Fifteen sentenced to more than 100 years for conspiracy to burgle

Fifteen men have been jailed for over 100 years for their parts in a string of burglary offences which culminated in the murder of two men in February 2020.

Three men were jailed for life in February 2021 after killing 19-year-old Khuzaimiah Douglas and 36-year-old Waseem Ramzan while trying to protect their cannabis grow in Pensnett Road, Brierley Hill.

Waseem Ramzan was the brother of Saghawat Ramzan who was jailed alongside his son Omar Ramzan and Mohammed Sageer. Khuzaimiah Douglas was one of the group attempting to raid the property. Waseem and Khuzaimiah both died from crossbow injuries.

Prior to the murders, an investigation was already underway following a series of burglaries and attempted burglaries in the early hours of 17 December 2019.

The organised crime group committing the offences were targeting cannabis factories, often with the aid of a thermal imaging gun. Another tactic saw them following likely cannabis farmers from hydroponic retailers back to where there was a likely grow.

West Midlands Police investigation showed that, while not all of the offenders were at all of the offences, they were all linked in one way or another.

The first attempted burglary happened just after midnight on Northcote Street in Walsall. As men from three vehicles attempted to force their way in through the door, the householder tried to defend himself and was attacked with a machete, receiving head and hand injuries. The offenders made off with nothing, the house being a family home and not the cannabis farm they hoped for.

Two hours later a house in Bearwood Road, Warley was broken into and when police arrived they found evidence of a cannabis set-up. At the same time a further attempt was made to gain access to a house in Dog Kennel Lane, Oldbury, where again an innocent occupant was injured after being struck to his head with a wooden mallet.

Just minutes later in Greswolde Road, Sparkhill as others members of the gang attempted entry, the occupant, fearing for his life, jumped from a bedroom window breaking his ankle and requiring months of treatment.

The intruders stole electrical items from the address. Around 3am the last attempted break-in at Grove Road in Sparkhill resulted in the occupant being attacked with a machete and receiving serious injuries to his arms. Clearly looking for cannabis, the offenders were told they had the wrong house.

Officers located a rental VW Golf crashed into a wall nearby which had been used in the raid and inside found a mobile phone for one of the offenders. Analysis of the phone linked him to other suspects and the person who had hired the car.

He claimed it had been stolen, but out enquiries proved otherwise and he was ultimately charged with perverting the course of justice.

Four days later another break-in at Highfield Road in Washwood Heath yielded an established cannabis grow over a number of floors. A team of investigators set about trawling CCTV to identify vehicles common to each break-in and tracking their movements.

But on 20 February the activities of the group were to end in tragedy. Just before 2am a property on Milton Street in Walsall was raided and several men were seen removing a number of bags into vehicles. The remnants of 93 cannabis plants were left behind.

At 3.30am the cannabis grow over three floors in Pensnett Road, Brierley Hill was attacked, but the gang hadn’t reckoned on the homeowners being ready to fight back with weapons, and they found themselves cornered inside.

Fighting their way our through a front window, they made off, sadly losing one of their number – Khuzaimiah Douglas.

A car which crashed into a wall was left behind, within it was three mobile phones, which were recovered, helping to start linking the members of the group and their movements. DNA from items left behind supported other evidence that the defendants were at the scene.

Detective Superintendent Jim Munro said; “The activities of this group were already on our radar when sadly the raid in Pensnett Road ended in bloodshed. It is inevitable that criminality on this scale comes with a risk of extreme violence.

“Although the murder investigation concluded with three men jailed, we continued our enquiries into those linked in some way to the activities of the group. “Our officers studied hours of CCTV and linked hundreds of phone records to place the defendants at the scene of the crimes.

“Their determination paid off and this week we have seen these men jailed for more than 100 years. This is a significant message to anyone who thinks they can get away with burglary. The impact on victims is devastating and we will do all we can to bring perpetrators to justice.”

The following pleaded guilty and have been jailed for conspiracy to commit burglary and aggravated burglary:

  • Godfree Mbugoniwia, aged 25 from Brunswick Road, Birmingham – 11 years
  • Omari Beckford, aged 28 from Northumberland Way, Walsall – 12 years and seven months
  • Troy Parkins, aged 28 from Claughton Road, Dudley – 13 years and seven months
  • Jason Kavanagh, aged 24 of no fixed address – five years and 11 months
  • Bradley Knight, aged 26 from Tugford Road, Bournville – six years
  • William Thompson, aged 30 from Sedgehill Avenue, Birmingham – eight years and six months
  • Karam Sanghera, aged 25 from Manningford Road, Birmingham – nine years and six months (Sanghera was sentenced in his absence after failing to attend court. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.)

The following have pleaded guilty to some offences and were found guilty following a trial which ended on 4 October for other offences of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary. They have been sentenced as follows:

  • Lewis Graver, aged 25 from Primrose Lane, Hall Green – 11 years
  • Lewis Azzopardi, aged 28 from Eureka Gardens, Wolverhampton – nine years
  • Reed Smith, aged 27 from Brunswick Road, Balsall Heath – nine years

The following have pleaded guilty to some offences and have been found guilty following a trial which concluded on 8 December at Wolverhampton Crown Court for other offences of conspiracy to commit burglary. They have been sentenced as follows:

  • Hisham Lewis, aged 24 from Grove Avenue, Selly Oak – two years and four months
  • Said Ammaid, aged 27 from Edward Road, Birmingham – three years and six months
  • Billal Akram, aged 28 from Buffery Road, Dudley – two years
  • Micah Evans, aged 23 from Foster Avenue, Bilston – three years
  • Amir Nasiri, aged 25 from Swinford Road, Birmingham – three years

All defendants will have to serve at least two thirds of their sentence before being eligible for parole.


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