"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Friday, 10 April 2009

Inside the Mind of a Criminal

Not much shocks me anymore with regard to the state of New Britain. Vast areas of our inner cities are lawless urban jungles where life is cheap and respect for anything pretty much impossible to find.

The following story did jolt me, though - you can never underestimate just how vicious and completely amoral some people are. It also shows how just a few violent individuals can dominate a whole area when the justice system loses its teeth and allows criminals to get away with offences time and time again.

When most people only serve 12 years for murder, is it any wonder they think they can get away with anything and act accordingly?

From the Metro:

A gang leader who turned a city's streets into what a judge called the days of "Al Capone and Chicago" was today jailed for a minimum of 39 years.

Colin Joyce, 29, the self-styled "General" of Manchester's notorious Gooch Gang, smiled and smirked as he was told he will be retirement age before he he is considered for release from prison.

Addressing the court himself, Joyce told the Judge the trial had been a "circus" and any sentence would not take away the "freedom and innocence" from "inside me".

He was clapped by members of his gang in the dock - to the audible disgust of the family of his victims sat in court just yards away.

Moments later Mr Justice Brian Langstaff passed down two mandatory life sentences with a minimum 39-year jail-term.

"You were all involved in gang related activity which is all too reminiscent of Al Capone and Chicago in the era of prohibition," he told Liverpool Crown Court.
"Manchester is not the Wild West, but many of you treated its streets as if it were."

Joyce (above left), his chief henchman, Lee Amos (above right), 33, and three other gang members were all convicted of involvement in the drive-by killing of a mourner at the funeral of a man Joyce had "executed" months earlier, following a six month trial.

Gang warfare erupted in the Manchester in the summer of 2007 within three months of Joyce being released from jail on licence for firearms offences.

Joyce, who had the pockets of his jeans specially adapted to act as a gun holster, led the Gooch Gang in dealing drugs, torturing street dealers who crossed them and targeting rivals, culminating in the murders of Ucal Chin, 24, and Tyrone Gilbert, 23, who had links to the rival Longsight Crew.

Six other gang members were also convicted of involvement in possessing guns and drug dealing for the gang, including a "wild west" shoot-out with rival gangsters in Moss Side.

All 11 gang members, all from Manchester, were convicted of 27 of the 28 charges.
The jury failed to reach a verdict on one count of murder on Amos relating to Ucal Chin. Since

Joyce and his men have been in jail police say there has been a 92% reduction in gang-related shootings in Manchester.

There has also been no gang-related murder for more than 12 months.

Judge Langstaff told the defendants: "Your reactions to the verdicts... suggest to me you could not care less. It was almost as if you regarded the badge of a guilty verdict as being a mark of honour in the cause for which you had shot."

He said Joyce and the Gooch took part in both planned executions of rivals and in "mindless gang warfare."

They would shoot at people over minor disagreements while drunk in nightclubs and torture street dealers who crossed them, the court heard.

They had an arsenal of weapons including machine guns and magnum style handguns which they used, "at the drop of a hat," and to exact revenge and enforce drug debts.

Joyce, who rented a luxury flat on a private development in Worsley, Greater Manchester, made up to £700,000 a year from his gang's drug dealing - their "core activity."

While possessing, "considerable personal charm" organisational ability and business skills, Judge Langstaff said he also had "murderous intent" was a "deeply controlling man... I accept undoubtedly you are a leader of men."

Amos was given a life sentence for his involvement in the murder of Gilbert and ordered to serve a minimum of 35 years before parole.

Aeeron Campbell (above left), 25, a mindless thug with an intelligence putting him in the bottom 1% of the population was given life with a minimum of 32 years.

Narada Williams (above right), 27, known as "Yardie" a gang "enforcer" in charge of their drugs operation was given life with a minimum of 35 years before parole.
Judge Langstaff has so far handed down sentences totalling 141 years.

The rest of the gang, Ricardo Williams, 26, Hassan Shah, 25, Aaron Alexander, 22, Ricci Moss, 21, Kayael Wint, 20, and Tyler Mullings, 18, will be sentenced this afternoon.

Gonoo Hussain, 25, will be sentenced tomorrow.


Dr.D said...

Earl, I have a simple question. Why should these men not hang?

It is because there is hope to rehabilitate them? Is it because the state is not sure they did these crimes, and thus might execute an innocent man? Or is it simple squeamishness?

The refined sensibilities of the European/British mind simple escape me.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Dr. D:

In my opinion, they should hang.

In the 19th Century, Home Secretary Robert Peel abolished the death penalty for over 200 offences, including petty theft. He did this because, for example, the penalty for burglary was the same as for burglary then killing any witnesses or pursuing police - a sensible move, in my opinion.

But the move went too far when it was abolished for murder in the late 50s/early 60s - particularly in this case, where violence was gratuitous and no remorse shown.

However, many British liberals are too squeamish. My friend, recently trained as a barrister, said there was a whole section of the course devoted to why the death penalty was a bad idea - and this was for prosecution barristers.

They dress it up in many ways, but secretly they're afraid of the idea of punishment.

You can see this in the despicable way the US is often listed with China and Iran for 'most people executed per year' - as if there is no difference in the legal systems and the executions are bad by default, no matter what they're for.

Nick said...

It's a tough one, I'd say. On the one hand there have been several serious miscarriages of justice, which have come to light in the last few years. People found guilty and sentenced to long stretches in jail. Wrongly.

If you're in jail then you can be set free, but if you've been hanged ...

On the other hand there are people who do not deserve to walk among us, the likes of Dennis Nielsen and Peter Sutcliffe. In my own town there was a murder some years ago committed by a young man, it was particularly horrific, the tool used was a Stanley knife, and he ended up in jail, so far as I know in "Craigies" (the prison in Aberdeen). He could have been hung, and it would have been just, there's no question about that.

It just doesn't happen in the UK though.