Teenagers jailed for turf war mur­der may never be freed

The Guardian - - NEWS - Mattha Busby

Five teenagers have been given prison sen­tences of be­tween 16 and 24 years for the fa­tal stab­bing of a boy in Kent linked to “turf ri­valry”.

Kyle Yule, 17, was mur­dered by a group of teenagers from a ri­val group who de­scended on him “like vul­tures” dur­ing a re­venge at­tack on 6 Oc­to­ber 2017 in Gilling­ham.

A num­ber of tit-for-tat at­tacks be­tween teenagers in Med­way towns un­folded over the course of sev­eral months last year.

After he was chased from a parked car and stabbed five times, the teenager died on the op­er­at­ing table in the early hours of the next morn­ing.

“This was a re­venge at­tack,” said the sen­tenc­ing judge, Adele Wil­liams, at Maid­stone crown court yes­ter­day. “It was a sense­less, ruth­less and cal­cu­lated killing, for which not one of you has at any stage shown any sign of re­morse.”

She handed them all sen­tences of de­ten­tion for life.

Yule’s mother, Nikki, who burst into tears as she read a vic­tim im­pact state­ment to the court, la­belled her son’s killers “cow­ards” and said they had “ru­ined lives for ever”.

“Kyle was lov­ing, kind-hearted, warm, funny, hand­some and full of life,” she said. “He was my best friend.

“You were cow­ards run­ning around with weapons. How dare you sit there and look for­ward to your birthdays? I had to ar­range a fu­neral for my son when I should have been plan­ning his 18th birth­day.”

Vic­tor Maib­visira, 19, Sheza­kia Da­ley, 18, both of Gilling­ham, Tyler Ralph, of Hert­ford­shire, and Ephrain Ak­in­wunmi-Streets, of Sit­ting­bourne, both 17, and 16-year-old Jor­dan Da­nia, of Croy­don, were all con­victed of his mur­der after an eight-week trial.

Some of the de­fen­dants’ rel­a­tives, who were in the packed court­room, fell to the floor in tears as the teenagers were led away, but none of the de­fen­dants re­acted to their sen­tences.

The sen­tences will be served in youth de­ten­tion cen­tres un­til the de­fen­dants turn 21.

The ring­leader, Maib­visira, will serve a min­i­mum term of 24 years, while the others will each serve a min­i­mum of 16 years. The judge warned they may never be re­leased.

Dur­ing the trial, the court heard that the five de­fen­dants, in­clud­ing Maib­visira who was known by his tag name V, were on East Street when they en­coun­tered a Re­nault Clio with Kyle in­side.

In an ef­fort to force him out of the ve­hi­cle, a wit­ness said the “group were smash­ing the car as if they were possessed”.

Kyle es­caped from the car and ran to­wards his best friend’s home, where he was knocked to the ground and at­tacked in the front gar­den. A wit­ness told of­fi­cers the group chas­ing him “were on him like vul­tures, kick­ing and punch­ing him”.

There had been a string of dis­putes be­tween the two groups in the weeks and months be­fore the at­tack, the trial heard, but Kent po­lice has in­sisted the killing was not gang-re­lated and that there is not a prob­lem with gangs in the area.

The court heard Yule was af­fil­i­ated with a gang named G10 in Gilling­ham, while the de­fen­dants were a part of C4 in Chatham.

Both groups are de­scribed as gangs in a Med­way coun­cil re­port into tack­ling gang vi­o­lence.

There were two fa­tal stab­bings in Med­way last year, in­clud­ing Yule’s. There were a to­tal of 73 stab­bings across the town.

DCI Ivan Beasley said: “These were two sep­a­rate groups of for­mer friends who fell out over some­thing as small as a push bike and the de­fen­dants’ re­sponse was to at­tack a young man with knives.”

He said they be­haved “in an ap­palling man­ner with no re­gard for his life”.

Ak­in­wunmi-Streets, Da­ley, Ralph and Da­nia were granted anonymity dur­ing the trial due to their age but fol­low­ing the jury’s ver­dict the judge al­lowed their names and the towns in which they lived to be re­ported.

‘These were for­mer friends who fell out over some­thing as small as a push bike’ Ivan Beasley De­tec­tive chief in­spec­tor

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