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Gang sentenced in Shepherds Bush GBH and violent disorder

News   •   Sep 14, 2018 14:27 BST

Clockwise from top left: Johnson, Johnson, Abdoulfath, Charles, Rodgers, Campbell-Edwards.

A gang who bragged in drill music videos about attacking postcode rivals have been sentenced for their part in a violent altercation that left a youth with life-threatening injuries.

Eight gang members were sentenced on Friday, 7 September:

[A] Calvin Johnson, 20 (01.10.97) of no fixed address but from the W12 area was jailed for a total of four years for violent disorder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

[B] Fernando Johnson ([A]’s brother), 18 (22.09.99) of no fixed address but from the W12 area was sentenced to a total of three years and four months’ imprisonment for violent disorder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

[C] Hamman Abdoulfath, 20 (26.06.98) of Hartington Road, W4 was sentenced to 16 months in a young offenders’ institute for violent disorder.

[D] Dominic Charles, 19 (13.02.99) of Ellerslie Road, W12 received a total of two years and four months in a youth offenders’ institute for violent disorder and separate offences of being concerned in the supply of class B drugs and possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

[E] Jason Rodgers, 19 (18.10.98) of Dorando Close, W12 was sentenced to 16 months in a young offenders’ institute for violent disorder.

[F] Malique Campbell-Edwards, 18 (08.02.00) of Lawrence Close, W12 received a 16-month sentence in a young offenders institute for violent disorder.

[G] A 16-year-old male youth from the W12 area was sentenced to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order for violent disorder.

[H] A second 16-year-old male youth from the W12 area received an 18-month youth rehabilitation order for violent disorder.

The ninth youth [I], aged 17 from the W3 area, was due to be sentenced on 14 September, however he failed to appear and a bench warrant has been issued for his arrest. He will be sentenced at a later date.

All were found guilty following a six-week trial during which officers presented evidence of their drill music videos to demonstrate gang rivalry and incitement to commit violence.

Each defendant was also handed a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) prohibiting them from appearing in any video or audio uploaded to the internet that references gangs, guns and/or knifes, associating with each other in public, wearing balaclavas or masks in public, entering the borough of Kensington and Chelsea between certain hours and attending Notting Hill Carnival.

The CBOs last for three years, or two years in the case of [G] and [H].

The defendants, all members of a Shepherds Bush gang, had been involved in a feud with a Kensington and Chelsea gang since the summer of 2016.

There had been several tit-for-tat incidents with weapons brandished on the streets and gang members stabbed and shot. Both gangs had released numerous drill music videos boosting of stabbing or robbing their rivals, escalating tensions and inciting further violence.

On Friday, 15 September 2017 at around 21:40hrs, police were called to Primula Street, W12 to reports of three males wearing masks and armed with machetes walking along the street.

Officers attended but they had made off.

Shortly before 23:00hrs the same three males – members of the Kensington and Chelsea gang - were seen walking around the White City estate, lurking in various corners and looking for rival gang members.

One of their rivals – from the Shepherds Bush gang - spotted them and began to follow them around the estate. He called other gang members who quickly arrived and a large group, armed with large knives, swords and wooden sticks, launched an attack on the three males.

They chased them through the area and the incident ended in a violent confrontation during which one of their own – [G] - was stabbed in the back.

The badly injured youth tried to make off but collapsed in McKenzie Close. Police and paramedics were called to the scene and the youth was rushed to hospital where he needed to have blood pumped out of his chest and an emergency blood transfusion.

The group made off after the attack in different directions.

The Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command launched an investigation. Blood and weapons were found in various locations in the area. Extensive CCTV enquiries identified all nine defendants as from the White City Estate. They were arrested and charged.

During the course of the investigation Trident enlisted the help of borough officers for their expertise on local gangs. Together they presented evidence to the courts of a number of drill music videos to demonstrate the tensions between the groups.

The videos included two which detailed the incident on Friday, 15 September 2017. Around two weeks after the stabbing, the Kensington and Chelsea gang uploaded a music video to social media called “Play for the Pagans”. The lyrics included nicknames for rival gang members, including ‘Jeezy’ for Calvin Johnson. The lyrics described that if Jeezy had tripped he would have been “dipped” (stabbed).

A second video called “No Hook” uploaded on Saturday, 1 October included the lyric: “Wit 2 shanks up creep up like luga leave man cut now the 12s all hot.” The words referred to one of the three males clearly seen on CCTV in a subway with two large knives shortly before [G] was stabbed. The “12s all hot” referenced the fact there were lots of police in the W12 area.

While on remand for violent disorder, Fernando Johnson updated his Instagram with a new drill video entitled “Statement”.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Steve Renny said: “This has been a long and exhaustive investigation aimed not just at bringing to justice those who engage in violent gang warfare – on this occasion almost costing a young man his life – but also curbing activities which allow them to glamorise and incite violence through drill music videos.

“We are increasingly applying for and being granted Criminal Behaviour Orders to stop young people posting videos and audio online which promote gang activity and violence. The lyrics presented to the court in this case clearly did just that and we know these tit-for-tat videos aimed at goading rival gangs actively lead to violent incidents on our estates.

“We are not trying to prevent young people’s artistic expression but when music is being used to encourage violent attacks we must act, as the public would rightly expect us to do so.

“We have had a positive reception from many social media platforms about tackling this issue and are working closely with them. As with every aspect of policing, we can't do it alone. If you see a video on social media that causes you concern, then please do report it to us.”