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Dec 1, 2023
The North East criminals who will spend Christmas in jail after being locked up in November 2023 North East courts handed out prison sentences to criminals for offences ranging from murder to rape - here is a round-up of the defendants jailed in November Bookmark These offenders were among the people who were given jail sentences in November 2023 (Image: Northumbria Police/Newcastle Chronicle) Sign up for our regular free newsletter for court stories sent straight to your inbox Invalid emailSomething went wrong, please try again later. More Newsletters We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and third parties based on our knowledge of you. More info Thank you for subscribing! Invalid emailSomething went wrong, please try again later. Sign Up × These offenders will be behind bars at Christmas after they earned themselves jail time for their crimes. A number of people appeared before North East courts in November 2023 for offences ranging from murder and rape to child sex offences. And they were given prison sentences by judges, meaning they will spend the festive season in jail. Among the cases was that of Toby Kelly, who will spend a minimum of 28 years behind bars. Kelly used his van to kill off-duty ambulance worker Sheldon Flanighan, who was just trying to do the right thing during a night out with two friends. When trouble flared at The Bay Horse pub, in Cramlington , Northumberland, Sheldon and pal, Wayne Common, sought to protect Kelly's partner who was scuffling with him, and prevent him from drink driving. Sheldon paid for his public-spirited intervention with his life when Kelly reversed over him then drove forwards over him, causing catastrophic injuries. The 38-year-old offender, of Wansbeck Avenue, Blyth, was convicted of murder and also the attempted murder of Wayne and was jailed for life. In another case, two young murderers who savagely beat a County Durham father to death were handed life sentences. Harvey Hughes, 20, and Lewis Armstrong, 18, murdered Ross Connelly in Wheatley Hill after turning up to his home and "mercilessly" beating him with a weapon. Hughes, of Girton Close, Peterlee, and Armstrong, of Dixon Estate, Shotton Colliery, were each found guilty of murder and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent - relating to another man - following a trial. Hughes must serve a minimum of 26 years in jail, and Armstrong must serve a minimum of 24 years. Here is a round-up of all the cases covered by ChronicleLive in November 2023, where the offenders were sent to jail. Paul Vickers A paedophile who targeted two schoolboys was jailed for 10 years. Paul Vickers denied he carried out sickening attacks on the young victims and claimed one was lying about his ordeal and the other had misinterpreted what happened to him. After a trial at Newcastle Crown Court , Vickers, 39, of Moreland Road, South Shields , South Tyneside , was convicted of six offences by a jury. At his sentencing hearing, the mothers of the victims provided statements and said the offences have had a devastating impact on the boys and their families. Judge Amanda Rippon said Vickers' offending has had a "gross impact". Jurors convicted Vickers of causing or inciting a child to watch a sexual act, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child and three offences of sexual assault of a child. Here's the full story. Ashley Carr Ashley Carr, jailed for assault and burglary (Image: Northumbria Police) A shop boss was spat on in a "vile and disgusting" attack after telling a barred customer to leave. Ashley Carr had been banned from Home Bargains, in Gateshead , but on June 1 this year, she went there anyway. A manager at the store approached her and told her to leave and tried to usher her out. Carr became abusive and then spat on her. Then on June 18, Carr burgled the home of a woman she knew in Gateshead, smashing a window with a hammer. The victim returned to find various items, including pots, pans, plates and a firestick had been stolen. Carr, 37, of Coatsworth Court, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to common assault on the shop worker and burglary. She was jailed for a total of 13 months. Here's the full story. Geoffrey O’Brien Geoffrey O’Brien has been jailed after he stole from two women (Image: Northumbria Police) A man who stole from two women, including one who was in her 90s, was given a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence. In May this year, Geoffrey O’Brien attended the address of an elderly resident in Bedlington, claiming he had cleaned her guttering and demanded payment. He then asked for a glass of water, at which point the woman left the front door to kindly oblige his request. O’Brien then entered the house uninvited and stole her purse, containing cash and bank cards, from the table inside. The victim later noticed her purse had been taken and informed a relative, who contacted the bank to find it had been used at a local shop to buy cigarettes. Three days later, O’Brien went on to approach a lone woman who was walking through Bedlington when he yanked her bag from her shoulder. He did this with enough force to nearly knock the woman off her feet, forcibly shoving her and making off with her belongings. Both incidents were reported to police, and after a review of CCTV, O’Brien was identified as prime suspect and was marked as wanted in connection with the offences. O’Brien, 29, of Ford Drive, Blyth , was arrested and 24 hours later he was charged with one count of robbery, one count of burglary and one count of fraud by false representation. He pleaded guilty to all offences and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. Here's the full story. Zaki Chowdhury, Muhammad Patel, Raees Modan, Hamid Dahir Zaki Chowdhury, 28, was jailed for six years and eight months (Image: North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU)) Muhammad Patel, 28, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison (Image: North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU)) Four people were jailed for their role in a fraud which fleeced 29 vulnerable victims out of over £100,000. Zaki Chowdhury, 28, Muhammad Patel, 28, Raees Modan, 28, and Hamid Dahir, 27, contacted vulnerable and often elderly victims by telephone between June and November 2018. They claimed to be police officers and said they had a relative of the victims in custody. The victims, from across the UK, were then told the relative had been in possession of fraudulent bank cards and that the money from their own bank account had been compromised. They were then persuaded to go to their bank and withdraw large sums of cash for testing, which would then be collected from their home address by a police courier. Those targeted suffered a total financial loss of over £100,000. A police operation launched and officers from the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU) were able to identify a vehicle travelling in London that they believed to be involved. With the assistance of officers in London, they were able to stop the vehicle and Patel and Modan were arrested. Further enquiries and intelligence gathered from their seized electronic devices led to Chowdhury and Dahir also being arrested. All four were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. They denied the offence and a two-week trial began at Teesside Crown Court on January 30, 2023. After seeing the overwhelming case against them, Chowdhury, Modan and Patel changed their pleas to guilty. Dahir continued to deny the offence and was convicted by a jury in February this year. In November, the four defendants were sentenced at the court in Middlesbrough. Chowdhury, of Faraday Road, Welling, Kent, was jailed for six years and eight months. Patel, of Felbridge Road, Ilford, Redbridge, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison. Modan, of Gurney Close, Barking, Essex, was locked up for three years and four months. Dahir, of Woodward Road, Dagenham, Essex, was put behind bars for two years. Here's the full story. David Matheson David Matheson has been jailed for two years and two months (Image: Northumbria Police) A thug broke an off-duty police officer's nose and left him with two black eyes after repeatedly punching him in the face. David Matheson caused damage to the property of his former partner, after she asked him to leave. The 32-year-old kept returning to her home and smashed her window and plant pot. When he was approached by an off-duty cop, who asked what he was doing, Matheson launched a violent attack. He punched the officer repeatedly to the head and face and chased him, when he tried to move away. Newcastle Crown Court heard how Matheson was only detained when other officers arrived at the scene and used a Taser on him. Matheson, of Bryson Court, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage, harassment and breaching a restraining order. Recorder Felicity Davies sentenced Matheson to two years and two months behind bars. Here's the full story. Nathan Flowers Nathan Flowers, jailed for assault, criminal damage and having weapons (Image: Northumbria Police) A terrified mum was subjected to a series of assaults in a ten-hour ordeal after being stopped from going home to her daughter by her abusive former partner. The victim had known Nathan Flowers for around 20 years and began a relationship with him in April. In July, after a conversation with a social worker, she ended the relationship. A few weeks later, she bumped into him on a night out and he asked her to go to his home. She did and they ate food and drank alcohol until around 10pm when she told him she had to go home to see her child. He replied "you're not going anywhere" and took her shoes. Newcastle Crown Court heard she was not too concerned at that point but when she tried to text her friend, Flowers grabbed her phone and tried to snap it, causing it to bend and repeated that she was not going anywhere. At some point, Flowers fell asleep and she went to try to escape but couldn't find the keys. She tried to use a screwdriver and then used a weight to smash glass in the door. But Flowers then appeared in a rage, shouting and swearing and complaining she had damaged the window. He picked up a bottle and threw it at her leg, causing pain to her thigh then dragging her back upstairs by her arms. At one point she managed to call a taxi but when the driver was unable to open the door he gave up and drove away. The victim dozed off and when she woke up she saw the keys and grabbed them and ran downstairs but Flowers grabbed her and dragged her back upstairs by her hair. She then waited until he fell asleep and used a knife to cut open a painted-shut window and managed to get out and went to a neighbour's home to raise the alarm. Flowers, 37, of Scafell Gardens, Lobley Hill, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage, possessing an offensive weapon and possessing a prohibited weapon. A charge of false imprisonment was dropped. He was jailed for a total of 42 months. Here's the full story. Warren Milne A serial online predator who wanted to have sex with an 11-year-old girl was jailed. Warren Milne, who has been caught out talking to decoy profiles posing as children six times previously, was caught out again during a routine police check. Milne had been given a ten-year sexual harm prevention order in 2017 and police went to his home in May this year to do a risk review. When they checked his phone, they found he had been communicating sexually with what appeared to be an 11-year-old girl, although police were unable to identify if she was a real child. Milne, of Stratford Road, Heaton , Newcastle, pleaded guilty to attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, attempting to communicate sexually with a child and breaching his sexual harm prevention order. The 30-year-old was sentenced to four years in prison with an extended licence period of a further five years. Here's the full story. Martin Richards Martin Richards, jailed for 22 years for child sex offences including rape (Image: Northumbria Police) A paedophile prison officer who raped a young child despite knowing he was HIV positive was jailed for 22 years. Martin Richards subjected the youngster to sickening sex attacks which left her and her family traumatised. The youngster faced blood tests and had to take tablets during an anxious wait to ensure she had not been infected with the virus. Richards, 50, of Windsor Terrace, Choppington, Northumberland , was given the lengthy sentence at Newcastle Crown Court. He pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault on a child, causing a child to watch a sexual act and attempting to pervert the course of justice by sending the victim's family letters trying to get the charges dropped. He was convicted by a jury of offences of rape, sexual assault and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Judge Gavin Doig jailed him for a total of 22 years, of which he must serve two-thirds behind bars. Read the full court report here. Ally Gordon Ally Gordon, jailed for assisting an offender (Image: Northumbria Police) A convicted killer who harboured an on-the-run murderer out of "misplaced loyalty" was sent back to prison. Ally Gordon, previously locked up for manslaughter, had been released on licence for around a year when he provided Anthony Keating with a safe house as police hunted him for murder. A court heard Gordon had known Keating since they were youngsters and so allowed him to stay at his home for two days. In November, Gordon, jailed for 42 months for the manslaughter of 19-year-old Connor Brown in 2019, along with murderer Leighton Barrass, who was jailed for life, was sent back to prison at Newcastle Crown Court. Keating and co-accused Louis Whelan were subsequently found guilty of murdering 22-year-old Blaine Hammond in Sunderland and were jailed for life. Gordon, 24, of Melsonby Court, Billingham, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender on the basis of allowing him to stay at his home for two days but not providing any further help. He was sentenced to 40 months in prison. Here's the full story. Andrew Hardy A domestic abuser assaulted his partner in her car after complaining: "You can't even park". Andrew Hardy and the woman fell out in a Newcastle city centre car park as she tried to find somewhere to leave her car. A member of the public witnessed the altercation then saw him raining punches. Newcastle Crown Court heard the woman gave evidence on behalf of Hardy, who claimed she was left bleeding accidentally as a result of him raising his hand to point out a free space. But jurors believed the account of the witness, who was commended by a judge after stopping them leaving the scene until police arrived. Hardy, 37, of Hardman Gardens, Ryton, Gateshead, was convicted after trial of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was jailed for 28 months. Read the full story here. Michael Mullen Michael Mullen, jailed for dangerous driving (Image: Northumbria Police) A convicted killer is back behind bars after putting lives at risk during a dangerous car chase with police. Michael Mullen, convicted of the manslaughter of South Shields takeaway boss Tipu Sultan in 2016, had been released on licence after serving around half of his 12-year sentence. Mullen was recruited as getaway driver by Michael McDougall, for what he thought was a robbery and was unaware McDougall was armed with a sawn-off shotgun. McDougall was jailed for life with a minimum of 34 years for the murder - which took place in April 2015. Newcastle Crown Court heard it was on October 9 this year that police spotted a blue Ford being driven at speed in the Leam Lane area of Gateshead and they pursued it and it made off. During the ensuing chase, Mullen failed to give way at a roundabout, narrowly avoided an accident, went through a red light, repeatedly went on the wrong side of the road and drove onto a footpath, causing someone to have to take evasive action. Officers ended up deploying a stinger device to deflate his tyres and render the car undriveable. Mullen then tried to flee on foot but was caught. The 32-year-old, of Hawthorne Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen at the roadside and the police station. David Abbott David Abbott, jailed for strangling his partner (Image: Northumbria Police) A woman was strangled three times in her own bed by her partner after refusing to have sex. David Abbott repeatedly restricted the breathing of his terrified girlfriend after trying to be intimate with her following a row. Newcastle Crown Court heard it was on October 8 this year that the couple were spending the night together. The woman went to bed and he joined her and tried to have sex but she didn't want to. After making wild accusations about her sleeping with family members, he attacked her. He placed his hands around her throat and strangled her three times and she was unable to breathe. She managed to discreetly call the police before the final throttling, during which he warned: "I'm going to f****** kill you". Abbott, 36, of Melrose Place, Hebburn, South Tyneside, pleaded guilty to intentional strangulation. He was jailed for 12 months. Read the full court report here. Simon Mace Simon Mace, jailed for attempting to communicate sexually with children (Image: Northumbria Police) A social media predator who tried to engage in sex chats with seven children was jailed. Simon Mace, described as isolated and never having had an intimate relationship, engaged in a series of communications with what he believed were girls as young as 12. Police also found him to be in possession of indecent images of children. The offences came to light when police received a report from the National Crime Agency that Mace had been engaging in sexual communication with users on Twitter, now known as X, who were purporting to be under-18. The users were never identified and prosecutors could not say if they were real children. Mace, 37, of Sefton Square, Springwell, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to seven charges of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and one of making indecent images. He was jailed for 13 months. Here's the full story. Wayne Sanderson Clark A manipulative sex attacker who targeted a teenager at a party is behind bars. Wayne Sanderson Clark ensured no-one was around before carrying out his sick assault at the outdoor birthday bash. The 44-year-old sent other partygoers away before preying on the 16-year-old, she said. But Clark is now safely behind bars thanks to his victim's courage. The victim reported the attack to the police and Clark, of North Road, Wallsend , was arrested and charged. He pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault and was jailed for 22 months. Here's the full story. Allen Young A predatory stalker who left two lone women terrified by following them was jailed. Allen Young targeted two victims in separate incidents on the same day, tracking one on foot and the other in his car, frightening the second by approaching her and chillingly telling her there was no-one around to help her. Young, 42, who had a knife and drugs in his car when arrested, was locked up at Newcastle Crown Court. Young, of Lambton Drive, Hetton-le-Hole, pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article and was found guilty of stalking involving fear of violence - in relation to the second victim, stalking and possessing amphetamines. He was also in breach of a previous suspended prison sentence for fraud and consumer protection offences. Craig Dalkin Craig Dalkin, jailed for GBH (Image: Northumbria Police) A violent thug left a man with part of his skull missing after a savage street attack which has ruined his life. Craig Dalkin subjected the victim to an unprovoked attack after encountering him in the street, punching him twice and causing him to fall back and crack his head on the ground. He then gave him a "dismissive" kick before spitting on him as he lay unconscious on the ground. Newcastle Crown Court heard the effects on the victim have been devastating and he now has to be cared for by his parents and is unable to work or be left alone and his young children can't understand the change in him. Dalkin, 34, of Toronto Road, Thorney Close, Sunderland, was originally charged with GBH with intent but prosecutors accepted his guilty plea to GBH. John Griffiths John Griffiths, who admitted burglary (Image: Northumbria Police) A courageous grandson took a burglar to the ground and held him until police arrived after finding him raiding his gran's home during the night. John Griffiths broke into the property in the early hours of January 24 while the occupant was asleep in bed. Newcastle Crown Court heard the woman's grandson had been staying the night and when he walked into the living room he mistook the raider for a family member and tapped him on the shoulder. But the court heard when he realised his gran's home, at Whiteleas, South Shields, South Tyneside, was actually being raided, he took the burglar to the ground and kept him there until the police turned up. He suffered grazes and cuts in the process. Griffiths, 40, of Inverness Road, Jarrow, admitted burglary. The previous day, Griffiths had gone to the home of a man in his 80s, who also lived on the Whiteleas estate. The victim became disconcerted during the unexpected visit and Griffths started "looking around" his home and took property from the shed. The court heard the man gave Griffiths £20 to "get him to leave" then later discovered some of his medication was missing. Griffiths admitted theft in relation to the visit. He was sentenced to three years and five months behind bars. Here's the full story. Graham Burton Sunderland sex offender Graham Burton (Image: Northumbria Police) A sex offender arranged to babysit a young girl during sickening online chats with her mum. Graham Burton, who was out on licence from a previous prison sentence for sex offences, discussed travelling to the mum's house by taxi so he could get access to the child. Newcastle Crown Court heard it remains unclear whether an actual mother was behind the vile exchange but Burton was sent pictures of a little girl, who appeared to be aged between five and seven, during the discussion. The court heard the details of the shocking arrangement were found when police visited his home in May to carry out a routine check due to his sex offender status. Burton, 60, of High Street East, Sunderland, admitted breach of a sexual harm prevention order, attempting to have sexual communication with a child, arranging the commission of a child sex offence and possessing five category C images of child abuse, which were also found on his phone. He was jailed for four years with a four-year extended licence. Here's the full story. Karl Paul Newson A rape victim revealed the devastating impact the sick attack had on her life. The woman bravely opened her heart to talk about how sex offender Karl Paul Newson, from Northumberland, had a massive impact on her life after his devastating attack. It took Newson's victim a year to find the courage to tell anyone what had happened to her. Thanks to her bravery, Newson, 27, was jailed for more than eight years after a jury found him guilty of rape. Newson, of Morven Terrace, Ashington, denied the offence, meaning his victim had to go through a trial before seeing him convicted. Read the full story here. Philip Robinson Philip Robinson, jailed for attempted robberies (Image: Northumbria Police) Two taxi drivers were subjected to terrifying knifepoint ordeals by a drug addict desperate for cash. Philip Robinson burst through the open window of one cab brandishing a knife when the driver refused to give him a lift. Having got into another taxi, he then pretended to be poorly before pulling the blade on him. That driver accelerated away while Robinson was half in and half out of the car, causing him to fall out and fracture both elbows. The 34-year-old, who had earlier made threats to people at a Metro station, was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court. Robinson, of Percy Road, Whitley Bay , pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted robbery, possessing a bladed article and criminal damage. He was jailed for four years. Here's the full story. Jordan Klein Jordan Klein, jailed for strangulation and assault (Image: Northumbria Police) A domestic violence thug strangled and bit his former partner during a terrifying attack in her own home. Jordan Klein was already subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting the mother of his baby when he turned up at her home. Ignoring her instruction to go away, he let himself in before subjecting her to a shocking attack which left her struggling to breathe. The woman said the ordeal lasted around 20 minutes and she was left with bruises and bite marks. Klein, 20, of Windermere Crescent, Shiney Row, Houghton-le-Spring, pleaded guilty to intentional strangulation, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, breaching a restraining order and criminal damage. Klajdi Miraka and Klajdi Shehu Klajdi Miraka, jailed for producing cannabis (Image: Northumbria Police) Klajdi Shehu, jailed for producing cannabis (Image: Northumbria Police) A large cannabis farm was busted after police found a secret entrance from next door behind a fridge. Two Albanian men were looking after the drug factory, with one of them saying they had been put there by people smugglers. Several rooms had been converted to grow hundreds of cannabis plants in Alnwick, Northumberland. Police executed a search warrant at Clayport Square, in the town, where they found Klajdi Shehu, 23. Klajdi Miraka, 33, was found hiding in the loft. Both men, of no fixed address, who have no previous convictions in this country, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and were each jailed for six months. Read the full story here. Jordan Lowe Jordan Lowe (Image: Durham Constabulary) A pervert who had sex with an underage girl in secluded woodland was put behind bars. Jordan Lowe, 24, added the 15-year-old girl on Snapchat and the pair began talking, but despite knowing she was underage, the conversation soon turned sexual. Lowe asked the girl to send him indecent images of herself before he arranged to pick her up and took her to a secluded woodland. Once there, Lowe had sex with the girl before they were disturbed by a passer-by. The girl disclosed what had happened to an adult and a police investigation was launched by Durham Constabulary. Lowe, of Peterlee, appeared at Teesside Crown Court and was jailed for five-and-a-half years after being found guilty following a trial of meeting a child following sexual grooming and sexual activity with a child. He had previously pleaded guilty to a third charge of making indecent images of children. Here's the full story. Stuart McGregor Stuart McGregor, jailed for assault and strangulation (Image: Northumbria Police) A thug strangled and assaulted a woman during a parking row while boasting: "I'm the hardest man in Seghill". Stuart McGregor launched a sustained attack on a woman after she asked him to move his van, which was blocking her mum's drive. He rained punches before throttling her then assaulted her mum when she intervened. McGregor, 32, of Forest Way, Seghill, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to intentional strangulation and assault occasioning actual bodily harm on the daughter and common assault on the mother. He was also in breach of a suspended sentenced imposed for controlling or coercive behaviour. He was jailed for 16 months and was also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation. Here's the full story. Toby Kelly Toby Kelly, convicted of murder and attempted murder (Image: Northumbria Police) Murderer Toby Kelly will spend a minimum of 28 years behind bars for a senseless killing which left his victim's family "distraught, heartbroken and angry". Kelly used his van to kill off-duty ambulance worker Sheldon Flanighan, who was just trying to do the right thing during what was meant to be a quiet night out with two friends. When trouble flared at The Bay Horse pub, in Cramlington , Northumberland, Sheldon and pal, Wayne Common, sought to protect Kelly's partner who was scuffling with him, and prevent him from drink driving. Sheldon paid for his public-spirited intervention with his life in horrific circumstances when Kelly reversed over him then drove forwards over him, causing catastrophic injuries. The 38-year-old, of Wansbeck Avenue, Blyth, was convicted of murder and also the attempted murder of Wayne and was jailed for life at Newcastle Crown Court. Read the full article here. Peter Harrison and Stephen York Peter Harrison (Image: northumbria police) Stephen York (Image: northumbria police) Encrochat drug dealers who supplied more than £1.5m worth of illegal substances were jailed for more than 30 years. Associates Stephen York and Peter Harrison appeared at Newcastle Crown Court where they were sentenced for their roles in a lucrative conspiracy which has already seen three men jailed for more than 34 years. The pair were caught out when law enforcement infiltrated their encrypted devices and uncovered evidence of their offending as part of Operation Venetic. As part of the investigation which ran during spring 2020, officers at Northumbria Police established York had been involved in the supply of 23kgs of cocaine worth £977,500 and 45kgs of cannabis worth £189,000. Partner in crime, Harrison, had also been involved in the commercial supply of the same drugs, valued at more than £500,000. Officers observed York posing as an electrician and travelling around the area to meet associates, and established Harrison led a network of lower-level cocaine dealers. The investigation also found the pair used a number of safe houses to process and distribute Class A drugs and grow cannabis. York, 42, of Falkirk, Killingworth, admitted conspiracy to supply Class A (cocaine) and Class B drugs (cannabis) and was jailed for 19 years and 10 months. Harrison, 36, of Ennderdale Road in Walker, admitted conspiracy to supply Class A (cocaine) and Class B drugs (cannabis) and was jailed for 13 years and six months. Here's the full story. Harvey Hughes and Lewis Armstrong Harvey Hughes (Image: Durham Constabulary) Lewis Armstrong (Image: Durham Constabulary) Two young murderers who savagely beat a County Durham father to death amid a family feud were handed life sentences. Harvey Hughes, 20, and Lewis Armstrong, 18, murdered Ross Connelly in Wheatley Hill after turning up to his home on May 1 and "mercilessly" beating him with a weapon - likely a metal pole. Mr Connelly was struck by around 40 blows and sustained fatal injuries before his body was found hours later by his landlord. The murder was carried out amid a bitter family feud which involved Armstrong's mother and Mr Connelly, her cousin. Hours before the killing, abusive messages had been exchanged between Mr Connelly and his cousin, causing Armstrong to "recruit" Hughes and others into attending his home and carrying out the fatal attack. Hughes, of Girton Close, Peterlee, and Armstrong, of Dixon Estate, Shotton Colliery, were each found guilty of murder and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent - relating to another man - following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Both Hughes and Armstrong were given life sentences. Hughes must serve a minimum of 26 years, and Armstrong must serve a minimum of 24 years. Here's the full court report. Adam Richardson Adam Richardson, who glassed a man in Newcastle city centre (Image: Northumbria Police) A wine bar customer glassed a man in the face after being "mocked" about his ginger hair and teeth. Adam Richardson had been out in Newcastle city centre on the night of May 24, 2019, and went to The Vineyard, on Grey Street. A court heard he ended up feeling "embarrassed and rejected" and lost his temper after jibes over his appearance. In a gross overreaction, he tried to headbutt the victim then thrust a glass into his face, causing wounds which have left him scarred. Richardson, 37, of Ullswater Way, Denton, Newcastle, was jailed for three years at Newcastle Crown Court. He had pleaded guilty to wounding the victim but a jury found him guilty of the more serious offence of wounding with intent. Here's the full story. Joseph Lee Joseph Lee, 46, is now behind bars after he travelled to Framwellgate Moor to meet a 15-year-old girl he arranged to have sex with online. (Image: handout) A predator who arranged to meet an underage teen for sex was locked up. Joseph Lee, 46, travelled to Framwellgate Moor to meet a 15-year-old girl he arranged to have sex with online. However, what he didn’t know was that officers from the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU) and Durham Constabulary would be waiting to arrest him instead. NEROCU detectives worked alongside officers from Durham Constabulary’s Online Child Abuse Investigator Team, to carry out their operation on April 26 last year, and thanks to their partnership, Lee is now no longer a danger to children. When interviewed Lee, of Drum Lane, Chester-le-Street, offered no explanation of why he did what he did and offered no guilty plea. However, due to the extensive evidence file compiled by officers, a jury found Lee guilty of arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence earlier this year on October 27 at Durham Crown Court. He appeared at the same court on November 20 and was sentenced to four years' imprisonment. Here's the full story. Leslie Fletcher Leslie Fletcher (Image: handout) A prolific paedophile who paid to watch the exploitation and abuse of children in the Philippines was jailed. Leslie Fletcher appeared at Newcastle Crown Court where he was put behind bars for almost six years after previously admitting a string of sexual offences. The 76-year-old became the subject of a complex investigation after Google and Microsoft flagged the sharing of indecent images on their platforms. Specialist officers from Northumbria Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) arrested Fletcher and seized his devices – which were then scoured by a team of digital investigators. When forensic examination of his devices was completed, officers had a range of evidence which documented a pattern of dangerous offending between June 2020 and July 2021. There were incriminating conversations in which Fletcher requested photographs and videos of babies and children no older than 11 years old, as well as receipts and records of calls with people abusing their children. Fletcher, of Brancepeth Close in Washington, was later charged and previously pleaded guilty to a total of 13 charges, including three counts of making indecent images of children, four counts of arranging the commission of a child sex offences and four counts of attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity. Seven of the offences related to Fletcher arranging the abuse of children abroad. A judge sentenced him to a total of five years and nine months in custody. Here's the full story. Zoe Williams and Thomas Surtees Zoe Williams, jailed for child sex offences (Image: Northumbria Police) Thomas Surtees, jailed for child sex offences (Image: Northumbria Police) A primary school teacher and her perverted partner were branded 'monsters' as they were each jailed for a string of sex abuse offences. To the outside world, Zoe Williams was a picture of respectability, working at a school. But beneath the facade lurked a deviant who was only too happy to join in with the sickening behaviour of boyfriend Thomas Surtees while both were fuelled by drink and drugs. Newcastle Crown Court heard the vile behaviour came to light when Surtees was arrested for unrelated offending after a number of teenagers complained he had sexually assaulted them. Checks of his phone revealed he had been engaging in far more sinister behaviour with Williams and a young child, with some of the abuse discovered on their phones. One of the videos on Williams' phone showed Surtees abusing a child and the court heard the recording was made by Williams. Further clips showed Williams abusing the child. When sent a further still sexual image of him and the child, Williams responded saying he should have carried out even more serious abuse. Surtees, 37, of Bellshill Close, Wallsend, admitted ten sexual assaults, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, sexual communication with a child, three offences of making indecent images of a child and one of taking an indecent image of a child. Williams, 30, of The Gables, Widdrington, Northumberland, admitted two sexual assaults of a child under 13, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and three counts of making indecent images of children. Surtees was jailed for 15 years with an extended licence period of a further five years while Williams got ten years with an extended licence period of a further five years. Read the full court report here. Kristopher Levy Kristopher Levy, jailed for assaults (Image: Northumbria Police) A thug who assaulted his partner at a pub attacked her two female friends when they intervened to stick up for her - including throwing a glass into the face of one of them. Kristopher Levy pushed and shoved his partner, prompting two of her friends to intervene. He slewed a drink in one woman's face then threw the glass at her, then lashed out with punches and kicks towards the third woman. Newcastle Crown Court heard it was on June 16 this year that Levy and his then partner went to The Balloon pub, in Slatyford, Newcastle. They began arguing after he took her car keys off her and he became aggressive towards her. CCTV shows him pushing and shoving her while bare-chested. Levy, 37, of Coldingham Gardens, Fenham, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding, two counts of common assault, drink driving and driving without insurance. He was jailed for a total of 16 months. Here's the full story. Lewis Wood A Greggs customer was squirted in the face with acid as he sat eating food. Lewis Wood left the man with burns to his eye and chest in a targeted attack in the shop in Longbenton, North Tyneside . Staff rushed to the victim's aid, rinsing his eyes with milk. Having been treated with milk, he was taken to hospital, where he was found to have a "mild corneal burn" and a chemical burn to his chest. Wood, 25, of Backworth Court, Shiremoor, North Tyneside, pleaded guilty to applying a noxious liquid with intent and the original charge of wounding with intent was dropped. Terry Coe Terry Coe, who has been jailed (Image: Northumbria Police) A man who threatened to "blast" police officers who were responding to reports he was in possession of a firearm at his home was jailed. On March 15, officers attended an address on Montpellier Place in the Kenton area of Newcastle after receiving reports of a disturbance. When they arrived, the resident Terry Coe was reported to be in possession of what appeared to be a firearm. Before officers arrived, Coe had contacted an associate, saying he was in possession of a firearm, grenades, had set up booby traps at the property and if police turned up at his home he would "blast" them. Specialist firearms officers entered the address but Coe locked himself in his bedroom. Following negotiations, Coe opened the door and was holding what looked like a dark-coloured revolver. He was told to drop the weapon but when he failed to do so, one of the officers discharged his baton gun, striking Coe on his left thigh. Coe was subdued and taken to hospital for treatment on minor injuries before being arrested. The firearm was inspected and found to be a gas-powered BB gun. He was then charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. Coe, 37, initially pleaded not guilty to the offence but on the day his trial was due to begin, he changed his plea to guilty. He was sentenced to 32 months in prison for possession of the imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and two months in prison for breach of a suspended sentence, to run consecutively. Here's the full story. Jeffrey Milburn Jeffrey Milburn, former councillor jailed for election fraud (Image: Northumbria Police) A former Tory councillor was jailed for fraudulently entering a local election by failing to declare he was banned from doing so as a result of weapons convictions. Jeffrey Milburn was forbidden from standing for election after being given suspended sentences for having a bladed article in 2020 and possessing a firearm without a certificate, possessing a shotgun without a certificate and possessing a bladed article in 2021. He put his name on the ballot for a local election in South Tyneside in May this year and failed to declare the prohibition, which exists under the Local Government Act and lasts for five years after a sentence of imprisonment of more than three months, even if suspended, is imposed. Newcastle Crown Court heard that despite complaints from fellow candidates for the Cleadon and East Boldon ward and members of the public, officials had no power to remove him from the ballot because that could be seen as them interfering with the process. Milburn either refused or failed to remove himself and received 70 votes as an independent candidate, which did not affect the outcome of the election, which was won by the Green Party by more than 300 votes. The court heard the 64-year-old, of Sunniside Lane, Cleadon, South Tyneside, had been given four months suspended for 12 months in July 2020 for having a bladed article. Then in August 2021 he got 20 months suspended for two years for the gun offences. He had been removed from his previous job as a councillor as a result of his convictions and received correspondence from council officials confirming the position. He pleaded guilty to making a false statement on a candidate nomination document, which is an offence under the Representation of the People Act. For that offence, he was jailed for four months and six months of the suspended sentence from 2021 was activated, meaning he was locked up for a total of ten months. Here's the full story. Chris Dixon and Elliot Hopewell Chris Dixon has been jailed (Image: Northumbria Police) Elliot Hopewell (Image: South Yorkshire Police) An underworld dealer with an “unprecedented involvement” in the UK’s illegal firearms trade and an associate were jailed for more than 37 years. Chris Dixon and Elliot Hopewell were identified during a specialist police operation in 2020 which saw law enforcement gain access to encrypted devices as part of a push to tackle serious and organised crime. Officers uncovered around 6,000 messages from Dixon’s phone which boasted sales of Spice, amphetamine and a range of weapons, including a hand-grenade and a Uzi submachine gun. Messages also documented how Hopewell assisted Dixon with the sale of a Colt special revolver for £7,500 to a third party, who openly disclosed needing the item for criminal acts. Further messages highlighted how Hopewell sold Dixon 20kg of Spice with the aim of it being distributed in prisons for maximum profit. Dixon was also found to be running an amphetamine factory from a flat in Benwell. Dixon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply prohibited weapons, selling or transferring a prohibited weapon, conspiracy to supply Spice and conspiracy to supply amphetamine. Hopewell admitted conspiracy to supply prohibited weapons, conspiracy to supply heroin, conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply spice and conspiracy to supply Ketamine. Dixon, 44, of Gardiner Square, Kibblesworth, Gateshead, was sentenced to 22 years in prison, while Hopewell, 40, of Greenwood Avenue, Sheffield, was sentenced to 15 years and five months in prison. Here's the full story. Alex Kesteris Graham Alex Kesteris Graham, who admitted possessing an explosive substance and arson (Image: Northumbria Police) A weapons obsessive set off an outdoors firework indoors to impress his girlfriend in the same room he was storing a potentially deadly improvised explosive device. Alex Kesteris Graham bought two rocket fireworks, packing one with nails and taping it up - later saying he intended to use it to blow himself up. When drunk, he then ignited the other rocket in his room and recorded it on his phone. While he laughed, his girlfriend was distressed after the loud bang and large amount of smoke which resulted, as well as a small fire. Graham, 27, pleaded guilty to possessing an explosive substance and arson and was jailed for two-and-a-half years. Read the full court report here. Paul Miller Paul Miller was found to have almost £8,000 worth of heroin at his home (Image: Northumbria Police) A man in prison for robbery had his sentence extended after almost £8,000 worth of heroin was found in his home. Officers found class A and class C drugs when they executed a warrant at Paul Miller's property in North Shields . Newcastle Crown Court heard how heroin and Etizolam were found at the premises on Wallsend Road. The 42-year-old was not present at the time but his DNA was discovered on the opiate drug. Miller pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled drug of class A with intent and possessing a controlled drug of class C with intent. He admitted the offences on the basis that he was warehousing the drugs. The court heard how he was already serving a prison sentence of five and a half years for robbery and other matters. They were committed in January 2022 - while he was on bail for this offence. Miller was given a 10-month consecutive sentence for the class A offence. He will serve the 10 months in addition to the prison sentence which he is already serving. For the class C offence, the judge handed Miller a three month concurrent prison sentence. This will be served at the same time as the class A offence. Here's the full report. Sebastian Ormston Sebastian Ormston, who breached a restraining order (Image: Northumbria Police) A dad was jailed after insisting on going on a family holiday with his former partner against her wishes after they split up. Sebastian Ormston disregarded a restraining order by going to Spain with his ex and their kids. During the break and on the flight home, he became drunk and abusive. He went on to commit further breaches of the restraining order and was already on a suspended prison sentence for possessing cocaine with intent to supply. In November, Ormston was jailed by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court. The court heard the pair had been in a relationship for around seven years but they split up and Ormston was given a restraining order in January this year banning him from contacting her. Before they broke up, a family holiday to Spain had been booked for May. Following the end of their relationship, she told him she didn't want him to go on the break but he insisted on going, against her wishes. Ormston, 33, of Merton Road, Walker, Newcastle, admitted three breaches of the restraining order, assault by beating, criminal damage and being in breach of the suspended sentence imposed for the drugs offence. He was jailed for two years and two months. Here's the full story. Ian McKie Ian McKie, jailed for outraging public decency (Image: Northumbria Police) A student was left shocked after spotting a man sitting in his car "panting and grunting" while carrying out a sex act near a Tyneside park. Ian McKie, who has a history of similar offending, parked up near Heaton Park, Heaton, Newcastle, with his window down. When the woman walked past, she saw he had no clothes on his lower body and he continued what he was doing while looking her in the eye. The 55-year-old, of Ousterley Terrace, Stanley, County Durham, who has previously been banned from part of Durham for similar behaviour, was jailed for his fourth similar conviction. He pleaded guilty to outraging public decency in relation to the latest offence and was locked up for eight months. Here's the full story. Mark Storey Mark Storey, jailed for sexual assault (Image: Northumbria Police) A sex attacker who abused a teenager in an "evil" assault in an alleyway was jailed. Mark Storey sexually assaulted the victim as he made his way home after a night out in Haltwhistle, Northumberland. The 43-year-old claimed the frightened girl had "forced" him to have sexual contact and he "felt unable to push her away". Storey, of Stonerigg Close, Haltwhistle, denied sexual assault during a trial at Newcastle Crown Court but was found guilty by jurors. He was jailed for six-and-a-half years. Here's the full story. Marc Raven Marc Raven (Image: North Yorkshire Police / SWNS) A "thoroughly dishonest" fraudster who posed as a millionaire and duped two women out of more than £400,000 was put behind bars. Marc Raven deceived grandmother Janet Pye into marrying him and selling her home after claiming he was a successful businessman who owned a flat in an expensive part of North Yorkshire. The gran ended up marrying the 61-year-old in Las Vegas after giving up her job and selling her home less than a year after meeting him on a dating app. The victim ended up declaring bankruptcy after Raven, of Northumberland Road, Lemington, Newcastle, conned her out of up to £320,000 over an 18-month period. Raven appeared at York Crown Court and was jailed for eight years after admitting two counts of fraud. Raven had also preyed upon a second victim, Janice Tan, in Singapore, after claiming to be an investigator with the job of recouping cash she'd lost in a separate timeshare scam. He tricked her into sending £108,000 when he claimed to be seriously ill in Dubai and needing the cash to pay for medical bills. Here's the full court report. Michael Robinson Michael Robinson, jailed for controlling or coercive behaviour (Image: Northumbria Police) A mum kept a secret diary of the harrowing abuse she suffered at the hands of her boyfriend so it could be used as evidence if he killed her. The woman logged, on a mobile phone app, a detailed and dated written record, with pictures, documenting the sickening attacks by Michael Robinson over an 18-month period. Newcastle Crown Court heard on top of regular violent assaults, the brute repeatedly caused damage in her home, dictated what she wore and who she saw. He spat in her face, threw food at her and even urinated on her belongings in a bid to have a "big man reputation". Robinson, 24, of Tilbury Road, Sunderland, who admitted controlling and coercive behaviour, was jailed for three years and eight months. Read the full story here. Join our WhatsApp communities ChronicleLive is now on WhatsApp and we want you to join our communities. 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Snap Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Snap founded?
Snap was founded in 2011.
Where is Snap's headquarters?
Snap's headquarters is located at 3000 31st Street, Santa Monica.
What is Snap's latest funding round?
Snap's latest funding round is PIPE.
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Snap raised a total of $2.614B.
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Competitors of Snap include Stops, Hike, Wanna, EmbodyMe, Wickr and 7 more.
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