Youth gang members receive life sentences after vicious attack on rival
Four young men, three of them teenagers, received life sentences today (21 May 2109) after a Snapchat video and a conversation between offenders in the back of a police van helped secure their conviction for the murder of a 16-year-old boy.
Aaron Miller, Jacob Morgan, Ramon Djuana and Samuel Brown were found guilty in April of killing Cemeren Yilmaz (known as 'Gem'), who died after being stabbed in the back and hit on the head with a hammer during a vicious gang attack in Bedford last September.
Miller has been ordered to serve a minimum term of 21 years, Morgan 16 years, and Djuana and Brown will each serve a 17-year minimum term.
Events began around 9pm on 16 September last year, when Cemeren and a friend ran across Ashmead Road towards three men who were stood near a motorbike - one being one of the defendants. The three men fled, and Cemeren was then seen to pick up a bag by the motorbike and run off.
About an hour later, a group of men approached Cemeren, who had returned to Ashmead Road with his friend, and started to punch him. Cemeren ran away, but he then fell and two of the attackers caught up with him and began kicking him. One of the attackers was 20-year-old Aaron Miller. As Cemeren lay on the ground, Miller’s friend pulled out a knife and stabbed him.
A further chase ensued, when the two offenders once again caught up with Cemeren, kicking him for a second time. They then ran from the scene while Cemeren’s friends called for an ambulance.
As Cemeren lay on the grass bleeding, two more rival gang members appeared. They started to kick the victim, then took it in turns to strike his head with a hammer. They fled the scene as the ambulance approached.
Cemeren suffered brain damage from the hammer attack. He underwent two operations in hospital, after which he had two cardiac arrests. Sadly he died the following day.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Nick Ramage for the CPS said: “Our priority in this case was to prove that Cemeren’s attackers set out to seriously harm or kill him, so that justice could be served for him and his family. The evidence we presented to the jury secured convictions for all four defendants who are now beginning lengthy sentences, and we hope this brings some comfort to Cemeren’s family.”
Building the case
At the trial, the CPS presented compelling evidence in the form of a Snapchat video recorded during the hammer attack, with the footage showing that two of the defendants had used a hammer to hit Cemeren. That Snapchat video was overlaid on a 999 call which captured the hammer attack and the second set of defendants fleeing.
In addition, two defendants were recorded speaking in the police van, making it plain that the knife and hammer attack were part of a concerted plan to ‘end off’ [kill] Cemeren ('Gem'). One of the defendants was heard to say “...Gem done so much wrong, like Gem, like he done wrong to like our people innit and in the bible it says defend your people, does it not…it says love your neighbour and my neighbour is my people innit so if I’m defending my people, it wasn’t supposed to go that far..”. He continued: “just defending my people innit. It’s not, it’s not like I end him off [kill him] for no reason…”.
Nick, who helped build the case for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “We were able to present CCTV footage and statements from witnesses in court which placed the four defendants at the scene of this attack. However, it was the evidence we showed in the form of the video posted on social media and a recorded conversation between two of the offenders that clearly demonstrated to the jury the attackers’ intent to kill Cemeren.”
Notes to editors
- Nick Ramage is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern.
- All four defendants, who were convicted of murder in April, received life sentences today (21 May 2019) with the following minimum terms to be served:
- Aaron Miller (DOB 11/11/98) – 21 years minimum term
- Jacob Morgan (DOB 14/7/2003) – 16 years minimum term
- Ramon Djuana (DOB 28/5/2003) – 17 years minimum term
- Samuel Brown (DOB 16/4/2003) - 17 years minimum term