Four men jailed over gang dispute

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FOUR men, who deliberately rammed and attacked a car with pickaxe handles, before trying to dispose the evidence onto a frozen canal, have been jailed for a total of eight years.

Michael Stokes (46) of Bradfield Road, Crewe, Edward Stokes (39) of Kettel Avenue, Crewe, Thomas Stokes (30) of Nairn Close, Fearnhead, Warrington and Thomas Stokes (35) of Nixon Drive, Winsford, appeared at Preston Crown Court today (Friday). They were each sentenced to two years imprisonment after pleading guilty to violent disorder.

This relates to an on-going dispute between two rival groups culminating with the four men ramming a car being driven by a 42-year-old man with his passenger – a 36-year-old man. It happened around 1pm on January 10th last year as they drove along Manchester Road, Burnley. The pair were forced to abandon the car and run off.

The gang, who had also run off, were then seen trying to throw their balaclavas, gloves and some clothes into the Leeds and Liverpool canal, which had frozen over. Officers were able to fish the evidence off the ice and carry out forensic tests which linked them to the crime.