Tavis’ mum ‘disgusted’ over killer’s sentence for prison guard attack

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Picture: COURTESY OF FAMILY

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Picture: COURTESY OF FAMILY - Credit: Archant

The mother of murdered Ipswich teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens has spoken of her disgust at one of her son’s killers escaping punishment for assaulting a prison guard.

Sharon Box, the mother of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Sharon Box, the mother of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Sharon Box only learned that Callum Plaats, who was jailed last year for 14 years for the manslaughter of 17-year-old Tavis in June 2018, had received a six month concurrent sentence for the prison assault when an online report of the court case from the Liverpool Echo was pointed out to her.

“It’s disgusting. Why is he not being made to serve the six months consecutively and not currently?” said Mrs Box.

“These offenders are not learning from being in prison.

“Passing a concurrent sentence just sends out the message that they can do what they want without consequence while I and the rest of Tavis’s family are suffering everyday.”

Callum Plaats received a concurrent sentence after attacking a prison guard Picture: FACEBOOK

Callum Plaats received a concurrent sentence after attacking a prison guard Picture: FACEBOOK - Credit: Archant


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Mrs Box said her mental health had suffered since losing Tavis and she felt she was being “kicked while she was down” by a judge giving 25-year-old Plaats a concurrent sentence.

“We need change in our justice system in the UK and we need it now – a change that will consider the pain and suffering of the families that are left behind, and not those that are meant to be being punished,” she added.

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Tavis was stabbed 15 times just yards away from his father’s home in Packard Avenue, Ipswich, in a brutal gang-related attack in 2018 and died in hospital the same day.

Plaats, who is serving his sentence at HMP Liverpool, assaulted a prison officer on March 25 this year and was given a six-month sentence which will run concurrently with his 14-year sentence by a judge at Liverpool Crown Court this week.

Sharon Box leaving Ipswich Crown Court with her family after the end of the murder trial Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sharon Box leaving Ipswich Crown Court with her family after the end of the murder trial Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

It was reported in the Liverpool Echo that he admitted assaulting the prison officer on the basis it was a “reckless” assault.

The court heard that during lockdown prisoners were restricted to 20 minutes association time outside of their cell and Plaats had refused to go back into his cell after disputing his 20 minutes were up.

He was approached by two prison officers and began to struggle when one of the officers took him by the arm to guide him back to his cell.

During the struggle Plaats had unintentionally struck a prison officer on the left eye and scratched him, causing swelling to the eye and a scratch on the back of his neck. The sentencing judge told Plaats that as he was already serving a very long sentence he would pass a concurrent sentence.

During Plaat’s trial Ipswich Crown Court heard there had been intense rivalry between Tavis’s friends in the Neno gang and the J-Block gang, of which his killers were members. Also before the court were Isaac Calver, 19, Aristote Yenge, 23, Adebayo Amusa, 20 ,and Kyreis Davies, 17, who were all convicted of Tavis’s murder and jailed for life.

Calver was ordered to serve a minimum of 21 years, Yenge 25 years, Amusa 23 years and Davies 21 years, although this was reduced to 16 years on appeal.

Earlier this year Plaats made headlines after bragging about his easy life in prison by posting a photo of himself on Facebook with a caption boasting: “Five years left lightwork.”

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