A man from Bedford is among three men who have been jailed for a total of more than 45 years for their part in a pre-planned knife attack in Shefford.
Gino Menga, 20, was an inmate at a young offenders institute when he encouraged Kai Woodcock, 18, of Brooklands Avenue in Wixams and Callum Andrews, 21, of Enfield, to attack another man in a targeted assault.
Woodcock and Andrews planned how they would ambush the victim and stab him, weighing up which knives would be most suitable and plotting their escape in a vehicle registered under fake insurance details.
After acquiring a car and armed with knives and machetes, Woodcock, then 17, and Andrews, then 20, were informed by Menga that the victim was in a secluded area known as ‘The Beach’, near the River Ivel, shortly before 9pm on 24 August 2020.
They then drove to the location before launching a frenzied attack on the targeted victim leaving him with significant injuries to his head and body.
Following the initial response, detectives from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit (MCU) picked up the investigation.
After establishing those involved as subjects of interest, when investigators traced the trio’s communications, they found that Menga had been in regular contact with both Woodcock and Andrews from prison.
Detectives also outlined the movements of the attackers in the hours leading up to the incident, with mobile phone and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data showing them in the area at the time of the attack and their subsequent attempts to flee.
Following a trial at Luton Crown Court in December, all three were found guilty of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm (GBH), and Woodcock and Andrews were found guilty of GBH.
All three men were sentenced last week (24 March), with a number of charges added on during the court hearing.
Andrews was jailed for 20 years, with an additional five years extended licence, for a number of offences, including conspiracy to commit GBH with intent, wounding with intent, possession of Class A and B drugs with the intent to supply and possession of a bladed weapon.
Woodcock was jailed for 10 years and six months, with an additional five years and a further 14 months extended licence, for a number of offences, including conspiracy to commit GBH with intent, wounding with intent, criminal damage and threatening with a bladed article.
Menga was jailed for 14 years and nine months, with an additional five years extended licence for conspiracy to commit GBH with intent.
A third male thought to be involved in the attack is still outstanding, and detectives continue to appeal for information.
Ahead of the trial, Woodcock was also found guilty of a precursor event, where he and another teenager chased the same victim while wielding knives. On that occasion, the victim sought refuge in a house and was unharmed.
Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire MCU, said: “This was an attack planned at great length, with the sole purpose to inflict severe harm.
“The group would have known full well their actions could lead to the victim being killed, and it was only luck and the hard work of emergency service colleagues that meant this wasn’t the case.
“Menga was more than happy to encourage others to do his dirty work, despite already being in a young offenders institute at the time, and the group were willing to do his bidding. I’m glad that they have been jailed and can no longer cause further violence in our community.
“Such violence is completely unacceptable and has no place in Bedfordshire. The behaviour of this group could ultimately have cost someone their life and has also meant they’ve completely destroyed their own in the process.”