taxi arrived and with the help of neighbours who held a spare set of keys the property was accessed and the beaten body of Mrs Shearman was found.
She had been bound with tape and rope and repeatedly beaten around the head and body.
A large handkerchief was also forced into her upper airways.

A post mortem later gave the cause of her death as mechanical obstruction of the upper airways and multiple chest wall fractures.

She had earlier returned from the hairdressers and her bags were packed for the trip.
As the shocked neighbours waited outside they became aware of a silhouette moving around an upper floor bathroom.

When police officers arrived they discovered Blazquez in the bathroom covered in blood and suffering from self-inflicted wounds to his wrists, abdomen and neck.
Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh said: “The death of Rosemary Shearman has been a huge loss to her family and the local community, who are still coming to terms with her murder. 

“Her family described her as a typical loving grandmother.
“Blazquez is a highly manipulative and evil man, who subjected a defenceless woman to an unthinkable death.

“I would like to thank Rosemary’s family and the local community for their tremendous support during this very difficult investigation.
“In particular, I would like to recognise the bravery of the neighbours and emergency responders who entered the house whilst Blazquez was still inside the property.
“In particular, I’d like to praise the actions of Rosemary’s neighbour, Raymond Lomas, who was honoured by the judge for his courage and bravery.”
Greg Shearman and Carol Lewis, Rosemary Shearman’s son and daughter, said after sentencing: “We feel the sentence is some small justice following the tragic murder of our mother.
“We are relieved that the jury reached a guilty verdict and that a very dangerous man has been removed from the community.
“We pay tribute to the bravery of Ray Lomas, a neighbour of our mother, who went to her aid and helped raised the alarm.
“We also thank the murder investigation detectives and prosecution team. Their tireless work helped secure the result at court today.”
Blazquez denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but was convicted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court and must serve a minimum of eighteen years before he is considered for release.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Lorry Driver In Court After Pedestrian Seriously Injured

A HGV driver, whose vehicle struck a 65 year-old woman who had to be flown by air ambulance to hospital with a serious head injury, appeared in court for the first time yesterday.

Liam Higgins, 65, of Meadway, Halstead, Sevenoaks is charged with driving the Scania lorry, without due care and attention, in Lewisham Road, Lewisham on November 19, last year.

He pleaded not guilty during his first appearance at Bromley Magistrates Court and will stand trial at Bexleyheath Magistrates Court on September 1.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Oxford University Theology Grad Charged With Rape

A former Oxford University theology student, who trained to be a Church of England priest, appeared in court for the first time today charged with rape and other serious sexual offences.

Timothy Storey, 34, South City Court, Peckham Grove, Peckham appeared in custody via video link at Bromley Magistrates Court.

Dressed in a dark blue top a pensive-looking bespectacled Storey, who kept his head down, spoke only to confirm his name, age, and address during the six-minute hearing.

He is charged with one count of raping a woman on or about March 25, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, and two counts of attempting to rape the same complainant.

Storey is also charged with assault by penetration and sexual assault of the woman on or about March 25.

He is further charged with breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, imposed at Woolwich Crown Court, by using the internet and deleting the internet history on his phone between May 13 and 17 and failing to make his phone available to police on May 17.

No bail application was made and Storey was remanded in custody to appear at Woolwich Crown Court on June 2 for a preliminary hearing.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Court Told Of Benefit Fraud Couple's £188K Property Swindle

A benefit fraud couple were the masterminds behind a seven-year £188,000 swindle, which involved multiple aliases and a secret property portfolio financed by taxpayers, a jury have been told.

Mother-of-two Nicole Mwamba, 47, of 66 Campbell Road, Caterham lied on mortgage applications that she was a well-paid professional then repaid the loans with illegally-claimed housing benefit, Croydon Crown Court heard.

She is responsible for bogus claims totalling £142,000 and her husband William Kapuya, 47, of 66 Campbell Road, another £46,000 it is alleged.

Prosecutor Miss Francesca Levett told the court Mwamba bought a flat at in Beulah Grove, Selhurst for £165,000 in November, 2004 in a different name to her housing benefit claim, which began in 1998.

She told lenders whe was earning £42,000 with a housing organisation, despite never working, and slapped down an £18,000 cash deposit even though insisting she had no savings or assets in her benefit claim.

Mwamba later rented out the property and moved into an address secretly owned by her doctor brother in Orleans Road, Upper Norwood before buying her current home for £280,000 after putting down a £27,000 cash deposit.

“This case involves a number of identities and addresses and throughout her claims Mwamba said she had no savings or capital,” explained Miss Levett.

After buying the Beulah Grove property Mwamba continued claiming benefits in her different married name.

“She was keen to keep these two identities appart. This was a calculated and contrived decision by Mwamba to only give the Department and Work and Pensions (DWP) the information she wanted them to know.”

Meanwhile Kapuya was claiming housing benefit in Fernadale Road, Brixton and then in Partridge Knoll, Purley while keeping his marriage secret and claimed an extra severe disability premium while insisting he did not have a partner.

When buying the second property Mwamba told lenders she was a £57,000 a year finance director.

“As a benefit claimant she was poor and needy, but as a mortgage applicant she was successful and employed,” said Miss Levett.

As long ago as December 14, 2005 Mwamba was called in by Croydon council for a compliance interview, but the frauds continued regardless, the jury were told.

She did not declare the Orleans Road home was owned by her brother when claiming £1,200 per month housing benefit, a detail Croydon council would have wanted to know to avoid potential fraud.

Kapuya was still receiving housing benefit for the Ferndale Road address while living in Campbell Road when he was arrested on October 11, 2011.

Mwamba claimed £1,000 housing benefit from Tandridge District Council for the same three-bedroom house, with the money paid into a secret bank account she had failed to declare.

“It was to generate income for Mwamba to pay her mortgage. Mwamba has never worked and she needed to pay her mortgage somehow.”

She also had an income support claim under one of her aliases paid into the bank account of her fifteen year-old daughter.

Mwamba has pleaded not guilty to two counts of failing to notify a change of circumstances to the London Borough of Croydon on or about November 3, 2004, in relation to a housing benefit and council tax benefit claim, namely that she had purchased 52a Beulah Grove.

She is similarly charged with making false representations in relation to the two benefit claims regarding the property on or about December 15, 2004 and May 23, 2006.

She also denies failing to notify a change in circumstances on or about November 23, 2007, namely that she had purchased 66 Campbell Road and making a false representation in relation to the Beulah Grove and Campbell Road addresses, namely failing to declare she lived with her partner.

Mwamba has pleaded not guilty to three counts of fraud against Tandridge District Council between December 5, 2007 and February 9, 2011; two counts of making false representation to the DWP regarding property ownership and failing to notify a change of circumstances to the DWP.

Kapuya has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud against Croydon council in that he failed to disclose he was living with Mwamba and that he needed housing and making a false representation to the council in relation to a housing benefit and council tax benefit claim regarding the Purley Knoll home.

He also denies making a false representation to the DWP regarding a severe disability premium claim, which would have inceased his existing income support payments.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bus Sex Pest Caged

A bus sex-pest, who pleasured himself in front of a 13 year-old girl, has been locked-up for a year.
David Murphy-Hinds, 26, of Denmark Road, Hornsey was sentenced for outraging public decency on a route 121 bus in Enfield and breaching a suspended sentence.
Wood Green Crown Court heard the victim boarded the bus at Palmers Green Station on March 14, which was travelling towards Southgate Station, where Murphy-Hinds boarded and sat near her.
As she got up to get off the bus, she saw him masturbating. 

Officers from the Sexual Offences Team, part of the Transport for London-funded Safer Transport Command (STC), investigated and obtained CCTV images from the bus, which led to Murphy-Hinds being identified. 

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor of the STC said: "We are committed to tackling sexual offences on London's buses and this sentence demonstrates our commitment to bringing those responsible to justice. 

"If someone has made you feel uncomfortable on your bus journey - however minor it may seem to you - reporting it to police can help us target the perpetrator and prevent it happening to another passenger."

Siwan Hayward, Transport for London's Deputy Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: "We are absolutely determined to eliminate sexual offences from our transport network, so I am pleased this sex offender has been jailed for what was a disgusting and offensive crime.
“With the help of our policing partners we will always push for the toughest penalties possible.

"We care about our passengers and every journey they make, and work hard with the police to ensure our transport network remains a safe, low-crime environment.
“It is never ok to feel threatened or distressed by another person's behaviour. If someone has made you feel uncomfortable, for example touched you in an inappropriate manner or exposed themselves, please report it the police. You will always be taken seriously."

The action was part of Project Guardian - a multi-agency initiative involving British Transport Police, the STC, City of London Police and Transport for London.

The partners have been working together to improve the levels of reporting among victims of sexual offences and to create an environment on the capital's transport network which does not tolerate intimidation and sexual harassment. 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Wheels Fall Off Rally Entrepreneur's Motorsport Plans After Drink-Drive Conviction

A motor-sport entrepreneur – organising a Europe-wide rally – was caught driving while over three times the drinks limit during a boozy night out in London's West End.

University graduate Aaron Lloyd-Goodwin, 23, of Hurdles Way, Duxford, Cambridgeshire will have his driving and travelling curtailed after he was banned and ordered to stay indoors for two months with an electronically-tagged night time curfew.

He pleaded guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates Court today to driving his red VW Golf with excess alcohol in his breath in Talgarth Road, West Kensington on March 30.

The court heard it was 4am when a concerned member of the public called the police, suspecting Lloyd-Goodwin was drunk when he pulled his recently-damaged car into a BP petrol station.

The defendant failed a roadside breath-test and at the police station gave a reading of 117 microgrammes of alcohol – the legal limit is 35.

Lloyd-Goodwin is currently organising the GrandTour 2014 and has previously been employed by car rally companies.

“He is someone that needs his licence,” said Mr. Tim Williamson, defending. “He had been out in London for the night and drove to the West End and had made arrangements to stay with a friend.

“Unfortunately the friend, who only has a two-seater and was with his brother, had no space in his car for Mr. Lloyd-Goodwin.

“He arranged another lift, but when returning to his car just to collect his jacket noticed that someone had crashed into his vehicle.

“He was shocked and devastated and thrown into a panic and accepts it was the wrong thing to do to drive. He made the mistake to drive and get some fuel.

“This was a social evening with friends, he does not have any issues with drugs or alcohol,” added the lawyer after District Judge Peter Greenfield asked if his client had a drink problem.

“He made a terrible mistake that he regrets.

“He does an awful lot of driving, visiting investors in the UK and in Europe, meeting officials and setting up the route.

“Clearly the curfew will have a punitive effect on his work and his travelling. He's pretty much on the road everyday and in continental Europe.”

District Judge Greenfield sentenced Lloyd-Goodwin to a two-month 8pm-6am home curfew, disqualified him from driving for twenty-six months and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

“It's the danger to himself and the public, driving with that amount of alcohol,” announced the judge. “His behaviour must have caused some concern for the member of the public to report it.

“That is a high reading and that is always a concern to the court.

“He's sailing close to a custodial sentence. There has to be a punitive element to this, it's such a high reading and it is a big fall from grace.”

He told first-time offender Lloyd-Goodwin: “We all know tragedies happen with this amount of alcohol. You are pretty obviously a man of great potential and I do not want to curtail that for too long.”

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Former Schoolteacher Gets Five Years For Sexually Abusing Young Boys During Sleepovers

A pedophile ex-schoolteacher, who slashed his wrists hours before he was due to be sentenced for the abuse of two young boys, received five years imprisonment today.

Martin Smith, 64, of Llandybie Road, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, who transfixed the impressionable youngsters with elaborate ghost tales, had been rushed to hospital forty-eight hours earlier to be treated for the self-inflicted wounds.

Woolwich Crown Court listed the case for an update and to potentially adjourn for medical and psychiatric reports, but in a surprising move Judge David Tomlinson proceeded to sentencing.

The judge also made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which imposes restrictions on Smith when he is released and he must also sign the sex-offenders register for an indefinite period.

Two days earlier Smith was taken from his hotel in Horsham, West Sussex to a local accident and emergency department hours before he was due to be sentenced for one count of indecent assault in relation to each boy, plus two counts of repeated indecency with each child on multiple occasions between 1979 and 1982.

One count of indecency with a third boy was allowed to lie on the file.

He was convicted by a jury who heard the former Camberwell primary school teacher abused the young boys, aged between eight and ten, during sleepovers at his former home in St. Julian's Farm Road, West Norwood on the eve of organised trips.

He was arrested and charged after internet communication between the complainants on Facebook and Friends Reunited.

Smith employed the ghost stories to instigate some of the abuse, urging one of the youngsters to "punish the ghost" by touching him intimately.

The boys were "absorbed" by his imaginative ghost tales, which usually involved World War One soldiers.

They stayed at Smith's two-bedroom flat to get an early start on various school trips and one of the victim's thought he felt the presence of a ghost during a visit to an old music hall, such was the influence of the defendant's stories.

The same victim told police he was also caned and spanked by Smith and one one occasion confirmed bachelor Smith put him in a nappy.

The truth only started coming out when the victim confided in his wife that a schoolteacher had abused him.

He approached police with his complaint in November 2011 and officers contacted the second victim, who confirmed similar abuse occurred when he stayed at Smith's flat.

Confirmed bachelor Smith insisted throughout the trial that he never touched the boys and claimed to recall one of the victim's warning: "I'll get you for that," after a caning.

He also said he overheard the same boy making plans to get money as a result of sexual activity.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

St. Valentine's Day Girlfriend Beater Given New Sentencing Date

A St. Valentine's Day thug, who attacked his girlfriend during a romantic weekend at a top London hotel, heard today he could still end up behind bars despite magistrates telling him: “We are going to give you another chance.”

Robert Hugh Rough, 30, of Crowhurst, Peterborough pleaded guilty to assaulting Rebecca Slater, by beating, at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel, Bayswater Road, Hyde Park in the early hours of February 15.

He was due to be sentenced at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, but had failed to see the probation service to compile a pre-sentence report and was bailed to return on June 4.

Prosecutor Mr. Christian Wheeliker told the court: “Police were called to the venue after staff received complaints from other guests about noise coming from the couple's room.

“Miss Slater says that after they went out for dinner and returned to the hotel Mr. Rough got angry about who she had been with at her firm's Christmas party and she told him nothing had happened.

“This was in the foyer and Mr. Rough followed her up to their room and once inside she says: 'Rob threw all the roses I had been given across the room and was insulting me, trying to make me cry.

'The manager came to the door and asked what was going on and I said everything was okay.

'We went out for a cigarette, but when we returned he forced me to the floor, kneed me twice in the face, and spat in my face'.”

Despite pleading guilty to assault Rough claimed Miss Slater's account was exaggerated and the court held a Newton Hearing to determine the facts.

“It was found her version of the events were the correct version,” added Mr. Wheeliker, who applied for £775 costs, compensation for Miss Slater and a restraining order to prevent the defendant contacting her.

Rough told the court he had done everything he could to co-operate, but had not received a letter sent by the probation service. “I've been worried about probation. I want to get this sorted,” he said.

Bench Chairwoman Jessica Baldwin told him: “We are going to give you another chance. We are leaving all options open, including custody.”

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Paedo Ex-Teacher Slashes Wrists Hours Before Court Sentencing

A pedophile ex-schoolteacher, convicted of abusing two boy pupils he transfixed with elaborate ghost stories, slashed his wrists hours before he was due to be sentenced for the decades-old offences.

Martin Smith, 64, of Llandybie Road, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire was rushed from a hotel in Horsham, West Sussex, to an unnamed local hospital yesterday with self-inflicted injuries.

He was due to be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court for one count of indecent assault in relation to each boy, plus two counts of repeated indecency with each child on multiple occasions between 1979 and 1982.

He was convicted by a jury who heard the former Camberwell primary school teacher abused the young boys, aged between eight and ten, during sleepovers at his former home in St. Julian's Farm Road, West Norwood on the eve of organised trips.

He was arrested and charged after internet communication between the complainants on Facebook and Friends Reunited.

Smith employed the ghost stories to instigate some of the abuse, urging one of the youngsters to "punish the ghost" by touching him intimately.

The boys were "absorbed" by his imaginative ghost tales, which usually involved World War One soldiers.

They stayed at Smith's two-bedroom flat to get an early start on various school trips and one of the victim's thought he felt the presence of a ghost during a visit to an old music hall, such was the influence of the defendant's stories.

The same victim told police he was also caned and spanked by Smith and one one occasion confirmed bachelor Smith put him in a nappy.

The truth only started coming out when the victim confided in his wife that a schoolteacher had abused him.

Judge David Tomlinson issued a warrant for Smith's arrest, announcing: "He was supposed to surrender today for sentencing and he's not here.

"He lives in Wales and to be nearer the court he went to a hotel in Horsham and was taken to hospital earlier today and his condition is not life-threatening, but there is an element of self-harm.

"A police officer has arrested him for failing to attend today and I am told that he has been assessed by the accident and emergency department."

Prosecutor Mr. Tom Nicholson applied for the warrant, saying: "There's concern for his own safety. He cannot be expected to return to Wales under his own steam and then return to court."