A TEEN trio have been jailed for more than 15 years for a violent robbery near Trowbridge Tesco that saw two men stabbed.
The boys aged 16 and 17 at the time of the February attack, had arranged to meet two drug dealers in Biss Meadows.
The dealers believed the teens wanted to buy drugs. But the they actually planned to rob the pair of their money and drugs.
They met at around 11pm on Wednesday, February 13. During the robbery Zakare Tucker was stabbed in the lower back and buttocks. Pal Saleem Ayoub came to his aid and was stabbed to the liver, leaving him fighting for his life in hospital. Machalski and Bush wielded the knives.
Sentencing the young men at Swindon Crown Court on Friday, Recorder Noel Casey said: “The more serious injury was to Mr Ayoub. It was an injury which was described as life threatening and when one looks at the details of it, you Mr Machalski may wish to count yourself lucky you are not facing a more serious charge than this – and you know the charge I am talking about.”
Ethan Bush, now 18, of Chesterfield Road, Mansfield, pleaded guilty to the knifepoint robbery. He was sentenced to five years youth detention.
Korben Edwards, 18, of Eagle Park, Trowbridge, admitted robbery. He was put away for three years and 11 months.
Recorder Casey lifted reporting restrictions allowing the third member of the gang to be named.
Micholaj Machalski, 17, of Harford Street, Trowbridge, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent, robbery and possession of a bladed weapon. He was sentenced to six years and four months in a youth detention facility.
Prosecutor David Maunder said: “The incident appears to arise out of a drug transaction that went wrong.
“At least two of the three men were armed with knives. Mr Edwards would at the very least have been aware of the other two carrying knives and as far as the knifepoint robbery is concerned they were all in it together.”
Mark Ashley, for Machalski, pleaded his client’s youth and immaturity. “He asked me to apologise to the victim and he has actually also asked me to apologise to his mum because, clearly, this has been extremely distressing for her.”
The boy’s father, who lives in Poland, had been diagnosed with cancer and was gravely ill. “He knows there is only a finite period he is going to have to spend any time with his father.”
Cameron Scott, for Bush, said the teen had a difficult upbringing. His father had died when the boy was 14 and he left school at the same age. Bush had been diagnosed with ADHD at the start of 2019 and entered the care system at around the same time. He was a heavy user of cannabis.
“He’s young enough in my submission to take a different path,” Mr Scott said. The boy was remorseful.
Simon Burch, for Edwards, asked the judge to take into consideration he had not inflicted the knife wounds on the two victims. Nevertheless he was sorry for his part in the robbery. In a letter to the court, the 18-year-old said: “I genuinely never intended for any of this to happen.”
The teens remained impassive as they were sent down for a total of 15 years and three months.
Det Sgt Ted Rowe of Melksham CID said: “This was not a random attack. It was targeted specifically against people that the trio knew to be selling drugs, and there is nothing to suggest there was any risk to the wider community.
“However, the level of violence that these three teenagers were willing to engage in is extremely worrying.”