Six men and two boys have been found guilty of their roles in violent disorder which saw a teenager attacked with weapons.
We were called to Hermitage Road, Rishton, near to the old paper mill, at 9pm on August 6, 2021, following reports the victim – who was 17 at the time – had been chased and attacked by a large group of youths.
Our enquiries found that weapons used included machetes, knives and an axe. And that the youngest offenders were just 14 at the time the offence was committed.
After being confronted by members of the group the victim was then chased through woodlands by defendants brandishing a series of weapons, including Danny Yakub, Kane Taylor, Davis Hargreaves, James Meagre, Jay Dean Slater, Connor Armstrong and two 16-year-old boys who cannot be named for legal reasons.
He told our officers the defendants were behaving “like a bunch of gorillas”.
Having got to the roadside, the victim was set upon by a number of the group who assaulted him with weapons and knocked him to the floor.
When a member of the public came to assist the victim and told the defendants to stop because they were going to kill him, the group were heard to say; “we are going to kill him” and “he’s dead boys”.
The victim suffered puncture wounds to his shoulder blades and legs and was also stamped on. Thankfully his injuries were not life-threatening.
After the defendants were arrested and charged, one of the 16-year-olds obtained footage of police interviews featuring the victim and a member of the public. He then circulated it on Snapchat, with offensive comments and emojis in a bid to intimidate them. Those posts were shared by Yakub.
Following a trial at Preston Crown Court, the defendants were found guilty of the below:
Danny Yakub, 18, Blackburn Road, Great Harwood. Violent disorder and attempted witness intimidation.
Kane Taylor, 19, Rippon Road, Accrington. Violent disorder.
Davis Hargreaves, 18, Plantation Road, Accrington. Violent disorder.
James Meagre, 18, Tinker Brook Close, Accrington. Violent disorder.
Jay Dean Slater, 18, Fountains Way, Accrington. Violent disorder.
Connor Armstrong, 19, Christ Church Street, Accrington. Violent disorder.
A 16-year-old boy from Accrington. Violent disorder and two counts of attempted witness intimidation.
A second 16-year-old boy from Accrington. Violent disorder.
DC Sarah Whittaker, of East CID, said: “This was an appalling crime committed against a young victim. It was fortunate that he was not more seriously injured or even killed.
“I welcome the verdicts from the jury and thank them for carefully considering the evidence and coming to the conclusion they have.
“I hope these convictions send a strong message to anybody thinking of arming themselves and committing senseless acts of violence. We will identify you and we will put you before the courts.”
They will be sentenced on August 3 and 4.