Five men inflicted out such extreme violence that one of their victims almost died following a feud between rival drug dealers, a court was told today (Thursday).
The attackers kicked in the door of a flat in Skegness and savagely beat the occupants with baseball bats, an axe and a knuckle duster.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that the two victims inside the flat were friends of a local man who was involved in a turf war with rival dealer Thomas Barraclough who had recently moved into the resort and set up in business.
Barraclough, joined by four men from his home city of Bradford, broke into the flat in South Parade just hours after being involved in a dispute with the local dealer who was a friend of the occupants.
After the attackers fled the two victims went out into the street where passers-by assisted them.
One of the victims, aged 19, suffered a severed artery and almost bled to death at the scene. The teenager was also cut across the face leaving him scarred for life and he later underwent plastic surgery.
Stephen Kemp, prosecuting, said that three paramedics worked for 40 minutes to stem the flow of blood and saved his life.
The attackers fled in a hired car and were later involved in a high speed pursuit with police which only ended when officers used a stinger device to halt the vehicle in the village of Burwell.
As the car slowed down a number of weapons together with a bag containing cash and drugs were thrown out of the window. When the car finally stopped Barraclough ran off but was found later hiding in a nearby garden. The others were detained in the car.
Mr Kemp said “The purpose of Barraclough’s residence in Skegness was to establish a dealing business in the town.
“He had established a presence on the ground meeting and supplying drug users. The job of the others was to use extreme violence to destroy the local competition.”
Today (Thursday) the five men were given jail sentences totalling almost 40 years after admitting offences arising out of the incident on March 7 this year.
Barraclough, 21, formerly of Drummond Road, Skegness, and now of Bradford Lane, Laisterdyke, Bradford, was jailed for a total of 12 years after he admitted two offences of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and two charges of possession of drugs with intent to supply involving cocaine and heroin.
Nadeem Sheikh, 30, of Roundhill Place, Bradford, and his brother Jamil Sheikh ,25, of Westlands Drive, Allerton Drive, Bradford, each admitted two charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent. Nadeem Sheiklh was jailed for ten and a half years and Jamil Sheikh was jailed for nine years.
Zakir Hussain, 30, of Wheatlands Crescent, Heaton, Bradford, and Matthew James, 26, of Newark Street, Bowling, Bradford, each admitted violent disorder. Hussain was jailed for 33 months and James for 38 months.
Judge John Pini QC told them “This was an extremely serious and grave matter. It is drugs that are entirely behind this dreadful episode.
“Extreme violence was brought to Skegness over drug dealing. This court will send out a message that it will not be tolerated.”
Thomas Palmer, for Barraclough, said his client left Bradford after falling out with his friends. He denied that said Barraclough had been recruited by another dealer to operate in Skegness but the pair then fell out.
James Bourne-Arton, for Nadeem Sheikh, denied that the group was part of an organised crime gang. He said his client was the breadwinner for his wife and young children.
Alasdair Campbell, for Jamil Sheikh, described him as a man of good character with two young children.
He added “There is nothing in his background related to drugs.”
James Lake, for Hussain, said his client bitterly regretted what happened.
Austin Newman, for James, said he was only drawn in to the offence at a late stage and initially thought he was going for a day out at the coast.