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‘Unique’ ruling bans rival gang members from associating or making music videos

UK News | Published:

The action was taken against the men following a spate of firearms offences involving gangs in the city between 2015 and 2016.

Eighteen men from two notorious crime gangs have been banned from associating with each other or participating in music videos that promote gang-related violence following a landmark court ruling.

The action was taken against the men after a spate of firearms offences that brought terror to the streets of Birmingham during the summer of 2015 and start of 2016.

Ten of the men are currently serving prison sentences, including Reial Phillips, 21, who was at the heart of a series of turf war shootings in the city, which left eight people injured.

Gang members
The 18 members of two Birmingham crime gangs who have been banned from associating with each other or participating in music videos that promote gang-related violence (West Midlands Police)

The shootings were part of an ongoing feud between the Burger Boys Gang and the Johnson Crew, which escalated when members of the opposing factions uploaded rap videos online to taunt one another.

West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council have now secured full injunctions against the 18 men in what is believed to be the largest group gang injunction ever secured.

The men, who are aged between 19 and 29, are forbidden from associating with each other and also from entering areas of Birmingham, including the city centre, Handsworth, Newtown, Winson Green and Lozells for the next two years.

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Another condition of the injunctions is that they are banned from participating in the music videos that promote or support gang-related violence.

The injunctions were granted last month after more than 80 witnesses gave evidence at Birmingham Crown Court and also allow police to restrict the vehicles and mobile phones they use.

Police and the council previously secured interim injunctions following a spate of gun and drug-related crime in the city during 2015.

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The ban was welcomed by anti-gun campaigner Marcia Shakespeare, whose 17-year-old daughter Letisha was shot dead in a drive-by shooting during a turf war between the two gangs.

Letisha had been at a party with friends when she and cousin Charlene Ellis, 18, were killed in a hail of machine gun bullets in the early hours of January 2 2003.

Charlene’s twin sister Sophie and cousin Cheryl Shaw were also hit but survived. Four men were jailed in connection with the killings.

Mrs Shakespeare described the gangs as “vermin” who should be smashed by “any means”.

She said: “It’s a big shock to still see so many young people involved in gangs. The information presented by the police and city council identifies how important gang injunctions are. I welcome any resources which can help tackle the spread of gangs, guns and drugs.

“I see gangs as vermin in Birmingham and any means to help stop it spreading to vulnerable, naive and innocent young people is a positive way forward in our war on violent crime. Because as I have said, time and time again, violent crime has no winners. It just causes heartache, pain and has a life-changing impact on innocent victims and the perpetrators’ families.”

The men are Naasir Francis, 19, from Nechells, Baboucar Huma, 19, from Handsworth, Akeen Ivy-Foster, 20, from Springhill, Ravelle Hutchinson, 20, from Winson Green, Tesfa Bernard-Wheeler, 21, from Hockley, Rayani Sutherland, 21, from Aston, Omarni Bernard-Sewell, 21, from Selly Oak, Lawrence Morgan, 21, from Nechells, Jerome Jones, 21, from Erdington, Jerome Christie, 21, from Nechells, Reial Phillips, 21, from Winson Green, Ushane Jeffers, 23, from Newtown, Kayne Robinson, 23, from Springhill, Ashai Grey, 23, from Walsall, Jacob Brown, 24, from Handsworth, Cash Wallace, 24, from Winson Green, Ishmail Lee, 29, from Wolverhampton, and Isaac Duffus, 28, from Erdington.

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