78 jailed in April for crimes linked to Merseyside

Publication Date01 May 2021
One judge had to deal with a monstrous husband who stabbed his wife 300 times, while another locked up a gunman who shot three people in one home.

Disturbing cases included a child rapist who targeted two teenage girls on Snapchat, a predatory maths teacher who exploited a vulnerable pupil, and a serial child rapist who made the lives of three young victims hell.

Judges had to sentence EncroChat drug dealers caught trafficking colossal amounts of cocaine, heroin, ketamine and cannabis, with gangs featuring a former UFC heavyweight fighter and an ex-boxing champion.

Courts heard about a crooked police officer who battered a man and a despicable woman beater who broke the nose of his pregnant girlfriend.

And four people including two siblings who drove over from Manchester to Merseyside to hunt down a murdered dad-of-one were jailed for life.

Here is an overview of some of the most serious cases to have concluded this past month.

James Farquhar

Convicted rapist James Farquhar twice went on foreign holidays including to the Philippines without telling the police.

Farquhar, who served a 12-year prison sentence imposed in 2005 for repeatedly raping a teenage girl, was required to tell the police if he applied for a passport or went abroad under the terms of the Sex Offenders Register.

But he applied for a passport in November 2019 and the following March he flew to the Philippines for a month's holiday.

The 62-year-old's offender manager was told about the jaunt on his return and enquiries began into his passport acquisition.

However, he was not interviewed by police until November 2020 -by which time he had also spent a week on the Greek island of Cos a few weeks earlier.

Farquhar, of Ford Lane, Litherland, but formerly of Southport, admitted three offences of breaching the Sex Offender Register requirements.

He was jailed for nine months.

Matthew Lawton

A mum was sent a video of a paedophile having sex with her daughter after he groomed her over Snapchat.

Matthew Lawton preyed on two teenage girls and lured them with offers of cigarettes, alcohol and cannabis.

The then 29-year-old lied that he was 19 to trick the children, aged 14 and 13, into meeting for sex.

Under UK law -while it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with anyone under 16 -consensual sex is not considered rape if the child is 13 or older.

Lawton, of Milton Road, Widnes, pestered the two victims to send him intimate photos and filmed the 14-year-old -aka Girl A -having sex with him.

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The "monster" used the clip to blackmail her into further abuse -including a rape after he held a knife to her throat -when she tried to stop seeing him.

However, when he posted the clip on a Snapchat account called "slags", not only was it sent to her mum, but he was caught thanks to his distinctive tattoos.

Lawton, now 30, was found guilty after a trial of 19 sexual offences, including multiple counts of rape against Girl A.

His past convictions include inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, when he blinded a dad in one eye, who had intervened to stop him hitting a girl.

Lawton was jailed for 15 years, with an extended four years on licence.

Peter Carden

Peter Carden was caught in North Wales with £6,000 of cocaine in his BMW X5.

The 38-year-old, of Warbreck Moor, Orrell Park, was pulled over in Halkyn, Flintshire in March last year.

When he got out of the car, he said to officers "you got me" and indicated the drugs were in the glove box.

Carden was found to have just short of 150g of high purity cocaine.

The courier had a previous conviction for possessing the drug in 2009, but no history of drug dealing.

Carden admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and was jailed for two years and four months.

Wayne Collins

Wayne Collins was caught sending sexual photos to two 'girls' but blamed his innocent brothers.

The paedophile thought he was chatting to children when he discussed sex and sent naked pictures of himself online.

In reality both "Bella", 13, and 12-year-old "Jess" -who he met on Kik Messenger -were undercover police officers.

Police raided the 29-year-old's home in Belmont Road, Anfield and seized his phone, containing indecent images of children and his collection of "d pics".

The pervert then tried to worm his way out of trouble by claiming his brothers had used the device, but police spoke to them and soon realised that wasn't true.

Collins, who had no previous convictions, admitted downloading and possessing indecent images of a child, two counts of attempting to sexually communicate with a child, two counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and two counts of attempting to cause a child to look at an image of a person engaging in sexual activity.

He was jailed for 20 months.

Barry Simmons

Barry Simmons tried to tell airport security staff that his suitcase stuffed with 389 blocks of cannabis resin was just "smellies".

The 35-year-old, of Winifred Road, Fazakerley was caught trying to smuggle almost £100,000 of cannabis through Manchester Airport.

The self-confessed "cannabis addict" was a passenger returning from a trip to Tenerife when he was stopped by customs officers.

Simmons was found with 389 blocks of cannabis resin, which weighed 9.3 kilos, and in street deals could have been worth £97,500.

Following the discovery on November 17 last year, Simmons admitted importing a Class B drug with intent to evade a prohibition.

He was jailed for two years.

William Brown

Drug dealer William Brown slashed a customer's arm to the bone with a broken bottle in revenge for an unpaid debt of just £150.

He tricked the victim into opening the door of his home in Devon, and then lunged at him with the bottle while shouting: "Where's my money"

Brown stabbed the man's arm as he raised it to protect his face and caused a wound that needed hospital treatment and several stitches.

He carried out the attack in Newton Abbot in January 2020 to enforce a drug debt owed to a Liverpool based gang by the victim's partner.

Brown was already under investigation for drug dealing in Torquay and went on to be caught with £9,000 of cocaine and heroin three months later.

The 21-year-old, from Liverpool but now of Whiteway Road, Kingsteignton, admitted wounding, four counts of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply, and possessing criminal property.

He was jailed for five and a half years.

Ryan Thorp

Ryan Thorp headbutted and choked his former girlfriend while their children slept upstairs.

Carly Naylor, 30, from Litherland was attacked after she returned home from a family party on March 8 last year.

Ex-partner Thorp had not attended the party and was at home babysitting their two young children, now aged four and two.

However, he had sent her aggressive texts and back home his vicious assault even included biting her arm, leaving a scar.

Miss Naylor suffered black eyes and a suspected fractured skull, where a lump remains on her forehead to this day.

Thorp, 25, of no fixed address but originally from Worcester, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

He was jailed for 13 months.

Samuel Brooks

Samuel Brooks told his ex-girlfriend there was "money on her head" and he "had a strap to use on her".

The 18-year-old battered the pregnant mum-of-one and threatened both her and her daughter, saying he would "light all three of us up'".

The "out of control" scrambler yob was due to be sentenced in December last year, after leading police on a high speed chase when he crashed through a level crossing in Leasowe, hid in a shed and told a police officer when caught: "You're s at driving."

After a judge took the unusual step of deferring his sentence to give the teen a chance to change, Brooks grabbed and punched his former partner in January -forcing her head against the wall of a bus stop.

Brooks, of Hornby Road, Bromborough, also fell to be sentenced for a separate incident on a scrambler bike last July, when he sped through red lights.

The lout -said by a judge to have around 50 previous convictions -admitted driving while disqualified, two counts of drug driving, dangerous driving, criminal damage, using a motor vehicle without insurance, breach of a non-molestation order, two counts of assault by beating, breaching a criminal behaviour order and riding a motorcycle without insurance, while disqualified and without protective headgear.

He was locked up for 20 months.

Liam Clark

Cocaine dealing yob Liam Clark crashed a stolen Skoda into a police car during a chase.

The 19-year-old was driving the car, which had false plates, when police tried to stop him and he sped away on January 12, 2019.

But he drove on the wrong side of the road before colliding into a police car, and was only caught when another officer blocked his door with their vehicle.

The serial offender had also been found with £1,200 of cocaine, 11 bags of cannabis and a knife in a separate incident on County Road on October 4, 2019.

Clark, of Field Street, Islington, was wanted for a robbery when officers made the discovery.

The expectant dad led police on another chase in a stolen Kia, which ended with him writing off the car after crashing into oncoming traffic, on January 14, 2020.

He admitted possessing cannabis, possessing PAVA spray, two counts of dangerous driving, handling stolen goods, two counts of having no insurance or licence, possessing Class A and B drugs with intent to supply, and possessing a knife.

Clark was jailed for three years.

Anthony Ward

Anthony Ward battered the mother of his child then showed himself to be a 'selfish' revenge porn bully.

The 40-year-old, of Stevenage Close, St Helens, was slammed by a judge for his "abusive, demeaning and controlling" behaviour after they broke up in 2019.

His ex was left "living in fear" of Ward, who would "effectively blackmail" her with threats to share intimate photos, before eventually posting them to her brother-in-law and new boyfriend.

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