Bedford ride-out: Biker jailed for 'mayhem and terror'

Image source, Bedfordshire Police
Image caption,
A group of up to 70 riders from the so-called Stunt Squad caused "mayhem" last year

A leader of a biker gang which staged a "ride-out", causing "mayhem" to a town and its surrounding villages has been jailed.

Ben Nelms, 27, was among about 70 motorbike and quad bike riders who "brought terror" to Bedford last July.

The self-styled Stunt Squad wore masks as they drove "en-masse", performing tricks on roads and pavements, Luton Crown Court Heard.

Nelms was jailed for 15 months after he admitted causing a public nuisance.

While the riders had donned disguises and removed number plates from their vehicles, Nelms was identified via an Instagram account, the court heard.

Prosecutor Alison Ginn told the court "The group caused mayhem and brought terror to Bedford and the surrounding villages. They put the lives of people at risk.

"They rode en-masse, on public roads, on pavements, performed wheelies and rode with no hands on the handle bars.

"Other drivers were caused to stop. They rode at pedestrians and some surrounded cars and kicked them. Some of the cars had children inside. They performed this in front of police cars."

Image source, Bedfordshire Police
Image caption,
Ben Nelms' barrister said the group had not caused terror

Alexander Wright said in mitigation that Nelms admitted they had caused annoyance and made people feel nervous, but had not caused terror.

Judge Michael Kay QC, sentencing on Friday, told him the ride-out was "plainly meant to be a challenge to the establishment and police".

"The simple message needs to go out if you take part in ride-outs then you will go to prison," he added.

Nelms of Prior Close, Clapham, has also been banned from driving for 25 months and two weeks.

He must also abide by the terms of a Criminal Behaviour Order upon release.

Image source, Bedfordshire Police
Image caption,
Some members of the ride out performed wheelies on the road

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