Five given a total of 45 years prison sentences over Durrington stabbing
Five people have been given sentences totalling 45 years over the vicious stabbing of a 39-year-old father of three in Durrington.
At Hove Crown Court on Thursday (8 November) Tommy Howlett, 25, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm, together with sentences of three years for blackmail, four 4 years for conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm, 18 months for possessing a bladed article, and six months for criminal damage, to run concurrently.
Bradley Allen, 27, of Orkney Court, Worthing, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm, together sentences of three years for blackmail and four years for conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm, to run concurrently.
Joshua Bosley, 24, of Bulkington Avenue, West Tarring, and Billy Howlett (brother of Tommy), 26, of Kingsland Close, Shoreham, were each sentenced to three years for conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.
Pictured left to right, Billy Howlett, Tommy Howlett, Joshua Bosley and Bradley Allen.
Katherine Olive, 20, of Harrow Road, West Worthing, was given a two-year sentence, suspended for 18 months, for conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
Callum Alex-Hunt, 24, of Butts Road, Shoreham,was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
The victim was attacked in Carisbrooke Drive, Durrington, at around 7.30pm on 20 February, by a gang of up to 8 people with weapons including swords, knives and baseball bats. As a result of the attack, he suffered a broken skull and multiple stab wounds resulting in considerable blood loss, he went into shock and his life was only saved as a result of urgent medical intervention at both Worthing Hospital and then the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
During the four-week trial which ended in guilty verdicts on 11 October, the jury at Hove Crown Court heard that the attack was carried out by two drug dealers, Tommy Howlett and Bradley Allen, as well as others not yet identified.
The court heard the attack was the culmination of a disagreement between Howlett, Allen, and another man who was a business partner of the victim.
That pair than then had their vehicles damaged in the early hours of the 17 February, Howlett was seen to carry out the damage and then demanded money from the business partner not to commit further damage.
When the money was not paid, the business partner of the victim was called by Allen and Howlett and threats were made that their homes and families would be targeted.
The pair made contact with Howlett to arrange a meeting to try and resolve matters but when they arrived they were set upon by the gang of masked attackers.
Howlett stabbed the victim several times and Allen struck him in the face with a baseball bat.
Police carried out a six-month investigation to try and identify the others involved.
Significant enquiries completed by the investigation team included detailed examination of the phone records of Howlett and Allen and those they had been in contact with on the day of the attack. Additional suspects were subsequently identified and charged over their involvement in the arranged attack.
Katherine Olive, Billy Howlett and Joshua Bosley conspired together with Tommy Howlett and Bradley Allen to carry out the attack.
The court heard the gang were in contact prior to the attack and when their movements were tracked it showed them moving towards the location of the attack around the time it was carried out before then moving off together to an address in the Shoreham area.
Olive in particular was loyal to Howlett and was used as a driver for him and his associates. She collected Billy Howlett and took him to Worthing to take part in the attack but they arrived too late. Billy Howlett sent a message to Tommy Howlett saying that he missed out and that he should have been called earlier.
The officer in the case, Detective Constable Chris Bishop,said “This man was almost killed and it is only as a result of prompt medical attention that he is still alive. This was the culmination of a number of offences by Tommy Howlett and Allen against the victims in which their families and homes were threatened.
"The attack took place in the evening in the middle of a residential street. Extensive house to house enquiries but we were mostly met with a wall of silence. However a few brave individuals, including the victim and his partner, had the courage to tell us what happened. I would like to thank everyone who helped us in this investigation. The assistance of the public is imperative in the majority of cases and we cannot do our job without their help, without that help dangerous offenders would be free to act with impunity.
"The sentences reflect the serious nature of these crimes and their near fatal consequences. I hope these sentences act as a deterrent to others, particularly those who carry weapons or are involved in the supply of illegal drugs and resort to threats and violence to carry out their business.”
The Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Jason Hazzard said “I would like to thank the investigating team for all their hard work and the effort they put into an outstanding investigation. This allowed the prosecutors to take a detailed and complex case to court and present the facts to the judge and jury resulting in the conviction of a dangerous group of offenders. The sentence sends a clear message that drug related violence and the use of weapons is simply not acceptable in society today.”