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Members of an organised crime group operating across Rochdale and Greater Manchester have been jailed today, Wednesday 1 March 2023, for a collective 49 years and two months following a serious assault which took place on the evening of Tuesday 5 October 2021.
Abbas Mushtaq (22/08/1993) of Mellor Street, Rochdale received 16 years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, violent disorder, and possession with intent to supply.
Taylor Snape, (30/05/2001) of Manchester Road, Rochdale received eight years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
Jake Horrocks (07/09/2001) of Gypsy Lane, Rochdale received 11 years in prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
Naseer Kazmi (13/02/1994) of Dalton Close, Milnrow received 13 years in prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
Three men were found not guilty during the process of the trial.
On the evening of Tuesday 5 October 2021, the victim was spotted driving his car through the streets of Rochdale. Within minutes of the sighting, the members of the gang assembled with weapons, got into their stolen cars, and began to track the victim down.
Once they found him, they began to pursue him at high speed through the streets of the Falinge and Shawclough areas of Rochdale. The victim’s car was rammed from behind, causing it to flip multiple times. The victim tried to escape from his severely damaged car, but he was heavily outnumbered and set upon by the gang.
The gang proceeded to conduct a sustained and egregious attack using all weapons they had at their disposal, which included the use of ammonia, machetes, combat knives, axes, and at one point a chainsaw was started up and brandished.
After the attack, the gang fled the scene in their stolen vehicles. One of the vehicles stopped at a secluded area on Syke Road, Rochdale, where the occupants were captured on CCTV hiding their weapons in a field, behind a wall. The group appeared to re-enact the attack amongst themselves. The stolen vehicles were then abandoned by the suspects, later recovered by police.
The following day, officers recovered the discarded weapons from Syke Road where the gang had been spotted the previous evening.
Later that day, two vehicles were again captured on CCTV going back to Syke Road in an attempt to recover the discarded weapons, but to no avail, as these were now in the possession of Greater Manchester Police.
The victim received life threatening injuries from this attack, some of which he is still receiving medical treatment for including significant scarring and being blinded in one eye from the use of ammonia.
These convictions are part of a lengthy investigation by GMP Rochdale Challenger team, which has already seen a man and woman jailed for a total 11 years for their involvement in this gang.
Detective Sergeant Gabe Gibson of GMP Rochdale Challenger team said: “This was a pre-meditated attack that took place in a residential area, with members of the public subjected to this gang’s brazen criminality and disorder.
“Those convicted were armed with axes, combat knives, machetes, and even a chainsaw - this array of weapons and level of violence is certainly not the norm in Rochdale, and I would like to reassure the community that GMP is committed to tackling organised crime. The sentence handed down reflects the gravity of the events of Tuesday 5 October 2021 and will serve as a reminder to any other individuals or gangs, that such serious criminality will be punished.
“The victim is very lucky to be alive, and if it weren’t for the quick administering of first aid from local residents, including an off-duty police officer, the outcome may have been worse. The scene and level of injuries that members of the public were faced with will no doubt have left a lasting impact on their lives, and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their timely intervention.
"Intelligence from members of the public continuously helps us with our investigations - no matter how small the information may seem. In this instance, information provided by the public led us to making a number of positive arrests within 36 hours of this attack.”
Information can be shared by contacting GMP on 101 or online at gmp.police.uk. Alternatively, you can report information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.