A JUDGE has condemned a gang which got embroiled in a ‘spiral of violence’ in Dewsbury.
This week four men were jailed for an attack on two teenagers, which Leeds Crown Court heard was the result of heightened racial tensions in Thornhill Lees.
Two of the defendants, Josh Foster and Jordan Williams, were seeking revenge after being beaten up by a group of Asian males in October.
Melvin Watts, 19, told police the pair called for him on November 3 and told him, ‘Tonight’s the night’. Watts thought this meant they were going to find the men who had attacked them. He said he took a craft knife for self-defence.
The trio called for Dale Oakley, 21, and all four went to Thornhill Lees where they set upon two Asian teenagers in Lees Hall Road.
Williams hit one of the teenagers with a stick and Watts slashed one of them across the face.
Abdul Iqbal, mitigating, said the other men started attacking the two teenagers before Watts got involved.
Mr Iqbal said: “He took that as a tacit confirmation that these were the people they were looking for.”
But David Bradshaw, prosecuting, said neither of the victims were linked with the assault on Foster and Williams.
He added that Williams, 18, had told officers that Watts had invited friends on Facebook to go ‘muzzy hunting’.
Mr Iqbal said there had been heightened racial tensions in Thornhill Lees after Jack Carter had been killed by an Asian man in August. But Richard Canning, mitigating, said Foster did not see the attack as racist.
Sam Andrews and Robin Frieze for Williams and Oakley said both had shown remorse.
Watts, of Mountain Road, Thornhill, was given five years in a young offenders’ institute for wounding with intent and possessing an offensive weapon.
Foster, 18, of Grange Crescent, Tadcaster, was given 15 months in a young offenders’ institute for wounding and racially aggravated assault.
Oakley, of Thorn Avenue, Thornhill, was jailed for 18 months for the same offences.
Williams, of Partridge Crescent, Thornhill, was sent to a young offenders’ institute for 18 months for wounding, racially aggravated assault and possessing an offensive weapon.
Judge Colin Burn said: “I have heard about the death of Mr Carter and it is clear it is a part of a cycle or spiral of violence in your area. You four, with some enthusiasm, decided to get yourselves involved.
“What you did was completely unacceptable in any civilised society. Both complainants were traumatised by what happened to them and in the case of one, he has been left with a permanent facial scar.
“It’s an absolute miracle that his eye was not put out.”
BEHIND bARS: Melvin Watts was sentenced to five years in a young offenders’ institute.