Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford gang wars 'brought guns and knives to streets'

Gangs at war Image copyright SBNA
Image caption Maksims Boikovs, Saffa Gbonda, Terrell Romain, Vincent Kingswell-Shaw and Antonio Ziu

Five members of two gangs involved in a drugs turf war have been jailed following a stabbing and a shooting.

Rivals from the Kempston Block and Mile Road gangs in Bedford were "at war" in June 2017, Luton Crown Court heard.

A man was assaulted in a park in Kempston on 3 June 2017 which an off-duty police officer witnessed.

The attack led to an arrest and gang warfare, which Judge Nigel Lithman QC said "brought knives and guns on to the streets of Bedford".

The Two Mile Road gang retaliated to the park assault and a kidnap attempt with a machete attack two weeks later.

Days after, the Kempston Block hit back with a drive-by shooting at a house.

The man arrested over the park assault, Saffa Gbonda, 25, of Walcourt Road, Kempston, was jailed for 12 years for conspiracy to kidnap and GBH with intent after an earlier trial.

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Media captionFive gang members jailed over drugs feud in Bedfordshire

Maksims Boikovs, 19, of Brackley Road, and Terrell Romain, 22, of Lewis Close, both of Bedford, were jailed over the machete attack, where the victim "virtually had his arm severed", Judge Lithman said.

Both were found guilty at an earlier trial of violent disorder, wounding with intent to cause GBH and possession of a bladed article.

Romain was jailed for 18 years and Boikovs for 14 years.

'Worst blight'

Antonio Ziu, 22, of Warwick Avenue, Bedford, and Vincent Kingswell-Shaw, 23, of Foster Road, Kempston, were earlier convicted of conspiracy to commit GBH with intent and possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life.

Ziu was jailed for 19 years and Kingswell-Shaw for 16 years.

In the same hearing, Daniel Brownlee, 21, of Pearcey Road, Bedford, received a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, for being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Dreyfuss Mussington, 23, of Barford Avenue, Bedford, received a one-year jail sentence suspended for two years for a similar offence.

Sentencing the gang members, Judge Lithman said: "The defendants have been involved in the worst blight upon life in this country - the use of knives and guns in pursuit of their rivalry in the course of the drugs trade."

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