Five people have been sentenced in connection with a stabbing in Durrington that left a father with life-threatening injuries.
Drug ‘supplier’ Bradley Allen was jailed for 15 years and ‘enforcer’ Tommy Howlett received a sentence of 22 years for attacking Wayne Heys in Carisbrooke Drive on February 20.
Three others were not present at the night-time attack but ‘all knew’ of Howlett and Allen’s intentions to inflict grievous bodily harm, Hove Crown Court heard this afternoon.
Judge Jeremy Gold QC told Tommy Howlett and Bradley Allen: “The background is one of a disagreement of the two of you with Wayne Heys and Ben Brooks over money apparently owed for drugs.
“The arrangement was made to meet to sort this out but your joint intention was to attack and seriously injure either Heys or Brooks.
You are entitled to a chance to turn your back on the kind of lifestyle that you were foolishly attracted toJudge Jeremy Gold QC, sentencing Katherine Olive
“You went armed with weapons. You were backed up by a group of potential accomplices who knew what your intentions were.”
Following the sentencing, detectives have praised ‘brave individuals’ for coming forward with information about the attack.
Who was convicted in the trial?
Following a jury trial which lasted several weeks, Tommy Howlett, 25, of no fixed address, was found guilty of several offences. They were: causing grievous bodily harm with intent, conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent, blackmail, two counts of damaging property, and possession of a bladed article.
Allen, 27, of Orkney Court, Worthing was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent and blackmail.
Both men were found not guilty of attempted murder.
Tommy Howlett’s brother Billy Howlett, 26, of Kingsland Close, Shoreham, Joshua Bosley, 24, of Bulkington Avenue, and Katherine Olive, 20, of Harrow Road, West Worthing, were all convicted of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent.
Billy Howlett and Joshua Bosley were both jailed for three years today. Katherine Olive was given a suspended sentence.
Callum Alex-Hunt, 24, of Butts Road, Southwick, was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent.
‘Enforcer’ Tommy Howlett is sentenced to 22 years
Rebecca Upton, defending Tommy Howlett, said: “The background to what exactly has happened is still perhaps rather unknown.
“Mr Heys and Mr Brooks have not been truthful witnesses.”
She suggested that eyewitness accounts of groups running in different directions support a version of events where Mr Heys and Mr Brooks were not alone and unarmed, as had been argued.
She continued: “[Tommy Howlett] is rather inexperienced in terms of custody.
“I would submit that there is evidence that Mr Howlett is a hard working young man.”
Sentencing Tommy Howlett, Judge Gold told him that he met the test for ‘dangerousness’ and imposed an extended sentence. He described his role as being Bradley Allen’s ‘enforcer’.
He was given a 22-year sentence, with 18 years to be served in custody and four years on license. He will be eligible for parole after 12 years.
‘Supplier’ Bradley Allen is jailed
Ross Talbot, representing Allen, spoke of his client’s ‘genuine desire to move away from the lifestyle he has been part of’.
He asked for a fixed sentence that would give him ‘hope for the future’.
Judge Gold told Allen: “Your involvement in drugs lies at the heart of this case.
“You were fully involved in the planning and execution of the attack on Mr Heys.”
He noted that Allen had been armed with a bat during the attack, rather than a blade.
He concluded that Allen did not meet the test for ‘dangerousness’. He described him as a drug ‘supplier’.
Allen was jailed for 15 years and will serve up to half of that sentence in custody.
Barrister argues Joshua Bosley was ‘not present at the scene’
Joshua Bosley, along with Billy Howlett and Katherine Olive, was found guilty of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.
Judge Gold said they ‘all knew’ what Tommy Howlett and Bradley Allen had intended to do.
His barrister James Partridge spoke of his hardworking nature and called for a sentence that did not involve immediate custody.
He added: “There is positive evidence to assert that Mr Bosley was not present at the scene during the assault.”
Judge Gold jailed him for three years.
Billy Howlett’s ‘caring role’ for his family
Mr Hand, representing Billy Howlett, spoke of his ‘realistic prospect of rehabilitation, strong personal mitigation and his support for his family’.
Howlett, father to a young son, plays a ‘caring role’ in a close family and was not present when the attack took place, the court heard.
Mr Hand said immediate custody for Billy Howlett would have a ‘significant harmful impact upon others’ and called for an alternative punishment.
However Judge Gold jailed Billy Howlett for three years.
Katherine Olive given a chance to change
Last to be sentenced was Katherine Olive, also for conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.
Defence counsel Charlotte Morrish said: “Miss Olive really was extremely limited and wholly peripheral to the offence.
“Her job was to get Billy Howlett to the scene and it was a job that she failed at.”
Miss Morrish acknowledged that the offence was extremely serious, but asked Judge Gold to put Olive’s role into perspective.
“She has never been before the court before. She is understandably terrified at the prospect [of custody].
“Sending a 20-year-old young woman with the difficulties she has to prison would have immeasurable harm.”
Sentencing her, Judge Gold said: “It is clear that you had a rather odd relationship with the others in this case.
“You are entitled to a chance to turn your back on the kind of lifestyle that you were foolishly attracted to.”
He gave her a two-year suspended sentence and ordered her to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Gold said the sentence was ‘exceptionally lenient’ and warned her that if she breaches her suspended sentence she could go to prison.
Photographs of the four defendants who received custodial sentences are expected to be released by Sussex Police in due course.