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The UK is safer with those strict gun laws...

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Mick, Jun 15, 2004.

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  1. Mick

    Mick Member

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    http://www.thisislondon.com/news/londonnews/articles/11340794?source=Evening Standard

    [​IMG]

    Steaming gang's terror reign
    By Richard Edwards
    15 June 2004

    A "steaming" gang has been convicted of preying on passengers in a four-month rampage on trains and buses.

    The gang, sometimes more than 20 strong, attacked up to 80 victims on public transport.

    In an eight-week trial, Harrow Crown Court heard how the mob, aged between 13 and 23, came together from all over London and met at the Trocadero in Piccadilly Circus.

    They concentrated on late-night buses in central London and early-morning commuter trains from Gravesend, St Albans and Brighton.

    They would surround victims, holding passengers captive and systematically robbing them. As the reign of terror went on, the violence increased.

    One man had his cheekbone shattered in an attack on a late-night bus and required surgery to reconstruct his face.

    Days earlier, an off-duty woman police officer had been surrounded on a train, covered in spit and threatened with rape.

    The mob were caught in a police operation involving more than 250 officers who targeted 20 addresses across London. The last of 15 identified members was convicted yesterday. They will be sentenced next month.

    Outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Philip Kent, the officer in charge of the case, said: "The railways, streets and buses are a safer place as a result of this trial.

    "It is an excellent outcome and the result of a lot of very hard work by the British Transport Police, the prosecution team and Met police officers.

    "The levels of violence in these attacks were increasing and it is important now that they are sentenced appropriately as a warning to others."

    The court heard how the gang used street names, such as Evil, Havoc and Boxer, and carried knives, metal pipes and an imitation handgun. They were convicted on 25 counts of robbery and conspiracy to rob between September and December 2002, although police believe they may have targeted up to 80 victims.

    Twelve members of the gang pleaded guilty at two connected hearings - Joseph Gbonda, 18, from Herne Hill, Ashraf Ali, 18, from Peckham, Richard Tavenier, 18, from Mitcham, Philip Fahie, 21, from Edmonton, Jarrell Edwin, 22, from Peckham, Malik Jones, 19, from Acton, Faisal Navaid, 20, from Wandsworth, Foday Dumbuya, 18, from Mitcham and two 17-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy and girl who cannot be named because of their age.

    Chelsea Waldron, 18, from Hayes, David Moroney, 18, from Islington, and a 13-year-old boy who cannot be named were found guilty by the jury of conspiracy to rob.

    Half the gang were under 16 at the time of the attacks - and yet among them they had 35 previous convictions for offences including robbery and grievous bodily harm.

    One senior police source said: "They are opportunist thugs. Their crime was not sophisticated, but they became embroiled in a gang culture.

    "They were in it for the kicks and to finance a life based around underground clubs and girls."

    Stolen mobile phones were the gang's trophies and plundered cash funded designer clothing and gold jewellery, but the spoils of crime were only part of it. Success fuelled their egos and they began to enjoy the ritual humiliation of their prey.

    Victims recalled the laughter as blows rained down upon them.

    Damon Murphy, a strapping 30-year-old taking a bus home after a night out in the West End, was so badly beaten he required surgery to reconstruct his face.

    The attack only lasted five or six seconds, but the force of the blows shattered his cheekbone. He could not eat for two weeks and feared permanent damage to his sight. Last month, two years after his ordeal, he broke down in court while giving evidence from behind a protective screen. "I am still not over it," he admitted.

    Excluded from schools and torn between parents, the gang slipped easily into a life of petty crime on council estates and the streets. The uncle of one of the 17-year-old boys, who had been expelled from school, said: "I do not know how he could do these things. It is very sad and distressing."

    Joseph Gbonda, who became known as Flamer after scarring himself playing with fire as a child, took to the streets after his father Joseph, an accountant from Sierra Leone, split from his mother Juliet.

    Even when he was locked in his room under a 7pm to 7am curfew, Gbonda would escape through the window. A cousin claimed he preferred the streets to being torn between his mother and father. Youths from estates in Peckham and Mitcham joined with those from Edmonton and Hayes to form a loose-knit group of 15 that could swell to more than 20.

    The Trocadero's frenzied music, noisy arcades and flashing neon lights have long attracted groups of youths.

    It became the mob's favourite haunt as they waited for numbers to accumulate and the late-night stragglers to start making their way home.

    Dressed in bright coloured hoods, baseball caps, beanies and baggy jeans, they greeted each other with a casual press of their fists.

    There was no ringleader, but there was always a plan of attack.

    The gang would take it in turns to make the first approach, with the youngest member often chosen as a test of his bravery and to add to the humiliation for the victim.

    A 13-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, became a specialist. A small child, his angelic face belied his vast experience on the streets. He has two previous convictions for common assault and two for theft.

    The boy's mother had abandoned her flat on a squalid council estate in Streatham to live with her boyfriend. But during the day the boy and his friends would use the derelict house as a den.

    They ravaged the house, breaking all the windows. Neighbours said the boy never went to school and roamed the streets. In the attacks, while he made conversation with victims, the others filed into seats in front and behind the target and some hovered in the aisles. They taunted the victim, watching their fear turn into panic. Then they struck.

    The passenger would be engulfed in a flurry of fists and boots.

    Hands rummaged through pockets and bags looking for wallets and mobile phones.

    Sometimes victims managed to push the emergency stop button on trains, and the gang would flee along the tracks. On buses they burst through the doors and split up, escaping to all parts of London.

    Jarrell Edwin, also known as Evil, would return to the flat he shares with his mother in one of Pe ckham's mo s t abject council estates. Gbonda lives nearby, as does Ashraf Ali. Ali, a quiet and shy child from a large Bangladeshi family, developed into an impossible adolescent after falling in with gangs on his street.

    His meek mother barely speaks a word of English. His father, who suffers from a long-term illness, is intimidated by Ash and unable to control him.

    Richard Tavenier lives in Mitcham and is king of his estate, threatening anyone who confronts him and even breaking into his neighbours' cars parked near his house.

    His mother, Beverley, a devoted Christian from Jamaica, does not dare chastise him.

    When Tavenier's stepfather, Randolph Nevins, tried to assert himself, it only made things worse.

    He is already out of prison after serving half of his two-year sentence. One of his neighbours whose son has been threatened by him said she fears for her boy's life and is trying to move out of the area.

    The first trial - which convicted eight members of the gang who had pleaded guilty - served only two prison sentences.

    But even as they faced jail, the gang's casual disregard for the law remained unchecked.

    In the dock they were noisy and arrogant - swearing, laughing and sneering their way through an eight-week trial.

    Police said many broke their conditions of bail and have been reoffending on an almost daily basis.

    Even relatives of the mob agree it is a depressing cycle of violence and crime.

    "I cannot defend my cousin or any of them," said one relation. "It is a service to society that these kids should be named and their crimes exposed. But I only wish it would impact on the way they act.

    "Sadly, I fear it will not make any difference."
     
  2. agricola

    agricola Member

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    "crime happens in world shock"
     
  3. Lochaber

    Lochaber Member

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    But when it happens in the US it is a sign of our failing civilization all because of guns, TV, rock'n'roll, and Pizza Hut. When it happens in England (or the rest of Europe), its just crime.

    In fact that is kinda the same thing that can be said about almost everything. When American soldiers rescue Europeans (wholesale such as multiple countries at a shot as in various world wars, or Balkans or .. or .. or individually as the Italian guys that got rescued in Iraq a couple of days ago) they are treated warm but condecendingly at best, and called baby killers while they are doing the same thing in Asia or Africa. Same with "culture", tourism, economy, etc, etc.

    It makes us surly.

    Loch
     
  4. Antlurz

    Antlurz Member

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    Baahhhhh!!!

    They're just kids. Let 'em have their fun.

    :barf:

    Ron
     
  5. nero45acp

    nero45acp Member

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    Sheep get shorn.:uhoh:





    nero
     
  6. Critical

    Critical Member

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    Who on here has argued that? What gives you any reason to believe that's what non-Americans think?

    And what makes you think that we thought gun control would stop crime? We have laws against speeding, do you think we thought no-one would ever speed again?

    Bizarre.......

    Nice anecdote though. Not evidence of anything mind you, but a nice anecdote.....
     
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Easy, there, Critical. There's a lot of sarcasm which derives from comments read in various media outlets from around the world. It's not always exact, of course, but the general thesis is based on fact.

    "And what makes you think that we thought gun control would stop crime? We have laws against speeding, do you think we thought no-one would ever speed again?"

    Bad analogy. I've not heard politicians make the claim about the laws on speeding, but they commonly justify gun control laws by telling us how we'll be safer, Bad Things won't happen, and the hens will lay twice a day. Kids won't get zits, either.

    Look. I've been in the middle of gun-control arguments since the early days of argument over our Gun Control Act of 1968. EVERY gun-control law has been accompanied by an incredible amount of nattering about the good to be accomplished.

    The expected good has never come to pass.

    Ergo, we are sarcastic about those who've yet to learn. These anecdotes merely serve to justify our views. Now, "anecdotal evidence" isn't justification when you're talking about an isolated instance. However, when these anecdotes pile up over a period of years or decades, they're no longer "mere".

    While this particular court case describes an egregious magnification of events, lesser levels have been reported in the press for years...

    Art
     
  8. Critical

    Critical Member

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    No one has ever claimed "bad things wont happen". Again, a lot of fuss and nonsense over strawmen.

    That depends on what you think the expected good was? And compared to what? That crime would disappear? That guncrime would vanish?


    Again, compared to what? When Britian had strict gun control laws, or when Britain had very strict gun control laws? 10,000 gun deaths or 23? Which is worse? Whats the context? Why is it happening? is there any reason why London has seen such a rise while Scotland has seen such a fall with the same gun laws?

    These aneccdotes are meaningless. They take no account of culture, history or trends. They merely confirm what everyone seems to take as fact already, without actually demonstrating any facts.
     
  9. Sleeping Dog

    Sleeping Dog Member

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    Just a couple of random thoughts -

    Congratulations to the British Transport Police for busting the ring. Good work, no matter what the court outcome is.

    U.S. politicians certainly relate speed limits to safety, a lot of claims about lowering speed limits in construction zones (which is not a bad idea imho). Also, a lot of claims about the predicted carnage when the limits went from 55 to 70 on a lot of highways, most of the wailing coming from politicians.

    The policewoman that was attacked, was she armed? would it have helped, or are the gang tactics so sudden that there's no time to get to the gun?

    If England had a "shall-issue CCW" law, would that stop the gang attacks?

    It'll be interesting to see what sentences come of this, and how much time (if any) is actually served. The perpetrators will probably not be hanged, pity.

    Regards.
     
  10. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    It would have taken a single armed law-abiding American citizen to stop those criminals cold.

    Rarely does a day pass when I fail to feel grateful to our forefathers for having rebelled against the English and founded a republic.
     
  11. Critical

    Critical Member

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    And if the mob of 15 or 20 had all been armed too?
     
  12. Moparmike

    Moparmike Member

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    One armed sheep is often all it takes for the wolves to think twice about attacking them.
     
  13. Critical

    Critical Member

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    Sounds great, but judging by the mentality of a hell of a lot of the people I arrest everyday, the theory falls down in reality. Most of them wouldn't bat an eyelid.

    When your a wolf you NEED to hunt.......
     
  14. striker3

    striker3 Member

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    Read the article, they were armed.
     
  15. DesertEagle613

    DesertEagle613 Member

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    Anyone notice that the article didn't list the length of the sentences?

    I've heard from anecdotal sources that sentences in Britain are getting shorter and shorter. One person said that the average sentence for break-and-entry is a month of counseling.

    I do not know if this is true, but if so, it would explain the defendants' contempt during the trial.
     
  16. Critical

    Critical Member

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    They carried AN imitation handgun. There is no mention if this was actually used in any of the attacks.

    And AN imitation handgun is very different to having 15-20 real ones.......
     
  17. Antlurz

    Antlurz Member

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    Critical? Certainly not about specifics, ey wot?.
    Of course, the REST of that stuff isn't weaponry, right, Critical?

    Ron
     
  18. sumpnz

    sumpnz Member

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    That's a great anecdote. About as useful as your commentary on earlier anecdotes.

    However, interviews with felons, at least here in the States, has shown that they fear armed citizens more than the police, more than extra jail time, more than darn near anything. I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that had one of their (espically eary on) victems been armed, and actually particularly if they had shot one or more of the gang members, that the attacks would have stopped. Now, it is possible that rather than reconsidering the foolishness of such activitity that they would have made sure they had a larger group, and possibly real guns themselves. But most criminals like that are really cowards. They talk tough, but real resistance from potential victems usually keeps them just that, potential victems.

    Had a few of them been shot by an armed citizen I would not weep for the goblins, and would probably contribute to the legal fund for the shooter if necessary.
     
  19. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

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    Don't bring knives and chains to a gunfight.

    It reminds me of the scene in the "Gambler" with Kenny Rogers.

    There's 3 bad guys and Kenny has just a 2 shot Derringer.

    However he asks em whos gonna be the 1st two to die so the 3rd guy can get him.
     
  20. Critical

    Critical Member

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    Not the same as being armed is it? the context of the exchange is quite clearly referring to guns. Is trying to change the meaning of words the best you can do?

    Or does your second amendment say "right to bear metal pipes shall not be infringed"?
     
  21. Critical

    Critical Member

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    Most criminals like that are off thier faces on drugs. What sems reasonable behaviour to you or me doesn't apply. Changing the drug laws would have a far greater effect on violent crime than repealing our gun laws.
     
  22. sumpnz

    sumpnz Member

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    ****, Critical, the 2A says "A well regulated militia, being necessary to security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." That means any arms, including, but not necessarially limited to, guns, knives, swords, pipes, rocks, broken bottles, etc.

    Oh, and when I commmented on them reconsidering the foolishness of thier behavior, I was not intending to imply that reason was a part of the equation. Simply that the desire for self preservation would likely kick in. Even someone stoned off their gourd still has that to drive them.
     
  23. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Member

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    Uhh, yeah.
     
  24. Critical

    Critical Member

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    Oooo nice dodge. We have someone claiming without evidence this mob were armed, so you get into the semantics of what arms" means.

    Right, now I understand what true believer syndrome is.........
     
  25. sumpnz

    sumpnz Member

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    Critical, go back to (deleted before posting for the sake of maintaining The High Road).

    Don't feed the trolls, don't feed the trolls, don't feed the trolls ...
     
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