Drugs gang trio jailed for stabbing man in ambush
PUBLISHED: 17:42 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:42 29 November 2019
Two men and a 16-year-old boy who repeatedly stabbed a man they left for dead after luring him into a trap have been jailed for a total of 66 years.
Leon Sobers, who is in his 40s, was set upon after being ambushed in an alleyway in Marks Tey, near Colchester, on Halloween last year and suffered what were initially thought to be life threatening injuries.
Sentencing Donald Adu, Calvin Armstrong and Ermias Yohannes at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday November 29, Judge Martyn Levett described the attack on Mr Sobers as "relentless, brutal and cowardly."
He said that following the "savage" attack Mr Sobers had been "left for dead" on a doorstep.
"This was a planned, joint enterprise attack, the scope of which was to kill," said the judge.
He said he was satisfied the three defendants had been acting as a team to send out a warning that the "Rico" drug syndicate "wasn't to be messed with."
Adu, 25, of Howard Road, Stoke Newington, London, who was described as the instigator of the attack and Armstrong, 22, of no fixed address, were each jailed for 26 years.
Yohannes, 16, of Eagle Drive, Colchester, who was wearing a skeleton mask at the time of the attack on Mr Sobers, was described as a dangerous offender.
He was sentenced to 14 years detention with an extended licence period of five years.
Judge Levett lifted an earlier order bannig publication of the teenager's name because he is under 18.
All three had denied attempting to murder Mr Sobers on October 31 last year but were convicted after a trial which ended last month.
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Yohannes admitted two offences of possessing 270 wraps of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply.
Christopher Paxton QC, prosecuting, said Mr Sobers, who lived in Marks Tey, suffered six stab wounds in the attack, one of which was potentially fatal.
The court heard that by pure luck he had knocked at the door of a former paramedic who was able to assist him until an ambulance arrived.
During the attack Mr Sobers heard his three attackers shouting: "Get him. Don't let him go."
Mr Paxton said Mr Sobers, who had gone to the alleyway after receiving a drug-related telephone call had been lured into a trap.
Mr Paxton said the reason for the attack on Mr Sobers was unclear but it was likely to relate to the supply of Class A drugs.
He said Mr Sobers didn't know his attackers and "had no idea" why he was attacked. However, on the day of the attack on Mr Sobers a local drug dealer had been robbed of drugs and money.
After sentencing, Detective Constable Mike Heslegrave from Colchester CID said: "This was a sustained and furious attack by a group of people who intended to kill the victim.
"Adu, Armstrong and Yohannes have not shown any remorse for the attack or the impact it has had on the victim's life.
"The reality is the attack could have had a fatal outcome.
"They are dangerous individuals and Essex is no doubt a safer place with them in prison.
"I want to praise the actions of the members of the public who assisted the victim. Their actions helped to save his life."