Gang members due to be sentenced for violence after street stabbing

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Eleven men are up for sentencing next month over a violent outburst which saw a man stabbed in Luton last year.

The fighting started in Luton town centre on 2 December 2014, after a rival gang member appeared in court. It resulted in an 18-year-old man being stabbed in Wellington Street.

At Luton Crown Court today (June 23), after a two-week trial two men were found guilty of several charges including possessing an offensive weapon and causing grievous bodily harm (GBH).

Four men were found not guilty of violent disorder.

Three further men pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm in relation to the same disorder.

Following the disorder and stabbing, a group of six men broke into a house in Williton Road, Luton, armed with knives, in a bid for revenge.

All six pleaded guilty to two counts of affray at a trial in May.

The full list of offenders is as follows:

<Two 17-year-old boys (one from Luton and one from Flitwick) pleaded guilty to GBH. They cannot be named for legal reasons.

<Mohammed Lahdiri, 18, of Chapel Street, Luton, pleaded guilty to GBH.

<Derrik Clarke, 19, of Fensome Drive, Houghton Regis, pleaded guilty to violent disorder and was found guilty following a trial of conspiracy to cause GBH, causing GBH and possessing an offensive weapon.

<Sejon King, 18, of Williton Road, Luton, was found guilty of conspiracy to cause GBH, causing GBH, possessing an offensive weapon, and violent disorder.

Six men from Luton were found guilty of two counts of affray following an earlier trial. Two are 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons. The others are:

<Ryan McEvoy, 18, of Wayleys Close

<Jordan Wheedon, 19, of Denham Close

<Rakeem Smith, 18, Dunstable Road

<Juarae Walker, 18, of Denham Close

Detective Inspector Sean Quinn, the senior investigating officer who led the case, said: “This was a complex case and I’d like to thank all of our officers involved for the dedication and commitment they showed in bringing these offenders to justice.

“I’d also like to thank members of the public for their bravery in coming forward to give us information which helped lead to these successful prosecutions. Although the victim of the stabbing didn’t complain to police, we were able to gather enough evidence to get convictions against these violent individuals.

“We’re really pleased with the verdicts delivered by the jury and hope this serves as a message to anyone who is tempted to partake in gang-related activities. We will continue to target anyone involved to protect our communities from such criminality.

“Violence of any kind, for any reason, is not acceptable, and will not be tolerated.”

In April 2013, Bedfordshire Police launched a dedicated team to tackle gang violence, under the name Operation Boson. As part of the operation, there have so far been 223 arrests made, 135 warrants executed, and 26 firearms recovered.

The lead for Operation Boson, Detective Inspector Rob Regan, said: “Tackling gang related crime and disorder is a key priority for Bedfordshire Police. We’ve worked incredibly hard and had some great results. We’re committed to continuing to work alongside our partner agencies to fight this type of crime and keep the people of Bedfordshire safe.

“We are also dedicated to educating young people around the dangers and pitfalls that can come with being part of a gang, in order to prevent future crimes such as this from taking place.”