“This deeply affected a number of them and adds to the cruelty displayed in this horrible crime.
Posted on 20/04/2017 at 15:09 | Permalink
Two attackers who carried out a violent, transphobic robbery on a man in Aylesbury have today (18 April) been jailed.
On 25 July 2016, the victim was approached by a group of males, who verbally abused him for being transgender, assaulted him and stole his wallet and mobile phone.
The victim sustained serious injuries in the attack including a fractured skull, a brain aneurysm and a puncture wound to his left cheek.
The CPS prosecuted the case as a transphobic hate crime from the outset. When the victim was unable to give evidence due to the physical and psychological effects of the assault, prosecutors successfully applied to have his police statement read out in court. Upon conviction, the judge determined that the case should be sentenced as a hate crime and an uplift of six months was today applied in relation to the ringleader of the attack.
Kaviraj Choolun from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said:
“Tackling hate crime is a priority for the CPS and offenders can expect to have their sentences increased.
“I hope this successful prosecution, and today’s sentences, will encourage victims to come forward. We work closely with our partners, as we did with Thames Valley police in this case, to ensure that criminals motivated by hate feel the full force of the law.
“We hope that the victim, who has shown great courage throughout this process, continues with his recovery. Our thoughts are with him at this time.”
Owen Wise, who was aged just 16 at the time of the incident, can be named after the judge decided to lift reporting restrictions. He acted as the ringleader and pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article, but denied targeting the victim due to vulnerability and claimed to have only hit him once. Today the 17-year-old was sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court to five years and 10 months in jail.
This sentence included a six-month uplift for the hate-fuelled nature of the offences. The judge praised CPS advocate Nigel Ogborne for his assistance in ensuring that Wise’s sentence was extended.
Michael Thorpe, 21, did not use any violence during the incident, but was part of the group when the robbery took place. He admitted to stealing the victim’s mobile phone during the robbery and pleaded guilty to theft.
He was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment. Both defendants are from Aylesbury.
Note to Editors:
Kaviraj Choolun is a Senior Crown Prosecutor on the Thames Valley Crown Court Team at Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service.
Posted on 18/04/2017 at 15:49 | Permalink
Six members of a drugs gang which conspired to supply cocaine worth millions of pounds in London have been jailed for a combined total of 102 years today (7 April).
Florentino Gonzalez, 48, and Edwin Abazi, 31, were convicted of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs following a three-week trial at Blackfriars Crown Court which concluded last month. Bajram Elezi, 34, was convicted of one count of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply at the trial, while three other men pleaded guilty to similar charges.
The trial heard how the gang arranged for drugs to be supplied from apartment blocks in Canary Wharf and London Bridge. In total 30kg of cocaine, with an estimated street value of £3.6million, was seized from the gang by officers.
During the investigation members of the gang were found in possession of varying amounts of cocaine or cash, including more than £125,000 which was found in a hidden compartment in a Bentley driven by Gonzalez.
Today, Gonzalez was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in the scheme, with five other men jailed for between eight and 21 years each.
Laura Tams, from the CPS, said:
“These men were involved in a sophisticated operation to supply significant amounts of Class A drugs for sale on the streets of London.
“The prosecution worked with investigators from an early stage to build a strong case, resulting in the guilty verdicts returned by the jury.”
· Laura Tams is a Specialist Prosecutor with the CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division
· Details of charges and sentences:
- Florentino Gonzalez, 48, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to supply a Class A drug. He pleaded guilty to one count of concealing criminal property. Sentenced to 24 years in prison.
- Edwin Abazi, 31, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply a Class A drug. Sentenced to 21 years in prison.
- Bajram Elezi, 34, was found guilty of one count of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply. Sentenced to 8 years in prison.
- Armand Cuni, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A drug. Sentenced to 22 years in prison.
- Saimir Byberi, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A drug. Sentenced to 15 years in prison.
- Yeton Cera, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply. Also pleaded guilty to possession of a false identity document. Sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Posted on 07/04/2017 at 12:56 | Permalink