7 gang members jailed for feuding with rival group in Hordes

The various gang members were handed prison sentences totaling more than 94 years for bringing terror to the streets of Horden and Hartlepool over the weekend of January 7 and 8 this year.

They were involved in ram attacks when retaliatory attacks occurred, described as a “long-running bitter feud” with a rival gang. Cars were also set on fire and shootings broke out in a partially inhabited street.

Durham Crown Court heard that gang leader James Stephenson recruited his trusted associates Wayne Griffin, Connor Ellison, Jonathan Miller, Shane Leigh Graeme Oliver and Paul Frain to either take part in or assist in transports before and after the offences.

The Northern Echo: Members of a drug gang sentenced to more than 94 years in prison. Above, from left: James Stephenson,

There was a coordinated ramming attack and car arson attack on a house linked to a rival gang member, where a woman was pregnant and young children were sleeping, in Brunel Close, Hartlepool, on Saturday evening, January 7th.

READ ALSO: Thugs ram car into house in Hartlepool and set fire to driveway again

When the opposing faction committed a major burglary of the home of a member of Stephenson’s gang in Horden the following afternoon, he quickly organized a rapid counteroffensive.

It culminated in a random shootout on Fifth Street in hordes as the rival gang was about to raid Stephenson’s business premises with battering rams.

A chase ensued through east Durham and the vehicles involved in the crimes were later found burnt out in Hartlepool and Coxhoe, near Durham.

The use of digital and forensic investigation techniques as well as rapid investigations by criminal investigators led to the arrest of all seven people involved within a short period of time.

READ ALSO: Man Charged With Attempted Murder After Guns Incident In Hordes

The court heard they had largely refused to answer police questions at the time, but when the case was brought up for trial at Newcastle Crown Court at the end of June there were eventually guilty pleas.

Although a jury was sworn, no evidence was heard when the acceptable pleas were filed, so Judge James Adkin agreed to give each of the defendants a 10 percent reduction in their sentence.

James Stephenson, 32, of Leazes Rise, Peterlee, Wayne Griffin, 48, of North Avenue, Horden, Connor Ellison, 26, of Thorpe Crescent, Peterlee, Jonathan Miller, 31, of Jude Place, Peterlee, Shane Leigh, 22, of Braithwaite Road, Peterlee, and Paul Frain, 56, of Church House, North Road East, in Wingate, each admitted conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of a prohibited firearm.

Stephenson, Griffin, Ellison, Miller and 30-year-old Graeme Oliver, of Inchcape Terrace, Grants Houses, near Horden, all admitted possession of a prohibited firearm and arson.

Leigh and Frain also admitted to owning a prohibited firearm.

Griffin also admitted possession with intent to supply both cocaine and heroin and cultivating plants of the cannabis genus.

All but Leigh and Frain also admitted damaging property with intent to endanger life.

Judge Adkin described it as “a sad saga” and told the defendants they were all involved in “serious and organized crime arising from a feud”.

But he said: “The exact reason remains unclear and there is no specific trigger, but it is unlikely to be a legitimate trade dispute.”

Griffin, who also stored tens of thousands of pounds worth of Class A drugs in his home, received a total sentence of 19 years and nine months.

Continue reading:

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Stephenson and Miller each received a sentence of 16 years and nine months, of which they must serve two-thirds before being eligible for release on license.

Frain was sentenced to 14 years in prison, Ellison to 13 years, Leigh to nine years and Oliver to five years and four months.

Judge Adkin thanked all officers involved in the investigation and particularly praised Detective Sergeant Samantha Young and Det Con Helen Tindale.

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/23774537.7-gang-members-jailed-feud-rival-group-horden/?ref=rss 7 gang members jailed for feuding with rival group in Hordes


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