Courts across the UK hear some harrowing cases as criminal are brought to justice each month.
Notorious criminals locked up last month include rapist grime star Solo 45 and the killers of newly-wed police officer Andrew Harper.
Other offenders locked up in July include a London mother who was on course to become the UK’s first female homegrown suicide bomber, and the former X Factor contestant who pleaded guilty to 31 sex offences.
These are some of the shocking court cases that were widely reported, across the country, in July.
A Muslim convert was handed a life sentence for plotting to blow up a London cathedral.
Safiyya Shaikha, who was on course to become the UK’s first female homegrown suicide bomber, will spend a minimum of 14 years in jail for plotting a terror attack on St Paul’s Cathedral.
The 37-year-old mother from west London extensively researched how to cause maximum carnage at the place of worship and visitor attraction.
A court heard how she had said she wanted ‘a lot to die’ before being killed herself so she could reach paradise.
Shaikh’s murderous plans were unveiled when she sought help from a bomb-making expert who was in fact an undercover officer.
The court heard Shaikh suffered a ‘truly traumatic childhood’, and had her daughter at a young age.
She converted to Islam in 2007 when she was impressed by the kindness of a local Muslim family – but her view of the religion became increasingly extremist, and she stopped attending mosques.
Heroin user Shaikh, born Michelle Ramsden, admitted preparation of terrorist acts and dissemination of terrorist publications on the internet.
Police said she had never expressed regret or remorse for her actions, and had planned to leave a bomb at the London landmark before detonating her suicide vest on an Underground train moments later.
A knifeman asked ‘when are you going to bleed to death’ after stabbing his mother 17 times in the head and body.
Bartosz Pokorski attacked his mum at their home in Blackpool in a bid for attention after he accused her of trying to put him in a psychiatric hospital.
He hoped the world would ‘take notice of him’ if he killed his mother, Preston Crown Court heard.
The court heard how on January 11, the 23-year-old called his mum into his bedroom to look at some photographs before attacking her with a kitchen knife.
He was telling her to ‘just die’ as he stabbed her repeatedly and threw her on the floor, asking her when she was going to ‘bleed to death’.
Mrs Pokorski played dead and managed to escape when her son went to the bathroom.
She was found outside their flat inside the building so seriously injured the officer at first thought she was dead.
Mrs Pokorski spent a month in hospital receiving treatment for her injuries which included a punctured lung.
The court heard Pokorski had previously suffered depression but had never been violent, and there was no evidence to suggest or confirm he has a psychiatric disorder.
He pleaded guilty to attempted murder and will serve eight years in custody and five years on licence.
A jihadist plotted a gun and knife rampage at busy London tourist sites including Madame Tussauds and the gay Pride parade.
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury was handed a life sentence after a jury found him guilty of terror offences.
The 29-year-old former Uber driver from Luton, who was said to be driven by ‘dreams of martyrdom’, was arrested three days before the Pride parade in summer 2019 after he unknowingly revealed his plans to undercover police officers.
Four covert officers, posing as like-minded extremists, befriended and monitored Chowdhury after he was freed from HMP Belmarsh when jurors cleared him in December 2018 of slashing police with a sword outside the Queen’s London home while shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
Within a week of his release he had begun posting extremist messages online.
The court heard how he prepared for his potential attack by lifting weights, practising stabbing andrehearsing beheading techniques as well as booking shooting range training and trying to acquire a real gun.
He also had a terror document on his phone which included instructions on how to kill people with knives.
The judge handed Chowdhury a life sentence, with a minimum term of 25 years, for the charge of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.
He also received a sentence of seven years for one count of collecting information likely to be useful to someone preparing an act of terrorism and three years for disseminating terrorist publications, both to be served concurrently.
Aaron McKenzie was jailed for killing his heavily pregnant girlfriend and their baby.
A judge at the Old Bailey described his crime as ‘the most vicious and deliberate killing’ as he handed him a life sentence.
The court heard how the 26-year-old broke into Kelly Fauvrelle’s bedroom as she slept and stabbed her 21 times.
Their son Riley was delivered by Caesarean section but died in hospital four days later.
McKenzie, from Peckham in south London, initially denied killing his pregnant partner, claiming a man named Mike was responsible, but it took a jury less than three hours to find him guilty following a trial.
The court heard how McKenzie broke into his partner’s room at her family’s home on June 29 last year before launching a ‘ferocious attack’ which left her with at least 21 stab wounds.
The relationship between the pair had ended early last year, after which Miss Fauvrelle told him she would not speak to him unless it was about the baby, and that he needed professional help.
She had also told his mother that their relationship was ‘toxic’ but she would not deny him access to their child.
The judge sentenced McKenzie to life in prison with a minimum term of 35 years for the murder of Miss Fauvrelle, as well as handing him a 20-year term for the manslaughter of his son and three years for possession of a knife, to run concurrently.
McKenzie gave a thumbs up the judge as he was sent down.
A prowling sex beast, who targeted children and the elderly, was locked up for 15 years.
Jason Bursk, 51, from Bury, would peep through windows and try numerous front and back doors in the early hours until he found one that was open.
Police believe he would deliberately look through windows and into gardens to look for toys – to find where children lived.
A court heard how Bursk sexually abused two children and a woman in her 70s.
His offending came to light after his final attack in the early hours of November 15 last year.
Bursk’s DNA was recovered from a window of the house after he pressed his head against a window to see inside.
He then tried the door of another house in the same street, and finally a third – where he got in through an insecure back door.
He spent 32 minutes inside the property, where he sexually assaulted a child as she slept and attempted to rape her.
After assaulting the child, Bursk bit her and called her a ‘brat’ before he was disturbed by the young girl’s sister, who awoke in the bed next to her.
Officers tracked him down after releasing CCTV images of Bursk in the property after the attack.
He claimed to not remember anything because he had been drinking but later pleaded guilty to his crimes.
Henry Long, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers
The teen killers of PC Andrew Harper were jailed for a total of 42 years.
Henry Long, 19, who drove the vehicle that dragged the brave police officer to his death, was cleared of murder, but jailed for 16 years for manslaughter last month.
Passengers Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, were also found guilty of manslaughter and were each given a 13 year sentence.
The 28-year-old newlywed officer had attempted to apprehend the thieves when he was killed on August 15 last year.
Pc Harper, a Thames Valley officer, became entangled in a tow rope attached to their Seat Toledo after finding the thieves towing the £10,000 Honda quad bike.
Lissie Harper, the widow of Pc Andrew Harper, was at the sentencing and read her victim impact statement to the court herself.
Breaking into tears, part of her statement read: “My husband was brutally killed four weeks after our wedding day.
“Should I speak again of how we were robbed of our future or the plans stolen from us?
“Four weeks was all I had with my husband – four weeks to be called his wife.”
The judge described the killers as ‘young, unintelligent but professional criminals’ and told them he ‘rejected the contention that any of you has shown remorse’.
A man stabbed his disabled great-uncle to death in an attack of ‘extraordinary violence’, a court heard.
Eighty-year-old Desmond Wooding – known affectionately as ‘scooter granddad’ because of his mobility device – was found fatally injured with 11 knife wounds at his bungalow on June 24 last year.
Adam Mason was convicted of murder after a trial ending in March and has now been jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years.
The 33-year-old, who had downed at least 12 pints at a nearby pub during an all-day drinking session before the attack on June 23, claimed he knew nothing of the killing.
But Mason was seen on CCTV walking his dog near the victim’s home in Vines Land, Droitwich, Worcestershire, just minutes before the stabbing.
He was then heard by a neighbour exchanging angry words with Mr Wooding on his doorstep.
A jury convicted Mason after also hearing how the victim’s DNA was found on his dog’s lead, and how he rang a relative to help him dispose of the weapon and his clothing.
The court heard how immediately after the stabbing he walked ‘calmly’ back to the pub to await a lift.
Mason later went on a pre-arranged holiday abroad, and was arrested off a flight at Birmingham Airport when he returned home.
A man was sentenced to life in prison for murder following a confrontation over a spilled drink.
Momodoulamin Saine, 28, was convicted of murdering Asim Khan, 21, following a trial at Newport Crown Court.
Mr Khan, from Grangetown, died after being stabbed on St Mary Street in Cardiff city centre at about 4.50am on July 21 last year.
He was described by police as a young man ‘with great potential who was much loved by his family’.
South Wales Police Detective Chief Inspector Mark O’Shea said Saine was ‘a violent, dangerous individual who took a knife onto the streets of Cardiff’.
“Because of his own annoyance over something so trivial as a spilt drink, felt it necessary to engage in two violent encounters resulting in Asim’s murder,” he said.
Saine was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 24 years in prison.
Anthony Gee stabbed his daughter’s boyfriend on a busy street in Ellesmere Port.
The 45-year-old admitted plunging a knife into the 34-year-old’s stomach following an argument about stolen money.
The attack was witnessed by a taxi driver who was stationary at traffic lights.
He quickly put the victim inside his cab and drove to an ambulance station nearby.
Police were alerted and officers descended on the area along with the air ambulance and the victim was taken to Aintree Hospital.
The court heard how shortly before the attack Gee sent a text message to a family member saying he was going to ‘jail today’ in reference to the victim.
He was sentenced to nine years in jail after pleading guilty to wounding with intent.
A right-wing football hooligan was jailed for an attack on Guardian columnist Owen Jones.
James Healy, 40, admitted assaulting Mr Jones outside of a pub in August last year, but denied being motivated by Mr Jones’s sexuality or political campaigning – claiming he did not know who he was.
But a judge found the unprovoked attack could only be motivated by Mr Jones’s media profile as a left-wing polemicist.
Mr Jones suffered cuts and swelling to his back and head, and bruises all down his body in the incident outside the Lexington pub on the Pentonville Road in Islington, north London, on August 17.
Following Healy’s arrest, a search of his home found a number of items connected to far-right ideology, including a collection of pin badges linked to white supremacist groups.
The Chelsea FC fan – who has a string of convictions for football-related violence – had argued he ‘had the hump’ because the victim had bumped into him and spilled his drink.
Healy was given a two-year, eight-month prison sentence for affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
A grime artist repeatedly raped and held four women against their will.
Andy Anokye, 33, who performed under the stage name Solo 45, was jailed for 24 years for his crimes.
He was found guilty of 30 charges relating to a two-year period at Bristol Crown Court last month.
The musician, who was part of the grime collective Boy Better Know, derived sexual pleasure from torturing the women by water-boarding, interrogating, assaulting and raping them.
He claimed the acts were part of consensual role play, or a game he played called ‘Catch me, Rape me’, and said he told women he would ‘terrorise’ them.
Police began investigating Anokye, who is from London but had a harbourside apartment in Bristol, in 2017 after a woman complained she had been raped by him.
After his arrest, officers discovered harrowing footage filmed by Anokye on his mobile phone that revealed he had abused multiple women.
Graphic video clips showing Anokye interrogating the women about previous sexual partners, slapping them, insulting them and raping them were played to the jury.
The trial heard he forced one woman to lie in a bath of freezing cold water, held a shotgun to the head of another woman. and made one sit with a bottle of water tied to her finger with a shoelace.
His abuse included holding a cloth covered in bleach to women’s faces, with one woman telling jurors he had forced a mobile phone down her throat.
The judge imposed an extended sentence, meaning Anokye will serve 24 years in prison and five on licence, and ordered he must sign the sex offenders register for life.
A man was handed a life sentence for the ‘brutal’ murder of a former RAF servicewoman.
Brian Manship, 38, lured mother-of-two Sarah Hassall to his flat after they met in a pub before stabbing her 22 times in an unprovoked attack.
Ms Hassall, also 38, was found wrapped up in a curtain after concerned neighbours called the police and forced entry to the flat while Manship managed to escape by jumping out of a first-floor window.
Firearms officers found him hours later, hiding in undergrowth near his flat in Pontypridd, South Wales.
He was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison at Swansea Crown Court having pleaded guilty to murder in January.
Ms Hassall had previously served with both the RAF and the Royal Engineers for 14 years, and was living in Wales having grown up in Chelmsford, Essex, having left the army in 2010 to raise her two young boys, Owain and Evan.
South Wales Police said she had met Manship in Pontypridd town centre in the early hours of Sunday, October 6 last year before she was ‘lured’ to his flat and ‘brutally murdered’.
Chief Inspector Mark O’Shea described Manship as a ‘danger to society and to women in particular’.
A mother was jailed for soliciting the murder of her ex-husband after she lost custody of a child.
Victoria Breeden, 39, tried to persuade three different men to murder Rob Parkes between 2014 and 2019.
She was convicted of three counts of soliciting his murder and was jailed for nine years and six months.
Breeden, from Cambridgeshire, met Mr Parkes at university in 1999 and they married in 2004, before separating four years later.
Mr Parkes was granted custody of a child in 2014 following proceedings in the family courts.
A judge told the court that Breeden wanted her ex-husband dead so she could regain custody of the child.
The court heard how she tried to persuade three different men – her then-neighbour, an ex-boyfriend and a friend – to murder him.
She was caught out when a conversation with one of the men was recorded on a mobile phone.
Cameron Matthews, Kai Denovan and Sean Nicholson
Two men who killed an inspirational young footballer and expectant father after a ‘misplaced joke’ were jailed for launching a ‘violent, drunken’ attack on their victim.
Matlock Town FC midfielder Jordan Sinnott died in hospital after suffering a fractured skull and brain damage in the assault in the centre of Retford, Nottinghamshire, in the early hours of January 25.
Mr Sinnott’s partner, Kelly Bossons found out she was 12 weeks pregnant with his child a week before her partner’s funeral.
Cameron Matthews, 22, was jailed for eight years and three months after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and admitted throwing the fatal punches.
Kai Denovan, 23, who instigated the attack, was found guilty of manslaughter after a trial and was handed an 11-year jail term.
It was Denovan who made the ‘joke’, and then threw the first punch during an earlier incident in a pub, when he took exception to Mr Sinnott’s response, the court heard.
After Mr Sinnott and his friends had walked away from further trouble, out of the pub and up the street, Denovan ‘pointed them out’, and reignited the earlier violence.
Mr Sinnott’s mother, Mel Tait, addressed his killers in court during their sentencing, and told them: “You don’t deserve to have a life.”
A third man, Nicholson, 22, of Beechways, Retford, admitted affray in connection with the street brawl, and was jailed for 14 months.
A ‘pure evil’ former X-Factor contestant was “calm and calculated” as he launched sex attacks on nine women over a 22-year period.
Serial rapist Phillip Blackwell had taped some of his victims’ eyes and used a camcorder to film himself attacking young women after launching his first assault in 1997.
Warwick Crown Court heard how the 56-year-old ‘carefully targeted’ five young vulnerable women who were walking alone in Birmingham, Coventry and Nuneaton.
The sentencing judge described Blackwell as ‘monstrous’ – adding: “Murderers aside, I can think of no more dangerous an individual that I have crossed in my 35 years in criminal law”.
Following on from his attacks in the late 1990s in the Midlands, the defendant then carried out a string of sexual offences on another four women in the Launceston area of Cornwall between 2005 and 2019.
Blackwell pleaded guilty to 31 sex offences, including rape, attempted rape, indecent assault, assault by penetration, voyeurism and false imprisonment.
The court heard how some of Blackwell’s attacks were carried out on women who were unconscious and he ‘plied victims with alcohol in order to get compliance’.
He also threatened his victims in order to prevent them from telling the police.
Victim personal statements of some of the women were read to the court, with one woman describing him as ‘pure evil’.
As well as being jailed for life with a minimum term of nine years, the musician was put on the sex offenders’ register for life and ordered not to directly or indirectly contact any of his victims.
Blackwell’s X Factor audition was broadcast as part of the 2008 series. He failed to reach the finals but later appeared on the live tour.
Christopher McDonald and Aliysa Ellis
A psychologist was jailed for at least 32 years after killing a fitness fanatic with a barbell for the sake of a Rolex watch.
Christopher McDonald had been on life licence for public protection when he killed Paul Tong.
Mr Tong, 54, known as Yankee, was attacked by McDonald with an exercise weight at his home in Ealing, west London, in April 2017.
His body was found the next day partially covered by bedding at a ‘contorted and unnatural angle’ and his room had been ransacked.
All that remained in the father-of-one’s bedroom was an empty Rolex box with co-defendant Aliysa Ellis’s fingerprint inside it, a court was told.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Tong, who was of ‘muscular build’, had cuts and bruises on his head and body, broken ribs and a ruptured liver from ‘blunt impacts’.
Following a trial at the Old Bailey, McDonald, 35, was found guilty of murder and conspiracy to rob.
He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 32 years.
His co-defendant, Aliysa Ellis, a bipolar friend of Mr Tong, was found guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob.
Ellis, 31, was jailed for 13 years.