- Judge accused callous gang of carrying out attack for the ‘pleasure’ of it
- Victims were hit on the head with bats before being kicked and punched
- The thugs roamed the streets of east London looking for lone men to target
A judge sentenced a gang of baseball bat wielding teenage thugs to more than 40 years in prison after accusing them of carrying out a sickening crime spree for 'pleasure'.
Judge William Kennedy handed extended sentences of detention, ranging between eight and 10 years, to Yusuf Akram, 18, Usamah Aftab, 18, Mohammed Ali, 18, Thamid Zaman, 17 and Hamzah Jawyd, 17, at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
The group roamed the streets of east London looking for lone men to attack and struck each of their victims to the back of the head with a baseball bat, before kicking and punching them.
Vicious: (Pictured) Yusuf Akram, 18, Usamah Aftab, 18, Mohammed Ali, 18, Thamid Zaman, 17 and Hamzah Jawyd, 17, were sentenced to more than 40 years in prison for their attacks, at Snaresbrook Crown Court
After targeting the men the group then stole phones, cash cards and Oyster cards.
All the defendants admitted conspiracy to rob and Judge Kennedy said they would have received sentences of up to 20 years if had they been adults at the time of committing the offence.
He also branded the robberies as 'almost incidental' to the extreme violence used.
He said: 'Whilst by your pleas of guilty you admit a conspiracy to rob, the reality is that this was primarily a conspiracy to cause extremely severe and potentially fatal injuries to innocent members of the public.
'The robbery after the infliction of such injury was almost incidental.
'To go out with a baseball bat demonstrates a settled preparedness to seriously wound.
'Its use before any demands are made of victims clearly demonstrates a pre-planned determination to cause dreadful injury for no other reason than the pleasure of doing so.'
The victims of the crime spree were left with life-changing injuries including brain injuries, a broken neck and extensive facial fractures.
The career of pilot Arfath Miah was left in tatters after the attack caused him to be suspended from flying for three years and he also still requires a frame to walk.
The callous and vicious gang, who smirked, hugged and shook hands with each other before leaving the dock, hit across two days.
Mohammed Munshi was battered to the ground and left with acute haemorrhage to the left side of his brain, in Harold Road, Forest Gate, on March 7.
The following night, at around 10pm, another victim was beaten with a bat in Hatherley Gardens, East Ham, and his iPhone was taken.
Just 40 minutes later, a man was attacked from behind for his cash, Oyster card and mobile phone.
He suffered a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage.
Aftab sent a congratulatory message to Jawyd the day after and later offered the stolen phone for sale.
On March 9, another victim was savagely attacked in Blenheim Road, East Ham.
He heard the youths counting down 'three, two, one' before they hit him over the head with the bat leaving a 4cm gash to the back of his head.
The gang then made their way to Henniker Gardens and attacked Essen Mohammed for his wallet and mobile phone.
Two hours later pilot Mr Miah was knocked unconscious and left with a fractured skull.
A seventh robbery took place the following evening, after Mohammed Khan was approached by the group and asked for directions.
Akram drew the bat from under his clothing and struck the man from behind and beat him repeatedly while he lay unconscious and defenceless on the floor.
Mr Mohammed sustained extensive facial fractures, a fractured skull and bleeding requiring hospitalisation for a month and is still having his speech capacity rebuilt.
The last robbery took place less than an hour later in Stone Road, Manor Park, where the man was left with a fractured neck, extensive skull and facial fractures along with brain injuries.
Akram and Zaman made off with the man's phone, cash card, money and Oyster card while the victim also lost his job as a chef when he was unable to work.
Judge Kennedy said there was no need for the gang to use violence as the number of them involved would be enough to intimidate victims into handing over their belongings.
He said: 'The use of a baseball bat before the taking of relatively minor items of personal property clearly shows an intention to commit more serious harm than such street robbery would ordinarily have involved.
'It is likely that the sheer force of numbers of you defendants would have been sufficient to persuade each of these victims to hand over his property without the need for any violence at all.
'Whilst you may not at this moment regard yourselves as fortunate, your good fortune is that none of these people that you injured so seriously, fracturing skulls and facial bones, died.
'Both actually and figuratively, you went with the blood of one victim on your hands to inflict similar injuries upon the next.'
Jawyd, was jailed for eight years, Aftab was handed a 10-year sentence and Akram was sentenced to eight years in prison, all come from Plaistow, London.
Zaman, from Beckton, was jailed for eight and a half years and Ali, from Forest Gate, was jailed for nine years.
All of the defendants except Ali were given a two-year extension to their sentences for dangerousness.
Detective chief inspector Jamie Piscopo, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: 'These were serious acts of violence and a clear example of a gang going on the rampage.
I honestly believe they would have continued and eventually killed someone if they had not been apprehended. One victim pretended to be dead in a desperate attempt to get the gang to cease their unrelenting attack.
'The custodial sentences handed down today have removed five very dangerous individuals from society.'