Biggest prison sentences handed out in Bristol so far in 2021

Every week, Bristol Live reports from the city’s courts.

This reporting forms an important part of the UK’s open justice system, that justice can be seen to be done.

Some of the key benefits of open justice include ensuring public confidence and respect in democracy and the administration of justice, as well as deterring people from committing crimes and thereby the details of those crimes becoming public knowledge.

READ MORE: Staff at Redroofs nurseries tell jury in child cruelty trial what they saw and heard

Here are the criminals who have been jailed from January to September this year.

You can read more about why we publish defendants’ names and addresses here.

James Clark, life

James Clark

A man who shook his baby to death was jailed for life by a judge at Bristol Crown Court.

Sean Clark was just 39 days old when his dad James Clark murdered him and place his lifeless body back into his cot for his then partner Helen Jeremy to discover the following morning.

James Clark, aged 31, denied murdering his tiny baby son during a trial earlier this summer that lasted for more than a month, but a jury found him guilty of murder while at the same time clearing Ms Jeremy of any involvement in Sean’s death.

Read the full story here

Kevin McNeil, 13-and-a-half years, and Sadique Thomas, 13 years

“A brutal, premeditated and utterly cold-blooded gang attack” cost two men 26 years’ jail.

Kevin McNeil and Sadique Thomas were two of the masked, armed raiders who attacked a man at his home in Salisbury Road, Gloucester, on August 2 last year.

Bristol Crown Court heard Nico Kent suffered life-threatening injuries in the terrifying assault, where others were present including a baby.

Initially both men denied wrongdoing.

But after a trial had started McNeil, 20, of Great Western Road, Gloucester, and Thomas, 22, of Desford Close, Abbeymead, Gloucester, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm. (GBH)

Judge Julian Lambert jailed McNeil for 13-and-a-half years and Thomas for 13 years.

He told them: “The evidence at trial revealed a brutal, premeditated and utterly cold-blooded gang attack.

Read the full story here

Killers of Andre Gayle, life with a minimum 91 years

Rico Corbin, Tyan Finlayson, Kymani Ennis and Jerome Lewis were all sentenced for the murder of Andre Gayle
Rico Corbin, Tyan Finlayson, Kymani Ennis and Jerome Lewis were all sentenced for the murder of Andre Gayle
(Image: Avon & Somerset Police)

It was described in court as a “public execution”.

And it was clear that the murder of father-of-six Andre Gayle in Easton detonated a hideous ripple effect for all concerned.

Bristol Crown Court heard three men and a youth chased down Mr Gayle after an outdoor party by a community centre in the early hours of August 31 last year.

He was caught and brutally stabbed to death, a motive for which remains unclear.

Jerome Lewis, 25, of Kimberley Place in Croydon, pleaded guilty to the murder.

Two men – Rico Corbin, 28, of no fixed address and Tyan Finlayson, 28, of no fixed address were convicted of murder after a trial.

And today (July 5) after a successful challenge by Bristol Live, it can be revealed that also convicted of murder was 17-year-old Kymani Ennis, of no fixed abode.

Seven members of the jury attended court for the sentence.

Trial judge The Honourable Mrs Justice Cutts jailed each for life, handing Lewis a minimum 25 years, Corbin a minimum 26 years, Finlayson a minimum 23 years and Ennis a minimum 17 years.

Read the full story here

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Damian Lasota, 13-and-a-half years

Damian Lasota

A pervert with a penchant for grannies tried to rape one elderly woman in her home and sexually targeted another.

Damian Lasota was described by a judge as the “stuff of nightmares” after preying on the two lone females in Twerton, Bath.

His campaign of terror was halted after police installed CCTV at the women’s homes and he was caught in action and arrested.

Lasota, 27, of Parry Close in Southdown, Bath, pleaded guilty to attempted rape, two charges of trespass with intent to commit a sex offence and two charges of exposure.

He appeared in the dock at Bristol Crown Court with a grey jumper draped over his head.

Judge Julian Lambert handed him a 20-year sentence, comprising of a 13-and-a-half year jail term and six-and-a-half years extended licence.

Lasota will have to serve at least two-thirds of the custodial term before the Parole Board considers him eligible for release.

The judge told him: “You are a predatory sex offender who is the stuff of nightmares.

“You were a masked prowler, stalking women at dead of night.

“You are proved to have attacked an older lady who was highly vulnerable.

“You then continued looking for opportunities to offend further.

“Your intention was to subdue and then rape women in their own homes at night.

“To say you have a deeply disturbed sexual psychology is an understatement.”

Lasota was barred from working with children and vulnerable adults and ordered to register as a sex offender indefinitely.

Read the full story here

Gareeca Gordon, minimum 23 years

Gareeca Conita Gordon, 28, who admits murdering Phoenix Netts
(Image: PA)

A woman jailed for at least 23 years for murdering a friend who spurned her sexual advances spent a long time in the Forest of Dean trying to dispose of the the remains before she was finally caught with a burned torso in two suitcases.

Gareeca Gordon, 28, stabbed Phoenix Netts four times at a Birmingham refuge where they both lived on April 16 last year after the university graduate told her she wanted to move back to London.

The court heard that Ms Netts did not die from her injuries straight away but Gordon did not get help and the following day a circular saw was delivered to her address from Gumtree.

Read the full story here

Jermaine Collins, four-and-a-half years

Jermaine Collins

A vicious circle of offending landed a man with a jail term.

Jermaine Collins was caught dealing drugs at the Latitude Festival in Suffolk.

Bristol Crown Court heard, having been released by police and owing a debt to dealers higher up the chain, he cropped up in Bristol with drugs and was arrested again.

Collins, 28, of Abberton in Essex, pleaded guilty to possessing Class A and B drugs with intent to supply as well as dangerous driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Judge Michael Longman jailed him for four-and-a-half years.

He banned him from driving for five years, three months.

Read the full story here

Alhaji Sesay, ten years

Alhaji Sesay

Former Bristol City goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay was jailed after being convicted of rape.

Sesay was a very talented footballer who had achieved his dream to make it as a professional, Bristol Crown Court heard.

But a jury heard how he subjected a woman to a serious sexual assault in the female toilet of a night club in Bristol.

And, after being arrested and released under police investigation, he targeted a second woman in the female toilet of a night club in London.

The 22-year-old, of Barnfield Gardens in London, denied wrongdoing.

But after a three-week trial at Bristol Crown Court a jury convicted him of attempted rape of the woman in Bristol, and the attempted rape and rape of the woman in London.

Judge Michael Cullum jailed him for ten years.

He told Sesay: “In some ways you are a brazen sexual predator.

Read the full story here

Barry Riley, 11 years and eight months

Police released this image of Barry Riley after he was jailed
(Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

A “cold and calculating” fraudster tried to smother a disabled woman with a pillow after pocketing £100K of her savings.

Would-be killer Barry Riley was jailed for 11 years and eight months for the attempted murder of Ann Skelton, after he held a pillow over her face at her home in Westbury-on-Trym.

The Yorkshireman, 62, attempted to kill 75-year-old Ms Skelton in 2018 in a bid to cover up his campaign of deceit.

He only failed after she pressed her emergency buzzer to alert her care staff that something was wrong, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Shamelessly, even on the day of the attempted murder, he headed for the cash point to steal more of her money.

Read the full story here

Curtis Ford, life with minimum 26 years; Samuel Ford, 12-year extended sentence

Samuel and Curtis Ford

Cousins convicted of the “brutal killing” a man in a row over a stolen bicycle have been jailed

After Samuel Ford had his bike stolen he went out with younger cousin Curtis to try and trace the thief.

But Bristol Crown Court they wrongly attributed the theft to 47-year-old Mikhail Hanid, and when they confronted him it was Curtis who stabbed him some 11 times.

After the appalling attack Curtis Ford was heard bragging: “You’ve got to push it in and twist it because they can’t sew or put the stomach back together.”

Tragically, his grim forecast came true and Mr Hanid died three days later.

Curtis Ford, 28, of Baildon Road in Weston-super-Mare, pleaded guilty to murder on the first day of a trial.

Samuel Ford, 30, who was living at the same address, was convicted of manslaughter on December 23, after the trial which lasted three weeks.

The Recorder of Bristol His Honour Judge Peter Blair QC jailed Curtis Ford for life, with a minimum term of 26 years.

He handed Samuel Ford an extended sentence of 12 years, comprising of nine years’ custody – of which he must serve at least two thirds – and three years’ extended licence.

Read the full story here

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