February 11, 2022 1.27 pm

Six sentenced for Grantham melee involving knives and guns

The public disorder involved fighting, knives and imitation firearms on the streets of Grantham

Six people involved in an incident which saw fighting, knives and imitation firearms on the streets of Grantham have been sentenced for their role in the disorder.

The hearing at Lincoln Crown Court heard how the offenders – most of whom were 17 at the time of the offence, and turned 18 while going through the court process – had intentionally taken offensive weapons onto the streets of Grantham on 7 November 2020.

Calls from multiple members of the public stating that a “number of people” were on the streets carrying weapons started coming in just before 6.30pm, prompting an armed officer deployment to the location of the reports, which began in and around Wyndham Park and ended in the Greyfriars housing area.

In the first incident in Wyndham Park, they were armed with machetes and an imitation firearm and wrongly targeted an innocent young man and woman. The firearm was pointed in the face of the man while questions were asked of the pair. They were ultimately physically unharmed.

One of the weapons seized by police. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

Others within the same group also held weapons while searching for their intended target.

The group then made their way through the town centre to Greyfriars where members of the public reported them brandishing weapons and making threats to an occupant in a block of flats. Glass bottles were also thrown at the property.

Police also received reports that a man “was going to pull a knife” at Asda, before the group pursued a man into a take away, who sought cover by jumping over the counter to evade them.

A gun was also seized following the Grantham disorder. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

All seven offenders scattered in different directions before police arrived, but a swift response meant that five of them were arrested immediately after the offences occurred, while the remaining two were arrested a few hours later.

Thankfully, despite the number of offensive weapons, nobody was seriously injured during the incident.

One of those responsible was from the Grantham area, one from the Boston area, three were from the London area and two from the Peterborough area. All had arranged to meet at Grantham with the purpose of committing this offence.

Throughout the investigation, the motive or intended target was never uncovered.

Detective Inspector Remy Simon from Grantham CID said: “This was a group of men who conspired to gather in Grantham intent on committing acts of violence, and anyone witnessing them in the street brandishing weapons would have been rightly fearful.

“The investigation drew on resources from a number of departments within Lincolnshire Police and took place over several months. Officers pieced together the movements of the group to and around Grantham through extensive CCTV work with partners at the local authority. Forensic enquiries and mobile phone evidence was also key to the investigation.

“We have an ongoing commitment to remove weapons from our streets through Operation Raptor, and we will proactively target those who think it is acceptable to be out and about carrying one.”

All six were charged in January 2021, and received their sentences yesterday.

The sentences are as follows:

Tione Moodie, aged 18, of HMP Lincoln pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder, possession of a bladed article and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Socaine Bassi, aged 19, of Union Place, Boston pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder and possession of a bladed article. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Mussa Camara, 19, of Artindale, Bretton, Peterborough pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder, possession of a bladed article and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was given an 11 month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and an unpaid work requirement.

Christopher Gbenla, 18, of Clipstone Street  Westminster, London pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder and possession of a bladed article. He was given a 12 month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and an unpaid work requirement.

Temi Odewale, 19, of Highbury New Park, Islington, London pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder, possession of a bladed article and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He received a 12 month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Mikell Okechukwu, 19, of Braybrook,  Orton Goldhay, Peterborough – pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was given an 11 month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and an unpaid work requirement.

One further offender, Kennedy Ikwuemesi, 19, of Wood Street,  Barnet, London previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder and possession of a bladed article and will be sentenced at a later date.