Rivalry and 'mutual hatred' between Ipswich gangs increased ahead of Tavis murder
PUBLISHED: 14:51 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:52 30 April 2019
"Mutual hatred" between two Ipswich gangs who would stop at nothing to get one over each other increased in the run-up to Tavis Spencer-Aitkens' brutal murder, a judge has said.
Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, aged 17, was attacked by a group of males at around 4.50pm on Saturday, June 2 in Packard Avenue.
He was taken to Ipswich Hospital in a critical condition but died there a short while later as a result of a stab wound.
On Tuesday the five people convicted of killing Tavis were jailed for a total of 104 years, with Judge Martyn Levett saying: “I am sure this was a planned ferocious attack using weapons on a defenceless young man.”
During the sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Levett commented on gang violence in Ipswich.
“The sad fact is that this case represents the effects of gang violence on the streets of Ipswich in daylight,” he said.
“It is another instance of knife crime which is all too prevalent and has tragic consequences. A life is lost, a family left to suffer in bereavement, and a community is left shocked by what occurred, yet the carrying of knives and other lethal weapons continues.
“This has become a significant problem but one way the court can play its part in trying to discourage this kind of behaviour and prevent further tragic loss of young life is by marking the gravity of the offending with severe sentences, even when young men are involved.
“It is not in anyone's interest to believe they can commit these types of offences and receive only moderate punishment.
“In one way or another, over the past two years there has been an increased rivalry between two groups or gangs from the East and West side of Ipswich who had developed a mutual hatred for each other.
“The two rival gangs in the past have fought and hurt each other and the two gangs appear to stop at nothing to get one over each other because they have the misplaced belief they need to maintain reputation and face.
“On the east side of Ipswich an area known as Jubilee Park led to the naming of a gang known as J-Block. There was another gang on the west side of Ipswich where the deceased lived and named after the post code for Nacton called “IP3” or the “Three” operating a drug line called “Neno”.
“The mutual dislike between the two gangs was evidenced by the reprisal trespassing on each others territorial area, principally remarked for dealing class A drugs. Tit for tat revenge attacks occurred and the death of someone or one of their members was perhaps inevitable.
“I am sure that the rivalry between the two gangs was provoked and intensified by each gang making music videos, chanting lyrics known as rap or, more accurately described as “drill music” which was posted publicly by uploading them to the internet on YouTube and other web-sites.
“The 'drill' music contained references to each gang, glorifying drugs, lawless and being hardened from police intervention.
“References to the opposition in derogatory terms and the threat of violence feature as a common theme in the videos.”