En tenåringsbande i Vest-London er funnet skyldig i å ha terroristert tilfeldige mennesker på gaten. Ungdommene lot seg inspirere av filmen «Scream» og tok åpenbart en sadistisk glede i å terrorisere ofrene, sier dommeren. Lederen fikk sju års ungdomsfengsel, og de andre mellom fire og tre år.
A gang of teenagers who prowled the streets around their homes «like a pack of wild dogs» were sentenced today for showing «sadistic pleasure» in carrying out dozens of attacks.
Members of the gang, one as young as 13, made their streets in West London unsafe for residents and commuters as they committed at least 56 robberies of increasing violence, Kingston Crown Court was told.
Judge Nicholas Price, QC, told the gang members: «You all hunted like a pack of wild dogs intent on seeking out your prey and treating them without mercy.»
The «G-Block Gang», named after the address of three members, were told by the judge that they gloried in notoriety by posing for photographs and posting messages about the robberies on the internet.
They wore dark clothing, balaclavas and masks from the horror film, Scream, and were armed with knives and a mallet during numerous attacks between July and December 2007. They often carried out a spate of robberies in one night and once attacked eight people in three hours.
The judge said: «A very disturbing factor is that as time went by the attacks grew even more vicious. It appeared you derived more pleasure from gratuitous violence than from the robberies themselves.»
Heather Norton, for the prosecution, said: «Many of these robberies are characterised by extreme violence, with the level increasing over time. Victims were punched, kicked, stamped upon and threatened or hit with weapons.»
Police said that force used by the gang, most of whom had no criminal record, escalated from a low level to violence against people who had already handed over their belongings. Detective Sergeant Phil Booth, of the Wandsworth Robbery Team, said that the crimes were particularly disturbing «because of the age of some of the defendants and how quickly their previously good character developed into a desire for wanton violence.
«Many of the victims were simply walking home from train stations when they were confronted by the gang, who would run towards and surround the victim. The level of savagery to which their attacks quickly escalated was absolutely shocking and it is extremely lucky they did not have more serious consequences.
Lederen skrøt av deres «bedrifter» på internett. Banden kan minne om filmen A Clockwork Orange av Stanley Kubrick. Etter navnene å dømme var medlemmene av blandet etnisk bagrunn.