Stephen O’Dell, 29, of no fixed abode, and Samad Ali, 22, of no fixed abode, were sentenced today (Friday) at Reading Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Ali and O’Dell both received sentences of 12 years and four months each. On 31 October 2019, at around 2am, police were called to Carlton Crescent, Luton, following a report that a man had been stabbed. The victim attended hospital with significant wounds and has been left with life changing injuries.
It is believed there were multiple people at the scene in Carlton Crescent, and witnesses saw the groups running from the area at the time of the incident.
When police arrived, they discovered a spent bullet casing, a bullet and a black balaclava which was covered in blood. O’Dell was forensically linked to the balaclava left at the scene.
Later, when Ali was arrested, he had a necklace in his pocket that was stained with blood. Forensics were able to link the blood to the victim, as well identifying it belonged to him.
The judge at today’s hearing said: “It was a planned and targeted attack and bore the hallmarks of a gang attack.”
Detective Inspector Iain Macpherson, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “This was a complex investigation, but we are glad Ali and O’Dell pleaded guilty and will spend a significant amount of time behind bars.
“Forensics helped us piece together what happened and identified those involved. Knife crime and use of other weapons is a serious offence, and the victim was fortunate to survive this horrific attack.”
The sentencing comes in the same week that Bedfordshire Police are participating in the national knife crime campaign, Operation Sceptre, where they are carrying out weapon sweeps, liaising with businesses that sell knives and conducting high visibility patrols.
Detective Chief Inspector Aaron Kiff said: “Gangs, weapons and violence blight our communities and will not be tolerated in Bedfordshire. Our dedicated team, Boson, will continue to pursue those responsible, carrying out regular patrols, warrants and operations to continue the reduction of serious youth violence in Bedfordshire and get weapons off our streets.
“Whilst this is a great example of our pursuit of those involved in serious youth violence, as a force we are working with partners and communities to prevent people from getting involved in this type of criminality.
“Through our partnership working with the Violence and Reduction Unit (VERU), we have seen a 9 per cent reduction in serious youth violence in the county in the 12 months to March, which equates to around 200 fewer victims.
“However, this is just the beginning for us. Working with the support of those who want to turn their lives around, those affected within our communities and our partners, together we can help break this cycle of gang exploitation and violence in Bedfordshire.”