NEWPORT SHOOTING TRIAL: Murder plot four jailed for 48 years

NEWPORT SHOOTING TRIAL: Four men jailed for 48 years

SCENE: The crashed Ford Ka outside the Crosshands pub on the corner of Somerton Road and Chepstow Road in Newport

JAILED: Gary Rabjohns

JAILED: Brogan Hooper

JAILED: Lewis Bridge

JAILED: Ryan Battersby

First published in News
Last updated

FOUR men found guilty of conspiracy to murder two people in a revenge street shooting were today jailed for a total of 48 years.

The four, who were all jailed for 12 years each, were arrested after Michael Wall and John Jnr Phillips were shot at and rammed by a jeep while travelling in a Ford Ka in Chepstow Road, Newport, a court heard.

The Ford crashed into the Cross Hands pub and Mr Phillips needed a shotgun pellet surgically removed from the back of his head, Newport Crown Court heard.

The revenge attack took place after Mr Phillips and Mr Wall robbed one of the defendants, Brogan Hooper, at gunpoint of drugs and money at his home two days previously, the court was told.

The court heard the defendants made "careful attempts" to dispose of evidence and cover their tracks after the attack on September 3 last year.

The shotgun and jeep were never found.

Police intelligence also revealed Mr Wall and Mr Phillips had links with drugs and drug crime but they did not cooperate with the police investigation, the court was told.

Ryan Battersby, 25, of no fixed abode, Lewis Bridge, 23, of Nash Drive, Newport, Brogan Hooper, 21, of Feering Street, Newport, and Gary Rabjohns, 25, of no fixed address, had denied being involved in the murder plot.

The four were found guilty of conspiracy to murder on June 5 by majority verdicts in respect of Mr Wall and Mr Phillips, but cleared of the same charge in respect of the Ka driver, Shanice Francis, who was unharmed.

Meanwhile, Rabjohns was found guilty by unanimous verdict of attempting to pervert the course of justice by writing a letter urging his co-defendants Bridge and Hooper not to tell the truth and threatening the safety of their families if they did.

Judge Laura Cox DBE jailed each defendant for 12 years for each count of conspiracy to murder, to be served concurrently.

She also gave Rabjohns six months for perverting the course of justice, to be served concurrently.

She told the court: "It was purely fortuitous that none of the occupants of the Ka was killed or seriously injured.

"It is clear on the evidence that what happened that night was a revenge attack - the Newport boys on the Cardiff boys as it has been described - and that it was carefully planned.

"Since each of you had an intention to kill, the level of culpability of each of you is very high."

Both Rabjohns and Battersby had denied being in the 4x4 Grand Jeep Cherokee on the night of the incident, the court heard.

Rabjohns' barrister, Paul Lewis, today said there was an element of "provocation" to the incident as he had received texts from Mr Phillips indicating he was coming to Newport "looking for trouble".

Harry Baker, for Battersby, said in mitigation his client had a partner and two disabled children together.

Bridge had admitted being in the car, but claimed he was unaware there was a gun in it, the court was told.

His barrister, Sarah Waters, indicated today that he was as involved as the other defendants in the plot and stressed he had got into the vehicle at a late stage.

Ms Waters added that he had spent a lot of time looking after his grandmother and may have the opportunity to volunteer at a friend's gym upon his release from prison.

Hooper had admitted being in the car, but declined to name those who were with him, a jury heard.

He also denied knowing there was a gun in the car or that the plan was to ram the Ka, the court was told.

His barrister, Andrew Morse, stressed his client was younger than his co-defendants having been 20 at the time of the shooting.

Judge Cox also ordered each defendant to pay a £120 victim surcharge during their time in prison.

Musician pleads guilty to intimidating witness

A MUSICIAN who intimidated a witness in the trial was handed a four-month custodial sentence yesterday.

Jermain Smith, 22, contacted Ryan Milton via Facebook then called him on his mobile to discuss his statement to police, Newport Crown Court heard. Smith, of Caerleon Road, Newport, had previously been given a suspended custodial sentence for cannabis possession with intent to supply, the court heard.

But Judge Cox ruled it was not “directly relevant” to the shooting trial and decided to ignore it.

Judge Cox gave him a four-month custodial sentence but because of the time he had spent on remand he was immediately freed.

He had been in custody since January and pleaded guilty to one count of witness intimidation.

His barrister, Matthew Cobbe, said his music career had been "put on hold" because of the court proceedings but stressed he had used in time on remand to re-engage with his Christian faith.

Comments (11)

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3:17pm Mon 30 Jun 14

corpamassive says...

Let me be the 1st to congratulate the Police and courts for putting these Chavs away.Well done, Should have been a life sentence.

You really do have to blame the parents of these idiots though.
Let me be the 1st to congratulate the Police and courts for putting these Chavs away.Well done, Should have been a life sentence. You really do have to blame the parents of these idiots though. corpamassive
  • Score: 55

3:32pm Mon 30 Jun 14

landyman3030 says...

I know that drugs seem to have permeated into most areas and most levels of society these days, but this sort of prosecution is needed and it needs to be rammed in to all children from a young age. Drug dealing is not an acceptable means living your life. If you deal drugs you lose your right to be accepted in to society and you should be treated as an outcast and prosecuted.Too many drug dealers are treated with almost adoration by the younger teens. Flash cars and flash lifestyles are tough to ignore but when it is boasted about on instagram and twitter the Police must show they are not above the law. Our law of what is acceptable in our society where we bring up our children.
I know that drugs seem to have permeated into most areas and most levels of society these days, but this sort of prosecution is needed and it needs to be rammed in to all children from a young age. Drug dealing is not an acceptable means living your life. If you deal drugs you lose your right to be accepted in to society and you should be treated as an outcast and prosecuted.Too many drug dealers are treated with almost adoration by the younger teens. Flash cars and flash lifestyles are tough to ignore but when it is boasted about on instagram and twitter the Police must show they are not above the law. Our law of what is acceptable in our society where we bring up our children. landyman3030
  • Score: 42

4:26pm Mon 30 Jun 14

sooty001 says...

At last a judge will a bit of bottle.
At last a judge will a bit of bottle. sooty001
  • Score: 39

6:39pm Mon 30 Jun 14

jerymp says...

Why do newspapers persist with the silly and misleading practice of adding the sum totals of individual sentences ?
Forty eight years is irrelevant as they will each most probably be out in less than six .
Why do newspapers persist with the silly and misleading practice of adding the sum totals of individual sentences ? Forty eight years is irrelevant as they will each most probably be out in less than six . jerymp
  • Score: 26

8:52pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Elwoody2012 says...

Haha about time ... There all from good well to do families.. I recall a few months ago the grandmother of one of them defending another grandson for receiving an asbo saying it was unfair.. Boo hoo.. It must run in the family..so for all you that thinks it's clever and gangster.. To be drug scum dealers see them all in about 8 years .. LOL
Haha about time ... There all from good well to do families.. I recall a few months ago the grandmother of one of them defending another grandson for receiving an asbo saying it was unfair.. Boo hoo.. It must run in the family..so for all you that thinks it's clever and gangster.. To be drug scum dealers see them all in about 8 years .. LOL Elwoody2012
  • Score: 26

12:15am Tue 1 Jul 14

S.N.M 123 says...

Elwoody2012 wrote:
Haha about time ... There all from good well to do families.. I recall a few months ago the grandmother of one of them defending another grandson for receiving an asbo saying it was unfair.. Boo hoo.. It must run in the family..so for all you that thinks it's clever and gangster.. To be drug scum dealers see them all in about 8 years .. LOL
Get a grip and they serve half so thats 6yrs n prob b in open prison afta 3yrs so dunno wa ur so happy about
[quote][p][bold]Elwoody2012[/bold] wrote: Haha about time ... There all from good well to do families.. I recall a few months ago the grandmother of one of them defending another grandson for receiving an asbo saying it was unfair.. Boo hoo.. It must run in the family..so for all you that thinks it's clever and gangster.. To be drug scum dealers see them all in about 8 years .. LOL[/p][/quote]Get a grip and they serve half so thats 6yrs n prob b in open prison afta 3yrs so dunno wa ur so happy about S.N.M 123
  • Score: -16

12:34am Tue 1 Jul 14

Elwoody2012 says...

That's still six years off the streets, and you get a grip! Part of there fan club! ... There scum .. No more no less and they deserve all they get
That's still six years off the streets, and you get a grip! Part of there fan club! ... There scum .. No more no less and they deserve all they get Elwoody2012
  • Score: 23

9:22am Tue 1 Jul 14

inkyskin says...

S.N.M 123 wrote:
Elwoody2012 wrote:
Haha about time ... There all from good well to do families.. I recall a few months ago the grandmother of one of them defending another grandson for receiving an asbo saying it was unfair.. Boo hoo.. It must run in the family..so for all you that thinks it's clever and gangster.. To be drug scum dealers see them all in about 8 years .. LOL
Get a grip and they serve half so thats 6yrs n prob b in open prison afta 3yrs so dunno wa ur so happy about
Elwoody....It's trying to say something i know it, not sure of the language though as it seems to be having difficulty in the spelling department, maybe if we club together we can buy it a dictionary to help it write future posts?
[quote][p][bold]S.N.M 123[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Elwoody2012[/bold] wrote: Haha about time ... There all from good well to do families.. I recall a few months ago the grandmother of one of them defending another grandson for receiving an asbo saying it was unfair.. Boo hoo.. It must run in the family..so for all you that thinks it's clever and gangster.. To be drug scum dealers see them all in about 8 years .. LOL[/p][/quote]Get a grip and they serve half so thats 6yrs n prob b in open prison afta 3yrs so dunno wa ur so happy about[/p][/quote]Elwoody....It's trying to say something i know it, not sure of the language though as it seems to be having difficulty in the spelling department, maybe if we club together we can buy it a dictionary to help it write future posts? inkyskin
  • Score: 7

9:27am Tue 1 Jul 14

jimmysmith says...

Elwoody2012 wrote:
That's still six years off the streets, and you get a grip! Part of there fan club! ... There scum .. No more no less and they deserve all they get
to true .if this vile scum had received life sentences it would have been to short
[quote][p][bold]Elwoody2012[/bold] wrote: That's still six years off the streets, and you get a grip! Part of there fan club! ... There scum .. No more no less and they deserve all they get[/p][/quote]to true .if this vile scum had received life sentences it would have been to short jimmysmith
  • Score: 9

10:31am Tue 1 Jul 14

Jenny122 says...

This is a great result and everything but are police investigating/doing anythng about the apparent "victims" in this crime? 2 drug dealers that are widely known through Newport and probably known to police but still do nothing about it? Was the fact that they mugged for drugs and money completely disregarded as well?
This is a great result and everything but are police investigating/doing anythng about the apparent "victims" in this crime? 2 drug dealers that are widely known through Newport and probably known to police but still do nothing about it? Was the fact that they mugged for drugs and money completely disregarded as well? Jenny122
  • Score: 22

2:44pm Tue 1 Jul 14

ALL TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR SELF says...

Jenny122 wrote:
This is a great result and everything but are police investigating/doing anythng about the apparent "victims" in this crime? 2 drug dealers that are widely known through Newport and probably known to police but still do nothing about it? Was the fact that they mugged for drugs and money completely disregarded as well?
yes jenny totally agree with you the so called "VICTIMS"who came from cardiff to newport with guns and machetes looking for trouble this community still has john phillips and mike wall still on the streets committing more crimes john phillills know as JJ was in court last week for beating his misses tara and her little girl up dont know how she put up with him for so long and hes still threatening her making her meet him up the parks in cardiff and poor brogan he bullied for months only because he had mike wall backing him up the only reason he did not go to prison as he got police on speed dial and meets up with them everyone know i feel for brogan and his fam brogan got bullied for weeks before all this held him at gun point took money off him regularly and jj took loads of clothes off him the scruffy grassing tramp
[quote][p][bold]Jenny122[/bold] wrote: This is a great result and everything but are police investigating/doing anythng about the apparent "victims" in this crime? 2 drug dealers that are widely known through Newport and probably known to police but still do nothing about it? Was the fact that they mugged for drugs and money completely disregarded as well?[/p][/quote]yes jenny totally agree with you the so called "VICTIMS"who came from cardiff to newport with guns and machetes looking for trouble this community still has john phillips and mike wall still on the streets committing more crimes john phillills know as JJ was in court last week for beating his misses tara and her little girl up dont know how she put up with him for so long and hes still threatening her making her meet him up the parks in cardiff and poor brogan he bullied for months only because he had mike wall backing him up the only reason he did not go to prison as he got police on speed dial and meets up with them everyone know i feel for brogan and his fam brogan got bullied for weeks before all this held him at gun point took money off him regularly and jj took loads of clothes off him the scruffy grassing tramp ALL TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR SELF
  • Score: 10

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