Bedford gang members sentenced to 79 years in prison

|News, Violent crime

Members of two rival gangs have been given prison sentences totalling 79 years following a series of violent incidents in Bedford in 2017.

The K Block gang and the Mile Road gang both dealt in the sale of illegal drugs, and resorted to kidnap and violence using knives and guns to warn their rivals off.

Twenty-five-year-old Saffa Gbonda - a member of the K Block gang - received a nine-year prison sentence extended by three years today (21 March), having been convicted late last year of conspiracy to kidnap and GBH with intent. This followed an incident on 3 June 2017, when Gbonda assaulted a man in Kempston, bundled him into a car and drove off. The car was forcibly stopped by police, Gbonda was arrested at the scene and the victim was taken to hospital.

This event was the catalyst for gang warfare throughout the month of June, with the Mile Road gang retaliating two weeks later when members Terrell Romain and Maksims Boikovs attacked a man in Hawkins Road in Bedford, almost hacking through the victim’s wrist with a large knife. Romain and Boikovs were found guilty of violent disorder, possession of a bladed article and wounding with intent in relation to this incident, and were sentenced to 15 years extended by three years and 14 years' imprisonment respectively on 11 March this year.

On 19 June 2017, two days after the attack, K Block gang members were involved in a reprisal shooting in Miller Road, where two men were seriously injured and property was significantly damaged. Antonio Ziu, 22, and Vincent Kingswell-Shaw, 23, were subsequently convicted of conspiracy to commit GBH with intent and possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life, and received prison sentences of 16 years extended by three years and 16 years respectively earlier this month.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Charles White, from the CPS, said: “These two gangs routinely carried knives and guns on the streets in Bedford, resorting to violence to warn their rivals off.

“Despite a wall of silence from the gang member victims, we were able to present a range of evidence to the jury including witnesses’ statements, phone data, forensic evidence and CCTV footage which clearly placed individual gang members at the different incidents.

“Criminal activity and violence of this nature has no place on our streets, and we will continue to work with the police to catch, prosecute and bring to justice those people who engage in this activity.”

Notes to editors

  • Charles White is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern
  • Saffa Gbonda, DOB 10/6/1993, was convicted of conspiracy to kidnap and GBH with intent in October 2018, and sentenced to nine years extended by three years in prison on 21 March 2019 at Luton Crown Court
  • Terrell Romain,  DOB 8/9/1996, was convicted of violent disorder, possession of a bladed article and wounding with intent in January 2019, and sentenced to 15 years extended by three years in prison on 11 March 2019 at Harrow Crown Court
  • Maksims Boikovs, DOB 13/11/1999, was convicted of violent disorder, possession of a bladed article and wounding with intent in January 2019, and sentenced to 14 years in prison on 11 March 2019 at Harrow Crown Court
  • Antonio Ziu, DOB 18/8/1996, was convicted of conspiracy to commit GBH with intent and possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life in October 2018, and sentenced to 16 years extended by three years in prison on 11 March 2019 at Harrow Crown Court
  • Vincent Kingswell-Shaw, DOB 7/2/1996, was convicted of conspiracy to commit GBH with intent and possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life in October 2018, and sentenced to 16 years in prison on 11 March 2019 at Harrow Crown Court

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