1. ITV Report

Gang of bikers convicted for causing chaos on the roads during a five-hour rampage

Centre: Tomlinson. From top L-R clockwise: Ballanger, Bateman, Birch, Draper, Jones, Geordie West, Bentley, Ford, Tyler, Phillips, Saa and McDonald Credit: West Midlands Police

A gang of bikers who caused chaos on the roads of Birmingham and Wolverhampton have been convicted.

The men among a large group took to scramblers, quad-bikes and mopeds for an illegal bike rally which lasted for five hours on 26 June 2016.

The event was marketed as a “Take Back the Streets" ride-out.

Video footage which was filmed by one of the gang members showed the men causing chaos, blocking junctions, riding recklessly, pulling stunts and intimidating other road users.

Cameras on the police helicopter filmed gang members running red lights, driving over large grassed roundabouts, churning up parkland, and weaving between cars while pulling wheelies.

Top Row L-R - Sidwell, Birchall, Fattha. Bottom Row L-R: Keanue West, Kington, Nguyen Credit: West Midlands Police

The men − aged between 19 and 33-years-old, were convicted at court on 14 March for causing public nuisance in what’s believed to be the largest ever such group prosecution for anti-social biking.

The ringleader Andrew “Dru" Tomlinson was today jailed for two years, fellow biker Matthew Sidwell jailed for 12 months, while others were given suspended prison sentences and community orders.

The 29-year-old, from Falmouth Road in Hodge Hill, led the group from Station Road, Stechford before setting off on their illegal ride out.

Investigators made dozens of arrests, seized more than 20 off-road bikes and charged 48 men with causing a public nuisance − and at Birmingham Crown Court this week (11-15 March) 29 of them were sentenced.

All but one of the men admitted the charge, including Tomlinson, with only 24-year-old Jack Bentley, from Marlborough Road, Castle Bromwich, denying the offence after claiming he was riding lawfully.

However, video footage showed him among a massed rank of riders causing carnage in Broad Street in Birmingham city centre and at another point is seen riding along a footpath from Bradford Road towards the Clock Island.

He was found guilty by a jury and given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry or 50 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Top row L-R: Frater, Smith, Fox. Bottom row L-R: Morton, Dore, Roye Credit: West Midlands Police

There is no justification for this type of behaviour: they risk serious injury to themselves, other road users and members of the public. They acted as though they owned the road: holding up traffic and aggressively surrounding motorists who didn’t obey their commands.We hear bikers saying ‘we’re just having fun’ − but if these riders are law-abiding why do they wear face coverings and masks and ride around with no registration plates? It’s because they know they are doing wrong and are trying to stay anonymous."

– Chief Superintendent Dave Sturman, West Midlands Police
L-R clockwise: Wilson, Ward, Karim and Aston Credit: West Midlands Police

Samuel Ward and Shaqeel Karim will be sentenced separately on 29 March. Another 19 men were charged but were found not guilty.