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10 February 2012, 10:49
Four men from Bedfordshire have been jailed for a total of 32 years after two other men were shot during an attempted robbery at a tattoo parlour.
Anthony Cooke, 32, from Union Street, Bedford; Leon Dorman, 30, from Hinton Walk, Houghton Regis; Joseph Gentle, 22, from Hamble Road, Bedford and Drizz James, 22, from Purley Centre, Luton were all found guilty of conspiracy to rob following a trial at Reading Crown Court.
Cooke, Dorman and James were also found guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.
Cooke and Dorman were also found guilty of two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent over the injuries inflicted on two men, aged 45 and 51, who were shot during the robbery attempt at the Fantasy Fine Line tattoo parlour in St Mark’s Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire on 11 April 2011.
Cooke was given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum of nine years, which means he will have to prove he's no longer a danger before he can be released. Dorman was given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum of eight years.
James was given two sentences of nine years to run at the same time. Gentle was sentenced to six years.
A fifth man, Sean Fury, aged 29, of Essex Close, Luton, who was also arrested in connection with this incident, admitted a charge of conspiracy to supply class A drugs at Reading Crown Court on 25 October 2011. He is still waiting to be sentenced.
Supt Rob Mason from Thames Valley Police who led on the investigation, said: "I hope that today’s verdict and the sentences handed out by the courts provide the local community of Maidenhead with some reassurance.
“This was not a random criminal act, but a targeted offence carried out by people from outside the Thames Valley area, and one which fortunately did not result in a loss of life.
"The finding of guilt demonstrates this Force’s commitment to protecting the public from very dangerous and violent criminals. This was a difficult inquiry and we are very pleased that it has come to such a successful conclusion.
"In this case we worked very closely with our colleagues from Bedfordshire Police, who helped us to execute several warrants and bringthese men into custody."
Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “This case involved people, who were conducting themselves in a lawless way and involved drugs, serious violence and robbery.
"This was a very complex case to prosecute and I applaud the prosecution team for their hard work and determination.
"These sentences will demonstrate to these individuals that the way they were conducting themselves will lead to lengthy prison sentences. Hopefully, the sentences will also act as a deterrent to others that this kind of behaviour is simply not acceptable."
Pictures of the aftermath of the shooting in April 2011