Men sentenced after pleading guilty during victimless trial
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Two men have been jailed for a combined total of 26 years for stabbing a teenage boy with machetes and causing severe injuries.
Kevin McNeil and his accomplice Sadique Thomas stood before trial for their involvement in the wounding of a man in Gloucester last year which occurred at an address in Salisbury Road on 2 August 2020.
They had been charged with attempted murder and a trial began on 21 June 2021. Following two weeks of evidence, McNeil, 20 and formerly of Southgate Street and Thomas, 22 and of Desford Close pleaded guilty to a lesser offence of section 18 wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm which was accepted by the crown on Monday 5 July.
The pair appeared at Bristol Crown Court for sentencing on Friday (6 August) where McNeil was sentenced to 13 and a half years whilst Thomas was sentenced to 13 years. The additional six months that McNeil received follows the attack of a prison officer.
The jury of 10 men and two women previously heard how despite receiving severe life changing injuries, the victim in the incident did not support any prosecution following the horrific attack by masked men whilst at a friend’s address in broad daylight.
Emergency services were called to Salisbury Road in Gloucester at around 4.30pm on Sunday 2 August last year following reports that a 19-year-old man had been stabbed sustaining serious injuries to his leg, arm and torso. He was taken to hospital where he received extensive surgery and was discharged some weeks later.
The men had driven to the area in a stolen blue Vauxhall Insignia displaying cloned number plates before locating the victim, attacking him with machetes and leaving him fighting for his life before driving off at speed.
They then went on to burn their clothing in nearby Armscroft Park, Barnwood before driving to Stonebrack Piece in Abbeymead hours later and setting the car on fire causing an explosion which could be heard throughout Gloucester.
The car was later recovered and examined following a number of calls to the fire service and was found to contain three machetes.
The burnt items of clothing, which included a jacket, cap and pair of Nike trainers, were forensically linked to the group and the victim of the attack which assisted officers to secure charges against them.
Detective Sergeant Jon Newton from the Criminal Investigation Department said: "Despite a lack of engagement by the victim and a number of key witnesses present during this incident, Gloucestershire Constabulary have continued to investigate this matter in order to secure convictions on these dangerous individuals.
"The level of violence used and recklessness to attempt to destroy evidence demonstrates the risk that McNeil and Thomas posed to the wider public. This meant that although uncommon and difficult to prove without the victim’s support, we were dedicated to ensuring our local communities are protected.
"The men have shown no regard about the impact and danger they have placed on those who witnessed the aftermath of this pre-planned attack and this is seen by the way they viciously stabbed the victim, attempted to burn their clothes in a local park on a busy weekend afternoon, before setting their vehicle on fire in the middle of a housing estate.
“I have no doubt that this boy would have died if it were not for the quick thinking and amazing actions of local residents, police officers and paramedics who came to his aid and have ultimately saved his life. I would also like to thank those witnesses who have been brave enough to come forward to help us.
"This has been a protracted investigation by a dedicated team of detectives and I hope this sentencing shows how the Constabulary is committed to tackling violent gang-related crimes and that this behaviour will not be tolerated even when the victim is not co-operating with us."
23-year-old Jay Campbell of Bloomfield Road also stood before trial and was found not guilty of assisting an offender.