Jail terms handed to Tavis killers should be a warning to gang members, say police
PUBLISHED: 14:21 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:01 30 April 2019
The severe sentences given to Tavis Spencer-Aitkens' killers should serve as a stark warning to others of the dangers of being lured into the world of gangs, the detectives who brought those responsible to justice have 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.”
Speaking after the sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court, Detective Chief Inspector Mike Brown - of Suffolk Constabulary's Major Investigation Team - said: “The sentences handed down today reflect the severity of the crime and I hope this will now allow the family of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens to truly begin the slow process of rebuilding their lives.
“Tavis was 17 years old, still just a boy with his whole life ahead of him, and this was cut short by an utterly senseless act of violence.
“His attackers also had their whole lives ahead of them, but in taking the deliberate and calculated decision to ambush Tavis and stab him 15 times, they will now spend what should have been their own prime years locked away, making our streets a safer place.
“I hope that other young people who are lured into the dangerous world of knife crime and gang culture take note of the outcome of this case.
“It might be seen as glamorous by some, but let me assure you there is nothing glamorous about spending 20 years inside a prison.
“You are not free to inflict harm on other people as you see fit and without consequences. This investigation has shown our determination to pursue the people responsible for Tavis' murder and bring them to justice.”
DCI Brown also thanked all the officers and police workers whose “hard work and dedication enabled us to identify Tavis's killers and be ready to go to trial within five months”.
He added: “It is a testament to us all that time and time again we are able to stand up to this, convict offenders and achieve the long sentences they deserve.”
He also paid tribute to Tavis' family, praising the “remarkable way in which they have coped with everything over the past 10 months and remained resolute through the most horrific and painful experience”.
He added: “I want to thank them for the faith and patience that they gave us and for their unflinching support throughout the investigation.
“However, the final word in all of this must be about Tavis. I said last month after the verdicts were delivered, that we must all work to ensure that Tavis' legacy is an end to this violence.
“Knife crime has become the great societal challenge of our time in this country and we have to educate children and young adults that knives have no place on our streets.
“I don't want to see any more lives lost – and families suffer – as a result of these mindless acts of violence.”
Before the court were: Aristote Yenge, 23, of Spring Road, Ipswich, Kyreis Davies, 17, of Turnstile Square, Colchester, Adebayo Amusa, 23, of Sovereign Road, Barking and Isaac Calver, 18, of Firmin Close, Ipswich were all convicted of murdering 17-year-old Tavis last month.
Yenge was ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years of a life sentence before he can be considered for release by the parole board and Calver was ordered to serve a minimum of 21 years.
Amusa was ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years of a life sentence and Davies was ordered to serve 21 years detention before he can be considered for release by the parole board.
A fifth defendant, Callum Plaats, 23, of Ipswich, was convicted of manslaughter and he was jailed for 14 years.
The defendants had all denied being involved in the killing.