A murderer, a jilted lover, and weapon-wielding twins are among the criminals who have been jailed in and around Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire in the last month.
While February might be the shortest month of the year, the criminal justice system has been as busy as ever.
And everyday StokeonTrentLive reporters are out and about covering the courts across the region.
We’ve reported on the following cases where criminals have been sent to prison by courts in the area over the course of the last few weeks.
Click the full story option below each to read more about the case.
For the latest cases to appear before judges and magistrates across the region and beyond, check our dedicated court page for the very latest news from the courts.
Dad Anthony Deaville has been jailed after he deliberately drove at a man twice after shouting racial abuse at him.
The 33-year-old called his victim a black b****** and used the N-word as the man unloaded his shopping outside his home in Biddulph.
He then deliberately reversed at the man who was forced to take evasive action. In anger the man kicked out at Deaville’s Seat Leon and punched his window.
But the defendant turned his car around and deliberately drove at the man forcing him to jump over a wall to prevent being struck. He feared he was going to die.
Now Deaville has been jailed for 10 months and hit with a two year driving ban at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Murderer Alan Martyn has been jailed for life after stabbing a 26-year-old man to death.
The 45-year-old must serve a minimum of 24 years and three months behind bars after admitting the murder of Anas Chergat.
The defendant, of no fixed address, twice stabbed Anas in Sandon Street, Etruria, in August, 2019.
His fellow defendant – 29-year-old Richard Street, who is also of no fixed address – is still due to be sentenced after he was convicted of the murder.
Drunken teen Matthew Ware kicked a man about 10 times to his head outside a nightclub.
The 18-year-old, who had ‘put away an obscene mixture that night’, punched his victim outside Gossip, Hanley, in the early hours of the morning and kicked him repeatedly to the face while he was on the ground.
CCTV operators directed police to Quadrant Road and the defendant was arrested.
Now Ware has been sentenced to 12 months detention in a young offenders’ institution.
Two Albanian men have been jailed after they were convicted of producing Class B drug cannabis.
Lulzim Karanxha, aged 22, and Besmir Bresa, aged 27, both of no fixed address, were arrested after police executed a search warrant and found 120 cannabis plants at a house in Victoria Street, Hanley, on August 11.
Both men denied producing cannabis but were convicted by a jury after a trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Judge Sally Hancox jailed both men for two-and-a-half years.
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Jilted Craig Marsh left his ex-partner fearing for her own safety after making a flurry of threatening phone calls to her.
The 38-year-old also sent numerous ‘rambling’ text messages in the hope that she would get back together with him.
But she contacted the police instead and the father-of-three was charged with breaching a non-molestation order imposed just weeks earlier.
Now Marsh has been handed a nine-month prison sentence at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Grandad Barrington Fox has been locked up after being caught dealing class A drugs – twice.
Police first found 10.2 grams of cocaine when they raided the 62-year-old’s Shelton home in March 2019.
And a second search – in December – of the same property found 6.5 grams of cocaine.
Now Fox – who has two previous convictions for class A drug trafficking – has been jailed for six years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Angry Samuel Nicholson held a knife to his ex-partner’s throat and threatened to kill her.
The 37-year-old got into the victim’s home while she was asleep and pinned her down on the sofa.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard he squeezed her neck and bit her in two places during the terrifying attack.
Nicholson had been living with the victim and her children at her Stoke-on-Trent home – until she found out the police were prosecuting him for downloading indecent images of children.
He went on to admit the offence and was handed a suspended sentence at North Staffordshire Justice Centre.
Judge Paul Glenn sentenced Nicholson to two years in prison for the assault, and activated eight months of his suspended sentence.
A teenager in a £15,000 stolen Audi has been jailed after he endangered the life of pedestrians when trying to give police the slip.
Nosherwan Amanat was spotted driving the car – which had been taken from a house in Manchester two days earlier – on the A500.
Police followed as the 19-year-old drove the wrong way around a roundabout to try to escape.
He also mounted a pavement in Tunstall High Street, drove at speed in built up areas, went through two sets of red lights before hitting two parked vehicles.
Now Amanat has been sentenced to 15 months detention in a young offenders’ institution and hit with a two-year driving ban at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Thug Jamie Cox has been jailed after leaving a child with head and face injuries following a ‘serious attack’ in Staffordshire.
Police officers were called to Cannock last February to reports a child have been victim to a serious assault.
When paramedics called police to the scene, officers discovered the child had significant bruising, swelling to her face, eyes and ears.
They were taken to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton.
Cox, of City Road in Birmingham, was arrested two days later.
The 33-year-old has now been jailed for three years after admitting assault and wilful abandonment of a young child at Stafford Crown Court.
Twins Shaun and Daniel Smith have been jailed for more than seven years after they attacked a man with weapons at a New Year’s Eve Party.
The drugged-up identical brothers returned to their sister’s home in Birches Head armed with a hammer and a machete after Shaun ‘lost it’ and assaulted several guests earlier in the night.
They arranged for their sister’s husband to meet them at the front of the house but when he went outside they entered through the kitchen door armed with a hammer and a machete.
Both used a weapon to strike one of the guests before their brother-in-law turfed them out.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the victim – who feared for his life – suffered cuts to his head and was taken to hospital.
Now the 39-year-old twins have each been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
Convicted sex offender Stephen Proctor used a fake Facebook account to contact his previous teenage victim – shortly after receiving a suspended prison sentence for his crime.
The 54-year-old has now been jailed for 30 months after admitting four counts of failing to comply with notification requirements.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard that three of these offences related to Facebook profiles he had set up using false identities – one woman and two young males.
Proctor was originally convicted of sexual activity with a child – after he kissed a 15-year-old girl on the lips – in September 2019, and received a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years.
He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years, and was required to notify the police of any new identity he used, including on social media.
A bullying boyfriend who became the first man in the country to be prosecuted for trying to control someone’s life is back behind bars after he continued to make his ex’s life a misery.
Dad Sam Williams carried out a campaign of physical and mental abuse which saw him monitor his girlfriend’s social media, try to persuade her to take drugs, force her to walk barefoot into town and bombard her with texts.
As a result, the courts locked Williams up and banned him from having any contact with his victim after he pleaded guilty to controlling and coercive behaviour in 2017.
But Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the 33-year-old breached the indefinite restraining order by pulling up behind her car in October 2019 and shouting at her through the window.
Police found two class A drugs hidden up a dealer’s bottom during a raid on his home.
Six wraps of heroin and 21 of crack cocaine were recovered from Nico Taylor during a strip search after officers noticed plastic protruding from his backside.
Together they were worth hundreds of pounds.
Then, just days after the bust, 26-year-old Taylor was the victim of a stabbing.
Now Taylor – who was selling the drugs to clear a debt – has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
A burglar who smashed his way into a home before shoving a pensioner to the floor was caught after his face mask fell off.
Thug Paul McMillan’s terrified victim was in bed when he heard the doorbell go twice.
As the elderly man made his way downstairs, his back door was smashed in.
McMillan, aged 35, then entered the Alsager house and demanded cash.
When the OAP attempted to call the police with his house phone, McMillan tried to grab it off him.
A scuffle then ensued which resulted in McMillan losing the face mask he had been wearing and pushing the pensioner over.
McMillan, of Crewe Road, Alsager, went on to plead guilty to burglary and assault causing them actual bodily harm.
A mortgage broker who conned a man wanting to buy a pub out of £18,000 and thwarted justice by pretending to have terminal breast cancer has been jailed.
Jean Adshead took payments from the man to facilitate the purchase of The Alma pub, in Newcastle – but then pocketed the money for herself.
The 57-year-old denied the crime, which took place in 2013, and went on to claim she had cancer and couldn’t stand trial.
Between November 2017 and February 2019, Adshead provided forged documents to the court and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The courts were considering dismissing the case due to Adshead’s fake prognosis, but when they contacted the doctor who had written one of the reports they discovered he had retired from the NHS in 2016.
Now Adshead has been jailed for 28 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
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A 23-year-old woman who twice broke into a mosque and caused thousands of pounds’ worth of damage has been jailed.
Kaja Trudzik entered The Al-Noor Community Centre in Tunstall – a three-storey Victorian building converted into an Islamic educational centre and mosque – with Rose Singer and a man at night.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard that, as well as the damage, 21-year-old Singer stole some items.
But Trudzik returned with another man, 27-year-old Kieran Knox, a week later. The two of them forced their way inside and caused £14,250 damage after writing words including, ‘Make them stop’, and, ‘Boris’, on the walls in red paint. They also threw white paint over an external brick wall.
Now Trudzik has been jailed for 10 months.