Notorious criminals locked up last month

Some of the nation’s most notorious criminals have been before the courts despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Murderers, sex fiends, fraudsters, robbers and thugs are still being sent down for their crimes – even though many courts are hampered by restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Some notorious criminals have been locked up during the past few weeks, reports the Manchester Evening News.

A teenager was jailed for murder in Kent after a fight broke out following a grime concert, while a trio of burglars were locked up after posing as police officers.

In Newcastle, a driver was jailed for deliberately driving his car into another man in an incident that was captured on video and shared widely on social media.

Meanwhile , a dancer who reached the final of Britain’s Got Talent was locked up for engaging in sex acts with a child, and a Birmingham thug was sent to prison for slashing a man’s face with a bottle.

Here are some of the shocking cases from across the UK that were reported in May.

Jason Elie



Notorious criminals locked up last month

Jason Elie, 49, tried to throw his girlfriend from the top of a block of flats with a pillowcase on her head.

He held his victim against the balcony of a third-floor flat in Milton Keynes and stabbed her with a screwdriver.

Police arrived at the scene and saw him attempting to lift his screaming victim over the balcony, a court heard.

Officers stormed the flat, allowing the woman to wriggle free and escape. The stand-off lasted for two hours.

He was charged with attempted murder but later re-charged with making threats to kill and assault, which he admitted.

The court heard how Elie had 20 previous convictions for 42 offences dating back to May 1991.

He was given a 10-year extended jail term, including five years in custody and five years on an extended licence period.

Leah Cordice



Notorious criminals locked up last month

A married woman who had a baby with a 13-year-old schoolboy was detained for 30 months.

Student Leah Cordice, now 20, was accused of having sex with a teenager she was babysitting when she was 17 years old.

She had been studying childcare and working in a nursery at the time, and claimed she had been raped by the boy.

The court heard Cordice groomed the boy by sending him complimentary texts calling him “cute” and giving him money for fish and chips.

She denied the victim was the father of her child but was forced to take a DNA test which showed the boy was the father.

Cordice had been living with her husband, who had believed he was the father and had been bringing up the little girl as if she was his own daughter.

She was convicted by a jury of having sexual activity with a child on at least five occasions.

Aqeel Ahmed



Notorious criminals locked up last month

Aqeel Ahmed, 24, mowed down a stranger in his car then attacked him with a metal bar.

He targeted his victim after a fight broke out in the car park of a petrol station in Manchester.

He returned to his car and ploughed into the man. Ahmed then stamped on his victim’s head three times while he lay unconscious on the floor.

A bystander attempted to restrain the thug but he broke free and struck his victim several times with a tyre iron, a court heard.

Ahmed, from Bolton, was jailed for four years after he admitted attempting to cause grievous bodily harm, dangerous driving and drink-driving.

Vasilios Ofogeli



Notorious criminals locked up last month

A teenager who murdered a university student after a rap gig before posting a video on social media was jailed for life.

Vasilios Ofogeli, 17, stabbed 21-year-old Andre Bent with a large hunting knife amid violent scenes following a MoStack rap concert in Kent last year.

The trial heard how violence erupted after the grime artist performed and CCTV footage showed people who had left the club punching, kicking and hitting each other with belts.

From mobile phone video and CCTV, police established that Ofogeli had used a machete-style knife to stab three other men, who survived.

Ofogeli’s final victim, Mr Bent, who was unarmed, suffered a single stab wound to the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene, the court heard.

The teenager posted videos to his social media in which he said one person had been killed on that night but it “should have been more”, the court heard.

Ofogeli, of north London, was found guilty of murder and convicted of two counts of attempted murder, wounding with intent and violent disorder.

He must serve at least 20 years.

Jonathan Smith



Notorious criminals locked up last month

The renowned musical director used “psychological manipulation” and blackmail to abuse a young girl.

Jonathan Smith, 57, avoided a life sentence for his “campaign of sexual violence” against the girl but was jailed for 24 years.

The conductor had lived in Victoria, Australia, since 1998, but returned to the UK in July last year after Sussex Police issued a warrant for his extradition.

He has now been jailed for 16 historic sex offences – two rapes, two counts of buggery, 10 counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency with a child.

The court heard how his offences were “planned to a significant degree” and had caused “severe psychological harm” to his victim.

Smith was found guilty of all charges against him following a trial.

Daniel Bowen, Daniel Kelly and Louis Ahearne



Notorious criminals locked up last month

The trio posed as police officers in order to trick their way into a gated community in Kent – even attaching a flashing blue light to their car.

Once inside, Daniel Bowen, Daniel Kelly and Louis Ahearne broke into a flat where they stole money, handbags and designer trainers.

They then attempted to break into another property but were disturbed by neighbours and fled.

They were apprehended after forensics teams detected bloodstains on a money box and caught the group on CCTV.

Bowen, 44, pleaded guilty to burglary and attempted burglary and was handed a sentence of two years and six months.

Kelly, 41, and Ahearne, 31, were convicted following a trial and both were jailed for five years.

Karen Kavanagh



Notorious criminals locked up last month

A council worker was jailed for stealing more than £260,000 that should have gone to care homes.

Gran Karen Kavanagh, 60, took the money over a period of almost 11 years while working as payments team leader for Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council in Merseyside.

She pleaded guilty to fraud and was jailed for four years.

Her crimes were spotted in April 2019 when one of the nursing homes queried a payment, the court heard.

Kavanagh, of Kirkby, had made 122 payments to herself since March 2008 after entering into a financially abusive relationship with the father of her daughter.

She said the man abandoned her, leaving her with no financial support and debts, and had since died.

The court heard how Kavanagh was “shocked” when she learnt the full amount she had taken and insisted she had not been living “any sort of luxurious lifestyle”.

John Gray



Notorious criminals locked up last month

John Gray, 26, who claimed to have Covid-19, was jailed after he smeared blood over a police officer’s arm and threatened to spit in his face.

Two police officers responded to a pub fight in Hartlepool but were threatened by Gray.

When one officer tried to detain him, Gray wiped his bloodied hands on the officer’s arms several times “saying he hoped the officer would catch the virus”, the court heard.

He was put in a police van where he spat blood and saliva before saying the vehicle was “contaminated” but later told police at the station he was “only messing about”.

Gray admitted burglary, two counts of assaulting an emergency worker and criminal damage to a police van and was sentenced to a total of two years in prison.

Daniel Walmsley



Notorious criminals locked up last month

Daniel Walmsley, 29, dragged a woman along a road with his car before knocking over her boyfriend.

He was eventually arrested after footage of him ploughing into the victim in Newcastle’s Bigg Market was shared on social media.

The video, seen in court, showed a woman arguing with the driver of a black Ford Focus, who then quickly reversed and tried to drive away from the area, dangerously throwing the woman to the floor.

The woman’s boyfriend then began to remonstrate with the driver, but the vehicle instead accelerated towards him.

The boyfriend was hurled across the street and crashed against a lamppost before the driver of the Focus sped away from the scene.

Police identified the driver as Walmsley and he admitted causing actual bodily harm and dangerous driving in January.

He was jailed for two years and one month and banned from driving for five years and two months.

Mohammed Malik



Notorious criminals locked up last month

Mohammed Malik “lost control” as he questioned the mother of his child whether he was the father as they shopped for baby clothes, a court heard.

The 24-year-old parked up outside Mothercare in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, before accusing the woman of speaking to other men sparking an argument.

Malik shoved her into the footwell and bit her leg, leaving a “prominent mark”, poured a fizzy drink over her face and forced his fingers down her throat, making her vomit.

He later dragged the woman into a flat and put her in the bath, before threatening to make her eat a used toilet brush.

Malik was jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm; breach of a non-molestation order; and possession with intent to supply cannabis.

Philip Ray



Notorious criminals locked up last month

Philip Ray, 26, from Birmingham, slashed his autistic victim’s face leaving him with a foot-long wound “from his mouth to the back of his neck”, a court heard.

His victim, who was also blind in one eye, was on a night out with friends when he was attacked.

The court heard that Ray went “berserk” and smashed a bottle over the victim’s head, knocking him to the ground after accusing him of saying something about his deceased mother.

After slashing his face, Ray stabbed the man in the back through his clothing, the court was told.

He was jailed for 11 years and eight months after admitting a charge of wounding with intent.

Christopher Gittins



Notorious criminals locked up last month

A dancer who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent was jailed for engaging in sexual activity with a young boy.

Christopher Gittins reached the final of the talent show in 2016 with dance act BoogieStorm, in which the dancers all dressed as Star Wars Stormtroopers.

The 29-year-old was arrested after his young victim’s mother found Facebook messages from Gittins to her son, the court heard.

His victim later told police officers that he had performed sexual acts with Gittins at nature reserves and at Powis Castle in Welshpool.

Gittins was handed a jail term of two years and nine months, and made to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

Blake McCauley



Notorious criminals locked up last month

A sexual predator was sent to jail for sending indecent images, rape threats and a video of a beheading to young girls online.

Police said Blake McCauley, 29, from Warwickshire, sent threatening messages and sexually explicit photos to eight girls between the ages of 14 and 16, and to an 18-year-old woman.

McCauley pleaded guilty to six counts of sending a message that is indecent or grossly offensive with intent to cause distress and anxiety, three counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act and one count of sexual communication with a child.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Fidal Robinson



Notorious criminals locked up last month

An “egocentric” bully tried to kill his girlfriend during a “ferocious” attack after meeting her on Snapchat.

Fidal Robinson, 23, was jailed for 15 years after admitting attempted murder and other assaults.

The 25-year-old victim was hospitalised for almost a month following the violent attack, which left her with prominent scarring and unable to use her left hand.

A court heard how Robinson attacked his girlfriend on three separate occasions during their three-month relationship.

On a fourth occasion, the court heard how he repeatedly punched her to the face, smashed a glass jug over her head, and began stabbing her with scissors and then using them to cut her hair.

He threw a chair at her, attacked her with a TV and stamped on her, before getting a bread knife and cutting her arms, face, legs and head, the court was told.

Tristan Wallen



Notorious criminals locked up last month

A thug was jailed after nearly killing a man and assaulting a young woman in a Birmingham street.

Tristan Wallen’s violent outburst began at his family flat when he burst in and repeatedly beat an 18-year-old woman inside the property.

Wallen, 28, then chased his next victim down the street before stabbing him in the chest multiple times.

He was eventually tracked down by police a week later.

Wallen was found guilty of attempted murder, assault, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of a controlled drug and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Anthony Marsh



Notorious criminals locked up last month

A convicted sex offender was jailed for making more than 100 sexually explicit calls to the emergency services.

Anthony Marsh, 56, of County Durham, was locked up for 24 weeks and issued with a restraining order banning him from calling 999 unless its a genuine emergency.

Marsh made sexually explicit calls to 999 and 111 over several hours on two occasions at the end of March and the end of April, when handlers were busy dealing with genuine concerns about the coronavirus, a court heard.

He also harassed a detective, leaving her explicit messages and saying he was in love with her.

Marsh admitted three communications offences and one of harassment.

Laurence Wheeler



Notorious criminals locked up last month

A cleaner who secretly filmed women and girls in the bathroom and in changing rooms was jailed for engaging in sexual activity with a child.

Laurence Wheeler, 32, from East Sussex, was given a six-year sentence with an extended licence supervision period of a further two years.

Officers found more than 500 indecent images of children, videos from a phone hidden in a bathroom and footage of children filmed in changing rooms at a London swimming pool.

They also discovered messages from Wheeler to the young girl he abused, with two videos showing the indecent acts.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images of children, five counts of voyeurism and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, over a three period.

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