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News Guardian, Thursday, February 9, 2012

Teenage ice hockey star admits theft of handbag

Judge locks up 16 members of gangs over pitched battle sparked by festering tension By Tegan Chapman tegan.chapman@northeast-press.co.uk

SIXTEEN thugs involved in a mass street brawl between two rival gangs in Howdon have been jailed. Armed with samurai swords, machetes and knives, the two feuding gangs arranged a fight near the Rosehill pub in Churchill Street on Friday, April 15, last year to resolve a dispute over the shooting of Paul Borg outside his Quay View home in Willington Quay in 2010. Three men were given prison sentences together totalling over 23 years in June last year for the shooting, but that did not put an end to the animosity between the two gangs. Instead, Newcastle Crown Court heard this week, tensions between them continued to rise. Each gang recruited reinforcements for the fight in Churchill Street and nearby Coldstream Gardens and went prepared with weapons, ski masks and balaclavas, the court heard. Altogether, 17 people were charged with conspiracy to commit violent disorder or violent disorder. Last week the court heard mitigation for both gangs, and on Monday all 17 were sentenced for their part in the fight, all but one of them, Lucy Owen, being put behind bars. Judge Paul Sloan said: “Each group was armed with fearsome, lethal weapons. Some knives had been sharpened. “Two members sustained stab wounds and Mark Amis, in particular, substantial, life-threatening injuries which could have killed him. “The events were witnesses by members of the public, who spoke of their terror and shock at the events that unfolded. “With the exception of Owen, all of the defendants were involved in seeking the other group during the course of the night, and all were present at the final confrontation. “It is the collective effect of the violent disorder which is particularly significant in a case such as this, and deterrent sentences are called for in the circumstances.” Dean Elliott and Paul Borg were in charge of one gang, and two pairs of brothers, Scott and Dale Fuller and David and Mark Amis, the other. Jailing Elliott 22, of Rossall Road, Blackpool, for 32 months, Judge Sloan told him: “On April 8, you sent a message with a list of people to injure – a deep-sleep list. “You sent your cousin Genno Davidson out to to buy paint-stripper. You made it clear you were out for revenge. “You set about obtaining items, and you travelled to the north east for this fight.” Borg, 26, was sentenced to 28 months

n From Page 3 the court heard. In a victim impact statement, Mrs Scott said her daughter was extremely distressed by the incident and she herself had suffered a strained shoulder. Following his arrest, Etherington, 19, of Colbeck Terrace in Tynemouth, initially claimed that he had found the items but later confessed and handed over Mrs Scott’s other belongings. Shaun Routledge, defending the former Newcastle Vipers junior player said: “He appreciates the position of Mrs Scott, and how she must have felt, and the girls. “If he was allowed, he would like to send her a letter of apology. “Thomas Etherington is a young man who has quite clearly played a part in the community by the way of his sporting achievements. “Everyone who has been told what he has done cannot believe it. His friends are disgusted by it.” Etherington has two previous convictions for criminal damage, the court heard. He pleaded guilty to robbery and was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years, plus a six-month supervision order including 200 hours of unpaid work. Sentencing Etherington, Judge Guy Whitburn told him: “What is absolutely clear is that you chose your victim. You chose a young woman walking home with her two eight-year-old children, which is rather distasteful. “You took her handbag and in doing so pulled her to the ground, with one of her children falling on top of her. “That richly deserves a sentence of imprisonment but you spent some time on remand, and that will remain with you for the rest of your life.”

Thugs jailed for armed mass brawl that left one man fighting for his life

Fighting took place in Howdon’s Coldstream Gardens, left, and Churchill Street. in prison. The judge told him: “In my judgement, it is abundantly clear that you were playing a leading role. “You marshalled the troops to engage in violence. You were the principal motivator, actively and enthusiastically motivating the others.” Brothers Kenneth and Jonathan Smart, aged 24 and 28 respectively, both of Weetslade Crescent in Dudley, were jailed for 18 months each. The judge told them: “You were involved in the planning and recruiting. “It had been your intention to go out socialising. However, you joined in this enterprise. “You did not engage in violence because of your blood disorder, but I have no doubt that you actively encouraged

those who did engage. “Jonathan, you are in the same position as your brother. You were not a planner or organiser. Your intention had been to go out socialising, but you lent yourself to this enterprise.” Locking up Jordan Hammond, 19, of Radnor Gardens, Howdon, for 23 months, Judge Sloan told him: “You were not an organiser, but you took part in the violent disorder which occurred on April 15. “Your DNA was linked to a balaclava found at the scene.” Genno Davidson, 21, of Lannerwood, North Shields, was jailed for 25 months. He was told by the judge: “Elliott sent you a list of people he wanted to injure, so there was a level of premeditation on

your part. I note the important figure Elliott had become in your life.” Craig Kennedy, found guilty after trial, was sentenced to two years in prison. Judge Sloan told the 31-year-old, of Murray Road in Howdon: “You willingly joined those individuals in search of the other faction, and you contested the charge until the bitter end.” Sentencing Joe Welsh, 20, of no fixed address, to 20 months in jail, the judge told him: “DNA linked you to a balaclava found at the scene, and you were on licence at the time of this offence.” Lucy Owen was given a 34-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months. The 21-year-old, of Worsley Close, Wallsend, texted Elliott saying ‘get Dale telt. Hope he dies’ and sent another text

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MANY of those caught up in the brawl were only involved because they ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time after going out for a birthday drink, according to their barristers. Richard Copsey, mitigating for Michael McNamara said: “He went out for a drink with Mark Amis and Mark Dalziel. “He had no prior knowledge of any bad blood, and he got caught up in the situation. “If he had not been out for a drink, he would not be here today.” Robin Patton, representing David Amis, said: “This was not a case of two gangs of men knowing they will meet at a particular locality and time. This was one group saying they were going to ambush them. “They were out for a birthday drink, and he accepts he made a bad decision.”

Richard Bloomfield, for Scott Fuller, said: “From the point of view of the Fullers, they have been subjected to threats with knives, axes and firearms. “There had been death threats, and their home had been firebombed on a number of occasions. “The perception is that Paul Borg is a man who uses weapons. “Against that background, they felt the only course that they thought was open to them was to literally fight fire with fire.” Peter Welsh, for Dale Fuller, said: “Once Dean Elliott had his number, he changed it because he did not want to get involved in any confrontation. “They are almost in a constant state of alert in relation to any possible threat perceived to be coming from Paul Borg. “He accepts that on hearing that Borg and his faction were

out looking for him, he did at that point in time enter into an agreement with others to use violence if necessary to repel any violence.” Tom Moran, for Terry Pomfrey, said: “He thought he was going out to celebrate two birthdays and then happened to be available when plans for the evening changed. “He is someone who allowed himself to be drawn into this rather than someone who was driving it along. “He made a terrible error in judgement in getting involved in this.” Geoff Cross, for Christopher Terrance, said: “He is a young man who is something of a drifter. “He is someone who is easily led and was effectively a foot soldier in the reactive group rather than the proactive group. “He was one of the people who

went out to celebrate someone’s birthday and was simply in the group when it turned into something much more serious. “His involvement was last minute, and he maintains he was not involved in the actual fighting.” Nicholas Lane, for Mark Amis, said: “He knows, more than anyone, the cost of this type of criminal behaviour. “He suffered serious, lifethreatening injures. If the wounds had been some two inches further across, it could have been fatal. “He fears the future and knows that steps need to be taken to avoid further trouble. “He now knows there is an appropriate way to respond to these types of threats.” Mitigation given on behalf of other members of the other gang involved was reported in last week’s News Guardian.


News Guardian, Thursday, February 9, 2012

www.newsguardian.co.uk

over shooting the year before

Now behind bars are, left to right from top, Paul Borg, Dean Elliott, Jordan Hammond, Genno Davidson, Jonathan Smart, Kenneth Smart, Joe Welsh, Mark Amis, David Amis, Dale Fuller, Scott Fuller, Terry Pomfrey, Michael McNamara, Christopher Terrance, Craig Kennedy and Mark Dalziel, but Lucy Owen, left, was allowed to go free.

offering to provide an alibi, the court heard. Judge Sloan told her: “What you sent in those texts was despicable and encouraged and assisted Dean Elliott. “Your involvement was utterly and completely out of character. It was due to your association with Borg, who was five years your senior and who had a considerable influence upon you.” She was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work. Two of the other gang’s ringleaders, Scott Fuller and Dale Fuller, aged 21 and 24, both of Coldstream Gardens, were each sentenced to 31 months in jail.

Judge Sloan told them: “I have no doubt that the trip to your house was to collect bladed weapons for the violence. “While you did not arrange the day, I have no doubt that you were more than ready and willing to take on the challenge and confront the other group. “You knew there was going to be a violent confrontation, and, Dale, you played a leading role by ferrying people about in your car.” Michael McNamara 23, of Tiverton Close, Wallsend, was sentenced to 20 months behind bars after being found guilty at trial. “Your intention had been to go out socialising, but once it became known that the confrontation was to take place, you willingly joined in,” the judge told him. David Amis, 28, of Harle Street, Wallsend, was jailed for 27 months and told: “You assisted Dale Fuller in recruiting a team and set about locating the other faction.” His brother Mark Amis, 23, of Kendal Gardens, Wallsend was locked up for 25 months. Judge Sloan told him: “You were the author of your own misfortune, but by virtue of that injury you have been punished to some extent already.” Terry Pomfrey 20, of Barton Close, Wallsend, and Christopher Terrance, 23, of Tiverton Close, were both sentenced to 18 months in jail. Judge Sloan told Terrance: “You had been out socialising, but, once you were made aware the confrontation was to take place, you joined in. Pomfrey, you were influenced by those older than you.” Sentencing Mark Dalziel, 22, of Blackhill Avenue, Wallsend, to two years in jail, the judge told him: “You contested the charge and said you had no prior knowledge, but you were convicted by a jury trial.” Detective Chief Inspector Max Black, the officer in charge of the investigation, said after the case: “The sentences issued by the court show clearly that this type of violent behaviour will not be tolerated and will attract a prison sentence. “Fortunately, these events happen very rarely, but violent disorder on this scale, when a man was stabbed, could easily have led to a fatality. “These criminals may have thought that there was safety in numbers and that they would not be caught, but they were wrong. “The fight took place in a residential street where law-abiding people were shocked and frightened. “People who think about this kind of violence should know we are determined to stamp out violent behaviour and will use all our resources to bring these criminals to justice.”

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