Suffolk

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens: Five jailed for Ipswich stab death

Aristote Yenge, Kyreis Davies, Isaac Calver, Callum Plaats, Adebayo Amusa Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Aristote Yenge, Kyreis Davies, Isaac Calver, Callum Plaats and Adebayo Amusa were all convicted of the "senseless" killing

Five gang members have been jailed for stabbing a 17-year-old boy to death.

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens was stabbed 15 times and hit over the head with a glass bottle in Ipswich on 2 June.

Three men and a teenager were sentenced to life for murder while another man was jailed for 14 years for manslaughter.

Judge Martyn Levett said the attack was a "grim demonstration" of how knife crime has "blighted towns and cities across the UK".

Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Tavis Spencer-Aitkens died in hospital after being stabbed 15 times

Four of the gang members were given life sentences for murder:

  • Isaac Calver, 19, of St Helen's Street, Ipswich must serve a minimum term of 21 years
  • Aristote Yenge, 23, of Spring Road, Ipswich was given a minimum of 25 years
  • Adebayo Amusa, 20, of Sovereign Road, Barking, east London was given a minimum of 23 years
  • Kyreis Davies, 17, of Turnstile Square, Colchester, was given a minimum of 21 years

Callum Plaats, 23, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for manslaughter, of which he must serve at least half. All the defendants had previous convictions.

During a four-month trial, Ipswich Crown Court heard there was an intense rivalry between Mr Spencer-Aitkens' friends in the Neno gang, also called The Three, and the J-Block gang of which his killers were members.

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Media captionTavis Spencer-Aitkens: YouTube rappers jailed over stab death

The two groups referenced their rivalry in music videos they posted on YouTube.

The victim's mother, Sharon Box, told the court her life was "shattered" and her heart was "broken beyond repair".

"I can only hope that when they are alone with their thoughts they will be haunted by their actions for the remainder of their days," she said.

Image caption Tavis's mother Sharon Box (bottom left) said she could "never forgive" her son's killers

Sentences met with cheers

Kate Scotter, BBC News Online

It was a court room highly charged with a range of emotions: anger from Tavis's mum, heartbreak from his dad.

All the while the five defendants were still able to laugh and joke with each other in the dock.

Some appeared to have resigned themselves to their fate and showed little emotion.

But teenager Kyreis Davies smirked as he was told he would serve a minimum of 21 years for the brutal killing.

As the sentences were handed down, there were cheers and applause from the public gallery, and shouts of "coward" and "scumbag", the latter aimed at Calver whose father sat alongside Tavis's parents.

Det Ch Insp Mike Brown, of the Major Investigation Team, said it was an "utterly senseless" act of violence.

He said: "I hope that other young people who are lured into the dangerous world of knife crime and gang culture take note of the outcome of this case.

"It might be seen as glamorous by some, but let me assure you there is nothing glamorous about spending 20 years inside a prison."

The events leading to the murder of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens is covered in this documentary on BBC Sounds.

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