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Nottingham Crime Documentary Part 4


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[Music] the death of lloyd robinson failed to bring any peace to nottingham and conflict, particularly between saint anne’s and radford posses and the meadows continued unabated and firearms became a regular feature in the city street previously their use had been largely confined to the occasional armed robbery crew hitting a security van the yadis changed all of that importing the ruthless violence of the jamaican slums shoot or be shot became their motto the homeboys from saint anne’s radford and the meadows known as the ng triangle after the ng postcode embraced the yadi gun culture and the accompanying gangster rap lyrics and soon a firearm was a must-have fashion accessory using the firearm was an even greater measure of street status there was almost a mathematical equation to it the juice of the firearm equal to the respect you received from fellow gang members so some of them would arm themselves with rapid firing oozies or ingram mach 10 submachine gun gang members tried to justify it by saying that they needed the gun to protect themselves from rivals who would otherwise rob them the truth was many of them got a kick from just carrying the gun weapons were easy enough to get hold of but varied in the quality you could pay more than one thousand pounds for a smuggled new beretta handgun that had no ballistic history but others favoured cheaper older firearms that were supposedly decommissioned but have now been reactivated by someone with basic engineering knowledge and tools these sold for less than 100 pounds there were other guns such as the broker that was essentially an air pressured weapon which with a bit of diy engineering was capable of firing live realms the ammunition was difficult to get hold of at first but soon manufacturing live rounds became a mini cottage industry in the cellar of houses in derbyshire small family-run farms sending eggs developed the highly profitable sideline it sold thousands of decommissioned guns throughout the 1990s all quite legally until its owner began telling customers how they could reactivate the weapons to working order firing live rounds shop of horrors run by willian greenwood and his son mitchell in little eaton sold more than four thousand deactivated guns from oozies to kalashnikovs to lugers and berettas and with a northerner wing they would tell the purchasers how the weapon could be fully restored to its full utility they even sold engineering kits needed to reactivate the weapon for as little as 45 pounds and offered their own diy advice uk restrictions on gun ownership had been tightened considerably after the massacres perpetrated by michael ryan in hungerford in 1987 and thomas hamilton in dunblane in 1996 and the working uzi was a prohibited weapon in britain by any criteria but such weapons could be imported by registered dealers who pledged to deactivate them this involved cutting away 75 of the firing pin welding up the chamber mechanism then plugging the barrel with a steel ball to ensure it can’t be drilled out again the gun would then be sent away to a proof house there a certificate guaranteeing that it was useless could be acquired however the same useless firearm could be reactivated using basic engineering skills one drug dealer who was active in the summer of 2001 bragged obsessively about his gun he said he kept them in a secret compartment in his boot of his car and knew all about reactivating weapons he had brought an uzi from a dealer in east london he was paranoid about notting on criminals catching up with him and he said he needed a firearm around him at all times to protect himself he was known to the police in both his home county of lincolnshire and in nottinghamshire and had passed over the information about gangsters he mixed with his name was jeremy earls mr earls was a thin wiry man in his thirties whose temperament could change like jacqueline hyde one minute he seemed haunted the next he was a wild old man bursting with energy he often used the word suicide and said this is how gangsters made murder look like suicides in order to get away with them shortly after august 2001 he shot dead two young men in lincoln they were half brothers who had been living in mr earl’s old home after a flat swap one was a talented 26 year old poet andrew walker and the other a 17 year old a level student alexander woodcraft who had never even met his killer up until his death mr earl a paranoid schizophrenic had became obsessed about the flat swap feeling he had got the worst of the deal and confided in friends that he wanted to move back to his old address because he didn’t like the place he was living at in cambridge he also believed that a major nottingham gang boss who’s referred to later in this series as the tax man was trying to kill him in his warped mental state mr earl shot the half brothers through the head as one of them lay in bed and the other one was in the bath and then drove to an isolated area in lincolnshire took a large number of tranquilizers and then turned the gun on himself he tried to make his suicide appear as a murder positioning the gun to make it look like someone else had tried to shoot him and left the tape recording with his solicitor predicting his own bloody end saying the tape should only be played in the event of his violent death it was in a bizarre attempt to engineer a fake conspiracy around his death and those of the two innocent men who were killed the weapon which ended all three lives was a reactivated uzi submachine gun pistol probably brought for less than 400 pounds the police were aware of a reactivated gun problem as far back as 1994 when sir paul condon then the metropolitan police commissioner raised the issue yet between 1990 and 1994 alone the greenwoods of little eaton sold thousands of guns to former sussex police constable anthony mitchell who in turn sold them onto criminal ballistics evidence of these weapons turned up at crime scenes across the uk and ireland often the evidence would be a body torn apart by bullets william and michael greenwood partly due to the evidence from anthony mitchell who himself was convicted at the old bailly and who gave evidence against the father and son were sentenced in march 2004 at derby grand court to seven years in prison derbyshire police could account for only 20 percent of all the weapons they sold and by 2008 there were still 3 000 unaccounted for although a huge investigation continues from the officers of the national ballistic intelligence service by 2008 these weapons have been positively linked to eight murders and numerous shootings current estimates as to the numbers of deactivated weapons ranged between 80 000 and 140 000 nationally in august 2002 police raided two houses in smenton and sherwood areas the homes belonged to 22 year old michael westwood officers found equipment to manufacture homemade ammunition and conversion equipment to turn harmless replicas into lethal weapons as well as empty boxes that contained a number of roadcock weapons favored by yadi gunmer detective chief inspector ian waterfield said mr westwood had used the premises at cedar road sherwood as a mini factory to manufacture bullets from blank rounds of ammunition and convert firearms deemed safe at the end of the day we have no idea whose those firearms have gone to he admitted often the converted firearms did not have the proper rifling in the barrel which would lead to bullets tumbling from the barrel rather than coming out in a straight line as firearm expert mel muslin pointed out converted firearms can lead to more indiscriminate damage and a potential for innocent bystanders being hit in a gumbat from a tumbling bullet it’s going to be a bigger area hitting you and it’s going to cause you a larger wound mr westwood was later jailed for eight years for the gun offenses the gunslingers armed by people like the greenwood would hide the weapons at the houses of their baby mothers down the back of cookers buried in back gardens in the toilets anywhere with easy access sometimes without the knowledge of the numerous women that they were sleeping with dealers were regularly taking firearms into nightclubs and the people taking firearms with them were getting younger and younger on a number of occasions club goers fled the dance floor when gunmen decided to salute the dj and fire off rounds into the ceiling a ritual made customary by the yadis by november 1999 an 18 year old from birmingham was arrested after letting off his gun in beat rook nightclub in nottingham’s lace market during a fight having the firearm to hand while out on the town gave the gunman a feeling of having the juice or power over his rivals by the time someone had been shot or killed it was too late to see the damage that was being done by becoming a dedicated follower to this fashion black white asian youths were all being corrupted by gang mentality it started at school where children asian was five or six were becoming aware that there was a rivalry between saint anne’s radford and the meadows the north and south sides of the city they even had their own shopping centers marked out as territory the victoria center was the domain of saint anne’s and radford crews while the broad marsh center was meadow’s posse territory young gang members had their postcode tattooed on their bodies to mark their affiliations as one former gang member described it the older youths were always on the lookout for young talent that can mold up into their new foot soldiers the ones who start at the bottom of the ladder taking all the risks they want the youngsters who they can get to be the runners for them or to do other work that does not put police into their firing line they start off by giving them a few quid and then that’s it they’re in the crew biking up some wraps of herring or coke to some address up the road for some older lads they could see that in a few years they’ll be able to command their own lads do the work they were doing and they would be the ones with wads of cash and respect the early 1990s saw very young gangs running hammock one group from the saint anta state was dubbed the brat pack and became infamous around the city clocking up crimes and arrests like they’d been born through the gang was 14 strong ranged in the age between 12 and 16 and was of mixed race they were arrested more than 250 times one fifteen-year-old leader managed to amass 500 convictions but was still out on the streets ready to twerk which is a take without consent his next card these youngsters had a great deal in common they’d all come from single-parent background they all lacked stable male role models in their families and they all believed it was their right to take from others what they did not have after the demolition of many of the terrorist houses in st hands and the redevelopment of the area the city council began to allocate a large number of vacant properties to single parent families these parents almost always mothers were often living on benefits of around 75 pounds a week it didn’t take a mathematician to work out that if the mothers couldn’t get the youngsters what they wanted they would end up through their own devices getting it themselves the bratpath was symptomatic of this problem members went around the estate taking what they wanted they craved the best training shoes and the best clothes and saw nothing wrong in stealing it’s called taxing said one it was just as it had been depicted in the tales of robin hood it was taken from the heart and giving it to the have not and morality did not come into it the generation of children brought up through the thatcher years were infected by the materialism of the age at the same time as the community spirit was dying age of the individual was born these children had quickly worked out that there was no room for any social responsibility towards anyone else it was dog eat dog and only the strongest survive more than that having no conception at all of any social discipline they add within themselves perverted sense of being society’s victims the gang would carry out the most audacious crime always carrying the business card of their solicitor and demanding the right of silence if they were ever caught when they were arrested they were simply recycled back into the same world by the courts but this time on supervision orders and went back to doing what they did best breaking into houses on one weekend in may 1992 four of the bratpat the youngest 12 and the eldest who was 15 set out to rob an old people’s home they planned the job like veterans cutting the telephone wires to mello’s court to prevent anyone calling the police then storming the building and armed with swords and planks with nails in them as staff tried to close the door between them and the elderly residents the group battered their way through and robbed the terraforce staff and oaps they rifled residents handbags they took the money from a one-armed fruit machine and made off of a video recorder and a television in the early hours of the 30th of november 1997 shane thompson a 19 year old who belonged to the gang from radford and saint anne’s was beaten to death outside a pub the attack was sparked by a seemingly innocent event some lads from the meadow had been in the car park of tennyson center on forest road where a dance had been taking place a small number of saint annes and radford use so one of the meadows crew spit on their car this was disrespect and as far as they were concerned somebody would have to pay after scouting the meadows posse the saiyans and radford crew spotted them outside a kentucky fried chicken takeaway on alpherton road wearing masks and carrying baseball bat mr thompson and his crew ran at the meadow youths and struck an 18 year old on the head he produced a handgun and fired three shots into the air the gun was only firing blank but it caused enough terror amongst mr thompson’s friend that they fled upon alpherton road a chase now in shoot with around 15 use from the meadows some now with planks of wood and chains targeting mr thompson and three other youths mr thompson was cornered near a pub the two in a bush he was struck careered into the telephone box startling its occupant but struggled on before he was hit with several more blows the group then launched into a sickening orgy of kicks and blows with baseball bats and other instruments mr thompson on his own could only cry out stop it stop it you’re gonna kill me the use eventually ran off and left him semi-conscious on the ground where he was nursed by the pub manager who had came out to investigate the commotion he rang an ambulance which arrived at 2 20 am shane was able to say a few words to the ambulance staff but his condition deteriorated soon as he was taken for an x-ray he died at the queen’s medical center 18 hours later there were many witnesses to the attack and the large number of views from both groups were arrested in the immediate aftermath predictably some witnesses began to pull out from making statements after receiving threatening phone calls nevertheless in october 1998 six of the meadow crew and one of the saint anne’s posse eventually faced a jury it was a very messy trial it was clear that not all the offenders were in the dark and at least one of the meadows posse had fled to jamaica with the help of his influential gangster father even though the prosecution had the help of one of the meadows gang who was willing to give evidence about who delivered the fatal blows the trial descended into chaos where he could not identify five of the sixth charge with murder and violent disorder on the 5th of november the trial judge mr justice paul directed that all seven defendants should be cleared with some degree of optimism mr justice paul wasted no time in telling the courtroom that the case should mark the end of gang violence between the ng triangle group the decent people of saint hans radford and the meadow and other areas are long overdue arrests from the friction between these fractions it brings nothing but misery and unhappiness to all those concerned and now would be as good a time as any for calm and common sense to prevail he said the communities involved did try to solve some of the deep-seated problems surrounding the gang but those who mourned another victim of the violence knew that justice had let them down once again the concerned citizens group as they called themselves set up a conference at nottingham’s albert hall in an attempt to end a postcode division at the heart of the tribbles and tried to bring the communities together following shane thompson’s death hundreds of people attended the black youth summit on friday 1999 but it didn’t stop the violence it couldn’t graffiti started to appear on the street signs in saint anne’s two-nil this referred not to some innocuous football game but to the deaths of lloyd robinson and shane thompson and was a taunting of the cruelest kind the prevailing view among many young people was that justice was nothing to do with the system anymore justice was just what you metted out in your own way if the courts could not punish people for wrongdoing then they would take matters into their own hands in the intervening period a youth called levi walker whose uncle barrington walker had been murdered in a machete attack outside the marcus garvey center in april 1996 was himself attacked by a gang welding knives and a machete they burst in as he slept at his girlfriend’s house in radford on the 21st of january 1998 mr walker was a regular visitor to nottingham and claimed that he had been mistakenly identified as one of the killers of shane thompson his attackers had shouted you killed out brethren shane mr walker suffered multiple injuries and went into cardiac arrest he was in a coma for three months he later recovered enough to carry out his own violent criminal ventures as part of the raiders gang from the west midlands he will be jailed for life in 2006 for the murder of a 20 year old iraq war hero narelle sharpe in smithic in birmingham mr sharpe was shot dead by mr walker as he strolled home after a night out simply because mr walker who went by the street named creeper fancied the gold chain that the soldier was wearing mr walker was also one of the gunman who pumped five bullets execution style into a rival drug dealer and former spurs football youth coach kevin nunes in 2002 in march 2000 one of those cleared in the involvement in shane thompson’s death was severely beaten up patrick wilde suffered a fractured school when he was set upon by the gang as he walked up cinder hill road in balworld another of those acquitted was soon back at it in the court facing a chad of attempted robbery and malicious wounding after a machete wielding incident inside a shop on the meadows estate while nicolas fogo the saint anne’s gang member later featured in a number of significant city crimes and was convicted and jailed for life with ashley graham for the 2001 murder of 32 year old roy henry roy henry was stabbed through the heart as he tried to prevent a friend from being robbed outside the simply delicious cafe on radford road just a few hundred yards from the police station the police had only turned up after four 999 calls had been made and mccann dale who had been cleared in the connection with mr thompson’s killing went on to become a significant drug dealer in the meadows estate in 2007 he was caught and his girlfriend fiat punto with a loaded revolver and five bullets during the police stop and search on queen’s drive he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the aftermath of shane thompson’s death firearms became a common tool among the gangs of the ng triangle

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