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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Olivia Williams

Teens who ruined their lives and the lives of others in Merseyside

Thousands of people were brought to justice and put behind bars at Merseyside's courts this year.

Many teenagers are also among those who are locked up for crimes they have committed in the region. Normally if they are under 18, young offenders cannot be named for legal reasons.

But sometimes their crimes are so serious, or they present such a risk to the public, that judges agree to lift reporting restrictions at the request of the ECHO so they can be named in the public interest. In the cases below, all the defendants were aged 18 and over.

READ MORE: Liverpool and Man City respond after teenage girl injured and disabled fans abused at Etihad Stadium

We have looked back at some of the bigger cases involving teens who caused havoc on the streets of Liverpool and other places in Merseyside. Some of the court cases include teen drug dealers, murderers and one who received an ASBO.

Knife brawl drug dealer says 'nice one mate' to judge as he's jailed

Jack Nolan (Merseyside Police)

A drug dealer who was previously spared prison over a brawl which saw a granddad stabbed in the back said "nice one mate" to a judge as he was finally locked up.

Jack Nolan had already walked free from Liverpool Crown Court three times this year. However, he was back in again after failing to attend unpaid work sessions and appointments with the probation service.

This was part of his suspended sentences after he was stabbed himself - leaving him housebound and heavily reliant on ketamine. He begged for one final chance earlier this month but his plea was denied.

His first close call came in January. On that occasion, the court heard that the now 20-year-old and co-defendant Charles George went to an address on Glover Place in Bootle to confront another teen on May 10 2021.

Their victim was not home and the two yobs fought with his family where the boy's grandad was knifed in the back and his uncle stabbed in the arm. It could not be established which of the cousins had inflicted these injuries.

As a result, then 19-year-old Nolan and George, 18, both received suspended prison sentences after admitting affray. Nolan was back in the courtroom for dealing class A drugs.

In April, he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply and obstructing a police officer in relation to an incident on May 8 last year - two days before the stabbing, however neither of those offences put him in breach of his suspended sentence as they predated it.

He was instead given a two-year imprisonment suspended for two years, as well being told to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 20 days. Despite this, he was back in court once more the following month for breaching the order. On that occasion, Judge Anil Murray told him he was "incredibly lucky not to be in prison" as he handed him further community service.

After failing to attend unpaid work sessions and appointments with the probation service, Nolan was jailed for 18 months and said to the judge "nice one mate" as he was led down to the cells.

Teen found guilty of attempted murder after shooting man and girl in street

Rio Jones was found guilty of attempted murder after shooting a man and an innocent schoolgirl in the street.

The 19-year-old opened fire on his "enemy" on Upper Warwick Street in Toxteth on the evening of March 1 this year in the midst of a feud between two rival gangs. One of his six shots hit the man in the wrist, while another struck a 15-year-old who was sat at a nearby bus stop in the neck.

Jones, of Jermyn Street, was unanimously convicted of attempted murder by a jury after two hours and 43 minutes of deliberations on October 27. He was also found guilty of one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, having earlier admitted possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and will be sentenced at a later date.

Liverpool Crown Court heard during a trial that Jones was chasing the male through the streets - with both riding electric bikes - shortly after 5pm on the day in question when he fired six shots at him "at extremely close proximity". Dashcam footage captured the moment he "stretched his right arm out" and fired six times "directly at" a 20-year-old man.

Meanwhile, another of Jones' shots passed through the plastic sheeting of a bus stop and hit a teenage girl who was sat on the other side in the neck. She had been waiting for a bus home from school with her 14-year-old friend at the time.

Jones claimed during the trial that he had been previously been subjected to a spate of attacks over several years as a result of a falling out in his circle of friends - which followed the murder of one unnamed member in 2017. The group separated into two factions, with him on one side and his victim on the other side.

He blamed his rivals for the "terrifying" incidents - which saw him stabbed, shot at, chased by armed men and run over while walking his dog. The windows of his mum's car were smashed, his dad's work van was torched and his house was targeted in an arson attack - while shots were also fired at the family home on one occasion in November 2019.

Jones stated that he had been chased on the morning of his shooting and decided to retaliate by finding and pursuing a person from the other gang in order to warn his assailants off. The gunman maintained that he had not intended to fire the gun and instead "panicked" when he brandished the weapon.

Street dealer who smoked cannabis from age 13 caught with knife yet again

Craig Bakker, jailed for possession of a knife and supplying cannabis in Poulton, Wirral (Merseyside Police)

A street dealer who smoked cannabis daily from the age of 13 was caught with a knife for the second time in just over a year.

Craig Bakker, then 19, was spotted walking along Poulton Road in Wallasey at around 3pm on December 9 last year. Liverpool Crown Court heard the teenager came to the attention of plain clothes police officers on patrol in the area.

The court heard how Bakker appeared "visibly shocked and startled" by the sudden appearance of the officers. He was searched and a new looking lock knife with a "very sharp" five inch blade was recovered from his pocket.

Police also found bags of cannabis and a Nokia phone in his pocket. The phone was later analysed in more detail and was found to have been to send "flare" messages, referring to mass text messages sent to multiple customers advertising different strains of cannabis. Bakker had also used another phone to source ounce deals of cannabis to sell.

Bakker had been arrested on a Northern Line train service in October 2020, where he had been found in possession of a knife. He was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months for that offence.

Bakker gave no comment in his police interview, but admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis, possession of a bladed article and possession of cannabis when his case arrived in court.

The judge, Recorder Eric Lamb, KC, jailed Bakker for six months for being concerned in the supply of cannabis and 146 days consecutively for possession of a knife, making a total of 326 days in prison. Bakker will serve half behind bars before being automatically eligible for release on licence.

Teen tried to take over drug ring by stealing graft phone and paid the price

A teenager was stabbed 27 times by a gang of men with machetes after trying to take over the running of a drugs ring.

Alfie Hodgin's dealing was uncovered by police after they found him lying in the street in a pool of his own blood, and with more than £2,000 of heroin and crack cocaine. This vicious assault had been an act of "retribution" after the 18-year-old had stolen drugs and a graft phone belonging to the county lines operation he had previously been working for.

Liverpool Crown Court heard on October 5 this year, Wednesday, that officers rushed to Westminster Road in Ellesmere Port town centre at around 5.15pm on July 14 this year after the teen was discovered "slumped on the floor covered in blood".

Hodgin, of Manor Road in Liscard, was taken to hospital after suffering "significant" injuries. He was discharged after two weeks, but was then immediately arrested as he had been in possession of £1,220 of heroin and £1,100 of crack cocaine at the time of his assault.

Police also seized £1,208 in cash from the defendant. A graft phone - which contained dozens of flare messages advertising drugs for sale, which had been sent out to customers over the previous eight days - was found next to him on the ground.

Hodgin has 14 previous convictions for 29 offences. In 2014, he became "one of the youngest people ever to receive an anti-social behaviour order" aged just 10.

Hodgin admitted possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and was locked up for two-and-a-half years. He must also pay a victim surcharge, while forfeiture of the drugs and phone was ordered.

Teen crack dealer earned 'hundreds every day' after joining 'the family business'

Thomas Forshaw (Merseyside Police)

A teenage dealer who "joined the family drugs business" was caught with nearly £20,000 worth of luxury goods and earned "hundreds every day".

Thomas Forshaw was caught with the huge stash of designer gear when police raided his Liverpool city centre apartment. The "feral" 19-year-old had been involved in the operation of three separate county lines gangs which flooded areas in Lancashire and Cumbria with heroin and crack cocaine, which he boasted was "dynamite" and the "best in town".

Liverpool Crown Court heard on July 22, this year that he was "wooed" into the underworld, which several of his relatives were already caught up in, and went on to earn hundreds of pounds per day. On June 20, 2021, a car driven by a relative and carrying Forshaw as a passenger was stopped on the M6 heading to Barrow-in-Furness.

Forshaw appeared to be under the influence of drugs, and was found to be in possession of £1,750 in cash and a Nokia mobile. Upon analysis, the phone was found to have been in use since March that year in supplying heroin in the area as part of the so-called 'Mitch Line'.

Forshaw was released on bail but, on March 16 this year, Merseyside Police executed a search warrant at his flat on Marlborough Street. Upon entering the bedroom, the teen was seen by officers with another Nokia phone in his hands.

He "actively resisted" arrest though, and had to be restrained on the bed as a result. Other items were also found by police. The court heard that the ketamine and cannabis user had lived with his grandma when his mum emigrated, but he was left to "fend for himself" after his nan died.

Forshaw - who has one previous conviction for possession of a bladed article in a public place and possession of cannabis - admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine, possession of cannabis and possession of criminal property. Judge Gary Woodhall found that he had a "significant" role in the operations which he "inherited".

He was jailed for four years and four months. Forshaw could also be ordered to repay his ill-gotten gains under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and will appear back before the same court later this year.

Boy, 15, sentenced for murder of Ava White

Police scene on Church Alley/School Lane outside the Bluecoat, Liverpool. (LIVERPOOL ECHO)

A 15-year-old boy has been sentenced for the murder of 12-year-old Ava White in Liverpool city centre in November.

Ava died on Thursday, November 25, 2021, after being stabbed to the neck following an altercation on School Lane in Liverpool city centre, moments after the Christmas lights switch on in Liverpool city centre.

At about 8.40pm Ava was with friends near the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool city centre when they were approached by a group of boys. A verbal argument followed after one of the boys filmed them, which he later shared on Snapchat.

Ava told the boy to stop filming and delete the video and after the argument continued, Ava was stabbed in the neck on School Lane before making her way to nearby Church Alley. When officers arrived in Church Alley they found Ava collapsed on the ground and a member of the public who witnessed the incident was giving first aid.

Officers assisted with first aid before paramedics attended shortly after and Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where she sadly died a short time later despite the best efforts of medical staff. The offender, then 14, was arrested and charged with her murder, on 28 November, and convicted by a jury of her murder on 24 May this year by a unanimous verdict.

He was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to life, to serve a minimum of 13 years on July, 7, 2022. The judge also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the knife and told the offender to pay a victim surcharge.

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