They terrorised a Black Country town – threatening a supermarket boss, drivers and restaurant customers even with a gun during their reign of terror. But that campaign is now over.
The gang of five can no longer associate with each other publicly and are banned from entry parts of Oldbury and Quinton under an order imposed by the courts.
James Evans, aged 24, Scott Cotterill, 18, Michael Griffiths, 19, Steven Griffiths, aged 20, and Jamie Price, 20, answered for their campaign at Sandwell Magistrates Court yesterday.
The order even prevents the Griffiths brothers associating with each other publicly in Sandwell despite living together.
Dale Oakley, a duty manager at the Co-op store on Hagley Road West, gave evidence in the hearing and claimed as recently as last week that he’d received threats from members of the gang to kill him and his family. He said: “They said there were going to wait for me and kill me. They had threatened to kill my family in the past.”
The court heard how despite a temporary ASBO being active since January, Evans and the two Griffiths brothers had breached the order.
Mr Michael Singleton, who represented the council, gave a catalogue of criminal events involving the five men dating back from 2008. This included an allegation of Price, formerly of Fountain Lane, Oldbury and now living in Walsall, of holding a gun to the head of a resident in Gardland Crescent in 2009.
Steven Griffiths of Wolverhampton Road, Oldbury, was convicted in 2009 for burglary and theft and then later for being drunk and disorderly in a public place namely Quinton.
His brother Michael admitted in the hearing he attacked a member of staff at Big John’s Restaurant on Hagley Road West in the town in 2011. He told the court he acted within reason because “he’d paid his money and had to wait 30 minutes for his food”.
The pair were with Price when it’s claimed a chair was thrown at a customer of the McDonald’s restaurant on Wolverhampton Road in May as well as punching another patron several times in the face.
Evans, described as the gang’s leader, is alleged to have stood on a bridge in April 2010 attempting to throw bollards from a motorway bridge onto the M5. Two months before this incident it’s claimed he caused damage to a bus by stabbing the seat with a knife and then making threats to the driver.
Cotterill was already serving an ASBO handed to him in November 2011 with the council seeking an extension to the order. However late last year he was convicted of an attempted robbery.
Mr Chris Gibbons, who was representing four of the men, asked Cotterill why he shouldn’t have the order extended, he said: “I haven’t been in trouble for a while. I’ve recently become a father and ever since I found out my girlfriend was pregnant I’ve wanted to change my ways.”
Mr Wheeler warned the four they faced jail if they continued to breach the order.Subscribe to our Newsletter