Manslaughter, GBH, violent
disorder and offensive weapons
in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.


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Helen Gavaghan, Bradford, Crown Court (UK), 20th February, 2018

ACQUITTAL TODAY for Thomas Chapman and Ashley Longstaff from Thornhill, Dewsbury
of the charge (violent disorder) which they faced.

Others found guilty of offences of violence

Hospital staff withdrew medical support from Jonathan Binns (32) at 4am on 18th February 2017. He died from unsurvivable injuries at 4.22 am. Later that day, at 14.38pm, Jonathan's father formally identified his son's body. The driver of the car which killed Jonathan was disqualified, allowed on the road only under supervision, according to the terms of his provisional licence. The driver's passenger, and co-accused on murder and manslaughter charges, was not a driver. Even though, as became clear during the trial, the driver thought he had run over someone, he did not contact emergency services.

Today at Bradford Crown Court a jury acquitted Jaelen [correction: Jaelan NOT Jaelen - the error is mine, not Court documents. 21.2.2018.] Herlt (20) of East Ardsley and Khaleem Harris (21) from Thornhill, Dewsbury of murder, but found both quilty of manslaughter. They will be sentenced this Friday.

The fatal collision took place at The Scarborough pub, in a car park opening onto The Town. The pub is located in the outskirts of Dewsbury.

Not long before the collision Luke Carter, a patron of The Scarborough, had had his jaw broken, and Kamrren Harris, a younger brother of Khaleem, was today also found guilty of the Grievous Bodily Harm of Mr Carter. URGENT CORRECTION MADE WITHIN MINUTES OF PUBLICATION In an interview read to Court by the prosecution the police had asked Thomas Chapman if, having seen Luke Carter's jaw broken, he had thought to call the police. Mr Chapman told police the disorder was not planned.

Three defendants were found guilty of possessing offensive weapons. These were: Kamrren Harris (knuckle duster), Khaleem Harris (knuckle duster) and Jonathan Newby (cosh). Earlier during the trial Mr Newby had been found "not guilty" on the judge's direction of possessing a knuckle duster.

Ten youths and young men, including Jaelan Herlt, Khaleem Harris, Kamrren Harris and Jonathan Newby additionally faced charges of violent disorder. Two of the ten - Thomas Chapman and Ashley Longstaff - were acquitted. The rest, including Lawson Hodgson, Reece Hinchliffe, Ryan Scaife and Kallum Harris and were found "Guilty" of violent disorder. All are from the Thornhill area of Dewsbury.

Mr Herlt and Mr Khaleem Harris each gave evidence in their own defence, and both denied intent to hurt Jonathan Binns.

Informally Detective Sergeant Richard Smith of the West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Incident's Unit told me he did not think racism was the cause of the violence, and that drugs were irrelevant to events. Yet Mr Herlt insisted to the Court he had heard some deeply unpleasantly racist words said, which he took to be aimed at himself. Other witnesses denied hearing the words Mr Herlt heard.

Before the jury returned with their verdicts on the murder and manslaughter charges, Mr Justice Goss said that if anyone disturbed the decorum of the Court they would be removed and not allowed to return.

The judge thanked the jury for their diligence.