THREE members of a violent gang were jailed after one man was stabbed and another slashed with a bottle in front of a mum and two young children.
Ian Bonney, 25, and Ray Adams, 32, both of London, were sent to prison along with 28-year-old Michael Bonney of Edinburgh Road, St Leonards, after the horrific attack in Warrior Gardens, St Leonards.
In March 2010, two police officers were on patrol in Church Road, St Leonards, when they saw a man run out of a property in Warrior Gardens and throw something over a wall. They caught up with him and were struggling to arrest him when they saw three more people fleeing the same address.
A 999 call was then made to Hastings Police Station reporting a fight at the flat and when officers arrived they found two men with serious stab wounds along with a woman and the two youngsters who were all deeply shocked but luckily unharmed.
The first man caught by police – Ian Bonney – was arrested and officers recovered the item he was seen to discard which turned out to be a knife. Later that evening, Adams, Michael Bonney, Hayley Welsh, 20, of Edinburgh Road, St Leonards, and a 15-year-old boy who can’t be named for legal reasons were also arrested.
All five were charged with aggravated burglary with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The court heard the group broke into the flat and Michael Bonney attacked one of the victims with a broken vodka bottle while his friends went after the other man with a knife. Both victims were left with serious but not life-threatening injuries and were treated at the Conquest Hospital. Police stressed the victims knew their attackers and this was not a random attack.
After a six-week crown court trial, all five were found guilty of aggravated burglary. Michael Bonney was given 10 years behind bars, Adams received eight years and Ian Bonney got seven years.
Welsh and the teenager were given two-year supervision orders with 250 hours each of unpaid work. They were both also given curfews – Welsh for six months and the boy for three months.
Acting Detective Matt Wightwick of Hastings CID was pleased to see the complex case come to an end. He said: “The defendants clearly displayed no regard to the fact that there were two young children in the premises at the time which made the incident even more harrowing for all of those involved.
“The psychological impact on the occupants of the flat has been profound but I commend their bravery in seeing this matter through on what has been an extremely difficult time for them to what I hope they will see as a positive conclusion.”
He thanked the victims, the police officers involved and prosecutor Rob Hall and he added: “I welcome the verdicts and believe that they are an accurate reflection of how serious a matter this was.”