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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Devon - Three members of rape gang jailed for 61 years

Three members of a drugs gang who used violence and rape as a weapon to take control of Exeter’s lucrative drugs market have been sentenced to a total of 61 years behind bars.

Abdirahman Abukar, 19, Abdirahman Kadir, 21, and Ibrahim Mohammed, 18, attacked Joseph Kelly with knives in York Road in front of horrified members of the public on February 23 this year.

They also kidnapped a woman and subjected her to a humiliating and terrifying rape ordeal at a flat in Haven Road in Exeter.
Two of the men were also involved in a shooting at the flat of a rival drugs gang in the Stoke Hill area, intending to send a message that they wanted control of Exeter’s heroin and crack supply market.

Abukar and Kadir have been sentenced to 23 years each in jail after a jury at Exeter Crown Court found them guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, kidnap, false imprisonment, rape and possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life.
Mohammed, who was not involved in the shooting, was given 15 years by Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC.
Chyna Crew member Abdirahman Abukar

The judge said: ““To establish or reinforce your position and that of your gang as suppliers of cocaine and heroin you became involved in a feud or turf war with rival drugs dealers.
“It involved the kidnap and rape by each of you in turns of a vulnerable young woman who had been involved in a rival gang. You threatened, humiliated and kidnapped her and used her for your sexual satisfaction - you raped her. She submitted to what you did because she was terrified and you caused her untold damage.

“At 10pm on February 23 armed with a knife near the centre of Exeter in front of people who were going about their everyday lives, the three of you attacked and repeatedly stabbed and wounded a man you believed to be involved in taking drugs from one of your drug runners”
The judge was read personal impact statements by both of the victims. Mr Kelly said he still suffered physical problems as a result of the attack.
The rape victim, a 28-year-old woman, described her ordeal as ‘repulsive and appalling’.

She added: “In terms of my mental well-being I often have bad days and uncontrollable mood swings. I still do not feel safe when I go outside and am forever on my guard at any repercussions that could occur.”

The victim said the experience of coming to court had been difficult and she criticised the defence barristers for ‘looking down’ on her during cross-examination because she is a drug user.

The court was told the defendants, all from Birmingham, were young men with potential. Defence lawyers argued their immaturity should be taken into consideration when sentencing.

Abukar is the son of hard-working Somali parents who came to the UK for a better life, it was said. He was described as ‘intelligent’ and hoping to go to university.
Kadir committed the crimes during his gap year at Coventry University where he was one-year into an IT degree course.

Mohammed acknowledged the seriousness of his ‘abhorrent offence’ and apologized to the court for an outburst he made when the guilty verdicts were returned by the jury on Monday.

Judge Mercer said the two younger men will begin their sentences in a Young Offenders Institution.

Afterwards police said they were delighted with the result.

DC Ben Gainford said: “The judge made clear these men were part of an organised criminal network who travelled from other parts of the country to Exeter in order to sell their drugs in the community. The police and public recognize the misery this causes to everybody. We feel these sentences send the message that drug dealing will not be tolerated and the police will always look to help those affected by the problems it brings.

“This group of individuals have used the most serious violence in order to attempt to establish themselves as the main drug dealing gang in Exeter. We are pleased with the level of sentencing and hope it deters any other people, who consider the lifestyle of drug dealers attractive, from coming to the area.”

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