Three 15-year-old boys and a 19-year-old man, who stabbed and battered a Bedford boy to death and filmed him as he lay defenceless on the ground, were jailed for a total of 71 years today (21 May).
The four were linked to one gang while their victim, 16 year old Cemeren Yilmaz, was connected to another.
Sentencing the gang today for Cemeren’s murder, Mr Justice Bryan QC told them: “It arises out of a sadly all too common back drop of gang rivalry and associated carrying and use of weapons with tragic consequences and the loss of a young life.”
The judge said the attack on Cemeren was launched by the four who considered he had brought shame on them that night.
During the trial of the four at St Albans Crown Court earlier this year, the jury heard that Cemeren had told his brother, just weeks before his death, that he expected to be attacked by rival gang members because of the hostility between the two gangs in Bedford.
Cemeren said: “People like this have no mercy”, telling his sibling he expected to be the victim of a knife attack.
Sadly his words came true when he was chased down a street by members of the Black Tom gang and as he lay defenceless on the ground he was stabbed and beaten.
Victim filmed on Snapchat
One boy even took out a mobile phone to film Cemeren for a Snapchat video as he lay bleeding and battered.
The video was later posted online.
The Three younger boys had earlier posted a Drill music video on YouTube glorifying violence and weapons.
The three: Jacob Morgan, 15, Ramon Djauna 15 and Caleb Brown who is now 16 – were linked to the “Black Tom” gang.
Nineteen year old Aaron Miller wasn’t in the gang, but had been called to the scene by his cousin, Morgan.
Cemeren Yilmez, was himself associated with the Black Tom gang but after a fallout with some of its members switched allegiance to the rival gang called the “London Road” gang.
Accordingly, there was said to be “bad blood” between him and members of his former gang.
At the start of the trial, Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC told the court: “This is a case some might find grotesque and some might find shocking.”
He told the court that the background to what happened concerned the “hostility” which existed between the two rival gangs.
On the evening of Sunday, 16 September last year, Cemeren got a taxi from his home in the village of Harrold and travelled to a housing estate in Bedford.
He met up with some friends and the group were later in Ashmead Road, Bedford.
Also in the road that evening was Jacob Morgan from Winchester Road in Bedford who, with two other youths, was standing by a damaged motorcycle close to a park area.
Mr Trimmer said shortly after 9pm, a CCTV camera in the street captured Cemeren and his group running towards the group by the motorcycle, causing them to flee.
Moments later, the court heard, Cemeren was seen again on CCTV running away and clutching a bag.
The prosecutor said it was this that may have motivated the 15-year-old boy from Bedford and his co-defendants “to exact revenge.”
He said “Here was Cemeren in their area, so their reaction was brutal revenge.”
Shortly after 10pm that night, the defendant Aaron Miller, who was then aged 19 and is now 20, and is from Tavistock Street in Bedford, arrived in Ashmead Road having been phoned by Morgan.
Cemeren, having made off earlier, was back on the street and, after exchanging punches with Miller, was chased down the street by the older man and the 15-year-old who had been forced to flee earlier.
Having fallen to the ground, Cemeren was was kicked and punched by the pair before Morgan used a large knife and stabbed him, causing a severe injury to his kidney.
Cemeren, who had inflicted a stab wound to Miller’s back, managed to get up and make off, but was caught by the other two 15-year-olds, Ramon Djauna 15 from Stanley Street in Bedford and Caleb Brown now 16 from Shadwell Drive, Northolt in Middlesex.
They had brought a hammer to the scene.
Cemeren was stamped on and suffered hammer blows to his head and face.
The jury heard it was then, as blows rained down on Cemeren, that one of the teenagers, Djauna filmed the attack using a Snapchat app on a mobile phone.
Part of the video was played at the trial and, at one point, the victim was heard to say: “I am going to die” followed by the sounds of him groaning.
A 999 call from a witness was also played to the jury which had picked up the sound of one of the defendants as he carried out the attack saying: “Oh yo young blood, cut cut, I’ll say no comment all the way.”
Cemeren died in hospital the following day, having suffered massive internal injuries and undergone surgery to remove a kidney.
The court heard the stab wound had travelled almost through his body.
He had suffered a fractured skull and brain damage as well as two cardiac arrests.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Branston, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, led the investigation into the murder.
He said: “This was one of the most brutal attacks I have seen in 25 years in policing. The fact those involved were mostly children makes it even more shocking.
“All four attacked Cemeren as he lay helpless on the ground. The sheer volume of injuries is appalling, but the force with which some of these blows were inflicted is nothing less than savage.
“This is violence of the worst degree and has no place on the streets of Bedfordshire.
“Those responsible for this cowardly attack deserve to be spending such a significant time in prison. I hope these sentences go some way to securing justice and closure for Cemeren and his family.”
Reporting restrictions lifted
At their trial in March, all four pleaded not guilty to the murder of Cemeren.
During the trial, only Aaron Miller, now 20 could be named.
The three 15 year old boys – two from Bedford and the third who lives in Stanmore in Middlesex, couldn’t be identified because of their ages.
During the trial of the four the court heard the police had recorded a conversation between two of the defendants in a van after their arrest, which revealed the knife and hammer attack was a plan to “end him off.”
One of the defendants was heard to say: “Cem done so much wrong like he done wrong to like our people, innit, and in the Bible it says defend your people, does it not?
“It says love your neighbour and my neighbour is my people, innit, so if I’m defending my people, it wasn’t supposed to go that far.”
He added: “Just defending my people. It’s not like I end him off for no reason.”
Before sentencing the gang, Judge Bryan was told Aaron Miller was not a member of the Black Tom gang and was “very sad” Cemeren had lost his life.
The 15 year old who inflicted the stab wound was said to have wielded the knife against Cemeren in a bid to protect Miller.
The other 15 year old was said to “bitterly regret” the fact that Cameron had died that night.
And the teenager who has now turned 16 was said to have recognised the decisions he took that night were “wrong”.
- Miller was told by the judge he must serve a minimum term of 21 years imprisonments, less the time he has served in custody on remand
- Morgan was ordered to serve 16 years detention “during Her Majesty’s Pleasure” less the time he has served on remand.
- Djauna was told he would serve 17 years detention at “Her Majesty’s Pleasure, minus the time he has been on remand.
- Finally Brown was given a 17 year detention order less the time he has been in custody.
During the trial the three younger defendants hadn’t been named because of reporting restrictions regarding juveniles appearing in court.
However, today Mr Justice Bryan took the unusual step of lifting the order which meant they could finally be named by the press.
This story was updated on 22 May 2019 to correct a
geographical misunderstanding from the court report.
We are happy to make this change.