Seven men who carried out violent break-ins in Essex have been jailed for a combined total of 127 years after a month-long trial at Basildon Crown Court.
The gang carried out two vicious attacks in September 2017. During the first, they forced their way into the home of an elderly man and assaulted him with a metal file, causing serious injuries to his face. Just over a week later, the masked men broke into another property and subjected a family of four, including a seven-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, to physical assaults described in court as ‘torture’. The gang ransacked the house, stealing property before driving the victims to a field and leaving them there.
Officers from the Essex Serious Organised Crime Unit undertook a complex investigation that resulted in seven men being arrested, charged and sentenced. Ayomide Ijelu (aged 23) was jailed for 28 years, Jeremiah Johnson (aged 27) for 25 years, Emmanuel Ijelu (aged 27) for 10 years, Wesley Williams (aged 32) for 18 years, Mark Bonsu (aged 25) for 18 years and Barry Douglas (aged 26) for 10 years – these men all pleaded not guilty but were convicted. Salih Bulbuller (aged 22) received an 18 year sentence after admitting aggravated burglary, robbery and possession of a firearm.
Mobile phone data was critical to the prosecution’s case and CSAS software played a ‘crucial part’ in cleansing, analysing and presenting the cell site / RF evidence to the jury in a way that was easy for them to understand. In the words of the Case Officer: “I couldn’t have put the presentation together in the way I did without the help of CSAS”.
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Steve Nelson from the Serious and Organised Crimet Unit said: “These men terrorised their victims subjecting them to brutal attacks, including an ordeal described in court as ‘torture’. Their victims were a young family and a vulnerable elderly man. The level of violence of these attacks is shocking and horrifying. These are dangerous and organised men and they deserve to be behind bars. I want to again pay tribute to the bravery of the victims. They have endured an unimaginable and traumatic ordeal and hope they can now begin to rebuild their lives. I also want to pay tribute to the tenacity and dedication of my officers who helped bring this violent criminals to justice.”
For more details, visit Essex Police’s website.
Download an A4 printable summary of this case [pdf]