Three men have been found guilty of a 'frenzied' pre-planned knife attack, which left their victim with stab wounds in his lungs, liver, shoulders and chest, and fractured ribs.
Gino Menga, 20, was an inmate at Feltham Young Offenders Institute when he encouraged Kai Woodcock, 18, of Brooklands Avenue, Bedford, and Callum Andrews, 21, of Dendridge Close, Enfield, to attack the victim in Shefford in a targeted assault.
Woodcock and Andrews planned how they would ambush the 20-year-old victim and stab him, weighing up which knives would be most suitable and plotting their escape in a vehicle registered under fake insurance details.
After acquiring a car and armed with knives and machetes, Woodcock, then 17, and Andrews, then 20, were informed by Menga that the victim was in a secluded area known as ‘The Beach’, near the River Ivel, shortly before 9pm on 24 August 2020.
They then drove to the location before launching a frenzied attack on the targeted victim leaving him with significant injuries to his head and body.
Detectives from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit (MCU) traced the trio’s communications and found that Menga had been in regular contact with both Woodcock and Andrews from prison.
Detectives also outlined the movements of the attackers in the hours leading up to the incident, with mobile phone and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data showing them in the area at the time of the attack and their attempts to flee.
Another male thought to be involved in the attack is still outstanding, and detectives continue to appeal for information.
Ahead of the trial, Woodcock was also found guilty of an incident where he and another teenager chased the same victim to his parents’ home while wielding knives.
On that occasion, the victim sought refuge in the house and was unharmed.
Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire MCU, said: “There is no doubt that this was an attack pre-planned at great length, with the sole purpose to inflict severe harm to the victim.
"The group would have known full well that their actions could lead to them killing their victim, and it was only luck and the hard work of emergency service colleagues that meant this wasn’t the case.
“Menga was more than happy to encourage others to do his dirty work, despite already being in a young offenders institute at the time, and the group were happy to do his bidding. I’m glad that they have been found guilty.
“Such violence is completely unacceptable in our communities and has no place in Bedfordshire. The behaviour of this group could ultimately have cost someone their life, while completely destroying their own in the process.”
The Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) takes a public health approach to tackling serious youth violence, treating it as a public health issue that can be prevented from happening in the first place.
Anyone who wants further information can contact the VERU.