Murderers aged 16 and 25 among those jailed in June

The people jailed in June have ranged from murderers to a man caught driving while disqualified from the eighth time. There have been two murder trials at Leicester Crown Court that came to an end, both relating to fatal stabbings of men in their 50s.

A group of teenagers were found guilty of various offences after the brutal murder of Junior Osborne in Leicester's Narborough Road. On September 27 last year Nero McLean, who had just turned 16 the day before, rushed across the road and stabbed the 50-year-old victim in the neck.

And three days later Sidney Palmer, aged 57, was murdered in Conduit Street, Leicester city centre, by Victor-Eduard Raja, 25, as he tried to break up a fight between drug dealers.

READ MORE: Two in hospital after Humberstone Gate 'attack' leaves pavement covered in blood

These are some of the Leicestershire people jailed in June:

Nero McLean and others

Nero McLean was jailed for life with a minimum of 17 years behind bars
Nero McLean was jailed for life with a minimum of 17 years behind bars -Credit:Leicestershire Police

Junior Osborne, a 50-year-old father, was killed in Leicester's Narborough Road by a "pack" of "feral" teenagers - including twins who had celebrated their 16th birthday the day before the fatal attack. Nero McLean, 16, of Upperton Road, Leicester, carried out the stabbing while his twin brother and three others stood nearby.

Nero McLean was convicted by a jury of murder and jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 17 years. The four other defendants - Nevardo McLean, Moises Steiner, 18, of Dovedale Road, in Thurmaston, Theobald Budzwa, 18, of Ash Court, Groby, and James Williams, 18, of Pelham Way, in Leicester city centre - were found guilty of manslaughter and each jailed for eight years.

A judge agreed to a request by LeicestershireLive for reporting restrictions to be lifted so two of the defendants could be named publicly for the first time. The identities of Nero McLean and his twin brother Nevardo McLean were previously protected by law due to their age.

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Radu Covaci

Shoplifter Radu Covaci fled to Romania after knocking down a supermarket worker who was trying to stop him escaping
Shoplifter Radu Covaci fled to Romania after knocking down a supermarket worker who was trying to stop him escaping -Credit:Leicestershire Police

A shoplifter knocked down a supermarket worker in Leicester before fleeing the country. Radu Covaci was brought back to the UK to face justice after the incident left his victim with serious head injuries.

Covaci stole alcohol from a supermarket in Upperton Road on July 1, 2019 before leaving the scene in a silver Toyota Yaris. Members of staff rushed into the car park to try and stop him leaving, but he ran over one of them in order to make good his escape.

Police said the victim, who is now in his 40s, has suffered long-lasting effects from his injuries. Detectives found the Toyota had cloned plates. When police visited the 33-year-old's home, they were told he had gone back to his native Romania but he was later arrested by Romanian police.

He was sentenced to a total of 32 months’ imprisonment and was disqualified from driving for three years.

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Victor-Eduard Raja and others

Victor-Eduard Raja
Victor-Eduard Raja -Credit:Leicestershire Police

Victor-Eduard Raja was given a life sentence for stabbing a “peacemaker” through the heart in Leicester. Victor-Eduard Raja (25) must serve a minimum of 25 years and six months behind bars for killing Sidney Palmer, who tried to break up a fight in which Raja had become involved.

CCTV showed Raja arming himself with a knife before swinging it towards 59-year-old Mr Palmer in Conduit Street, near to Leicester Railway Station, on Saturday, September 30, last year. During a trial at Leicester Crown Court , Raja told the jury that he had been offered £20 worth of the drug mamba to hit someone, but had accidentally stabbed Mr Palmer while trying to get away from the resulting skirmish.

Raja’s co-defendant, Michael Boleyn (31), was found guilty of manslaughter after the jury heard that he and Nathan Pritchard (29), who pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the beginning of the trial, had sent Raja to give a man a “couple of slaps” following two altercations earlier that evening.

After the attack, Raja was driven to Yorkshire by his mother, Diana Bodrug, who assisted in booking him into accommodation under false details and bought him a new phone SIM card. She pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.

Boleyn was sentenced to eight years in prison while Pritchard was sentenced to six years. Bodrug, 49, of Melton Road, Syston, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.

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Edward Griffiths

Mugshot of Edward Griffiths
Edward Griffiths is now behind bars -Credit:Leicestershire Police

Edward Griffiths called a mass murderer a “hero” and spoke of his desires to go on his own killing spree before he was caught. Griffiths, of Whitwick’s Hermitage Road, near Coalville, committed a series of offences between November 2021 and June 2022 in which he encouraged acts of terrorism.

One saw him praise the perpetrator of the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand. The atrocity, which was committed at two mosques, saw 51 people killed.

Griffiths shared footage of the terror attack to two people and told them that he would “love” to replicate the terrorists’ actions. Social media posts also saw him label the Christchurch killer a “hero”.

The 44-year-old’s posts soon came to the attention of police with counter terrorism officers executing a warrant at his home in June 2022. During police interviews, Griffiths did not answer questions about his posts, but later admitted they had been made due to personal troubles in the wake of Covid-19.

Griffiths was found guilty on one count of encouragement of terrorism and of two counts of dissemination of a terrorist publication. He was given a four-and-a-half year jail term.

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Patricia Pringle

Mugshot of Patricia Pringle
Patricia Pringle admitted to killing the couple earlier this year -Credit:Leicestershire Police

A Leicester driver killed an “extraordinary” elderly couple in a head-on crash while using her phone at the wheel. Patricia Pringle showed “very little remorse” for her actions after the collision, police said.

Pringle, of Park Vale Road, Spinney Hills, was driving her blue Volkswagen Golf on the A47 at Barrowden, in Rutland, in May 2022 when the car went onto the opposite side of the road and crashed into a silver Fiat Qubo. The impact killed the Fiat’s occupants, 89-year-old Clive Jones and his wife, Elaine, 82. Pringle, then 54, was hospitalised with a broken arm.

Investigations by Leicestershire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) soon uncovered problems with Pringle’s driving. Eyewitnesses claimed Pringle had implied she had been on her phone at the time of the crash. Police found evidence showing she was making a phone call at the time of the fatal incident.

Pringle was subsequently charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving - but officers said she showed “little remorse” for her actions. In May this year, Pringle admitted the two charges, as well as a single count of possession of the Class B drug cannabis. She was handed a nine-year jail term.

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Sambarashe Mushonga

Sambarashe Mushonga
Sambarashe Mushonga -Credit:Leicestershire Police

A man was found guilty of attempted murder after he stamped on another man’s head and hit him with a “large stick” in Leicester. Sambarashe Mushonga (37) was sentenced to 25 years in prison after the “brutal” attack in Milton Crescent in Beaumont Leys.

Members of the public overpowered Mushonga and detained him shortly after the attack. The victim sustained a “significant” brain injury.

Mushonga could not recall the incident because he was drunk, but he agreed it was him carrying out the assault when he was shown CCTV footage of the incident.

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Darren Smith

Darren Smith mugshot
Darren Smith, 39, is behind bars -Credit:Leicestershire Police

A man burgled two homes in the same street and then used the bank cards he had stolen. Darren Smith, 39, sneaked into a flat in Stamford Street, Leicester city centre, on the night of Friday, January 19, taking a bank card and then using it fraudulently.

Then on the night of Wednesday, January 31, he went back to another premises in the same street and took several items including another bank card. Again, he used the bank card fraudulently.

Smith, of no fixed address, was later identified by Leicestershire Police and arrested. At Leicester Crown Court on Tuesday, June 25, he was jailed for two-and-a-half years after admitting two counts of burglary and three counts of fraud by false representation.

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Darnell Fuller

Darnell Fuller operated from Nottingham and police said he thought that meant he would never get caught
Darnell Fuller operated from Nottingham and police said he thought that meant he would never get caught -Credit:Leicestershire Police

A drug dealer selling crack to users in Coalville, Ellistown, Hugglescote and Shepshed hoped he could avoid detection because he lived in Nottingham. But police raided Darnell Fuller's home and found plenty of evidence to have him locked up - included a gun with live ammunition.

They also arrested Mountsorrel dealer Jamie Pladgeman, who was Fuller's local contact and had been seen by Leicestershire Police selling drugs around North West Leicestershire. The pair had used multiple phone numbers to send bulk texts to known drug users offering the chance to buy highly-addictive class A drug crack cocaine, as well as heroin.

The raids took place in March 2022, when both were arrested. The search of Fuller’s home in Kennington Road, Nottingham uncovered mobile phones, cash and wraps of drugs which proved their links to dealing, as well as the firearm. Fuller, 25, later pleaded guilty to supplying crack and heroin and illegally possessing a firearm. He was jailed for seven years.

Pladgeman, 33, of Curlew Close, Mountsorrel, near Loughborough, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of crack and heroin. He was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

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Phillip Taylor

A former soldier with 60 previous offences on his record is back in jail after stealing an electric bike and being caught driving while disqualified for the eighth time. Just over three months after being released from prison after his last jail sentence, Phillip Taylor, 39, formerly of Sylvan Street, Newfoundpool, Leicester, was driving past a home in Charnian Way, Shepshed, when he spotted an open garage door and the £800 electric bike inside.

He pulled over, put the bike in his car and drove off. A neighbour saw the theft and alerted the bike's owner and Leicestershire Police were called.

The theft was caught on CCTV and a police officer recognised Taylor, who was homeless at that time and living in a friend's car. But he was caught six days later while driving the car in Loughborough.

He was pulled over for driving without insurance and driving while disqualified. The court heard that Taylor, who previously served with the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, already had 60 offences on his record including another burglary, several driving without insurance offences and seven convictions for driving while disqualified.

Taylor was jailed for six months and banned from driving for 25 months. He will have to take an extended re-test before he can drive again.

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Curtis Rowe

A couple successfully defended their convenience store from a robber who then staggered off down the road and drove off in a young woman's car after she was distracted by his accomplice. Curtis Rowe and the other man had been caught on CCTV cameras shuffling into the Leicester Food and Wines store in Welford Road, Leicester city centre, while drunk and high on drugs at 7am.

Both men wandered around the shop, grabbing items and putting them on the counter, including bread and breakfast cereal. The accomplice tried to enter a private area of the building and the male shopkeeper went to stop him while his wife was at the till.

There was then a confrontation involving the male shopkeeper and Rowe, 45, who repeatedly grabbed at the middle-aged man's throat, trying to steal his gold chain. Rowe then went to grab items off the counter and stuff them in his pockets and continuously shoved the male shopkeeper who was trying to stop him.

The woman then pulled out a baseball bat from behind the counter and flung it at Rowe and she then rushed around to help her husband push the two men out of the door. The drunken men made a brief attempt to force their way back inside but then gave up and wandered towards nearby King Street.

In King Street the young woman was behind the wheel of her parked car with the engine running, putting an address in the satnav when Rowe's accomplice opened the passenger door and grabbed her handbag off the passenger seat and fled with it. It contained £100 cash and bank cards.

She got out to give chase and as she did Rowe jumped in behind the wheel and drove off in the car. He drove the car around the corner - about 350 yards away - and got out, grabbed armfuls of her possessions from the boot of the vehicle and went off with them.

He Rowe obtained woman's bank cards from his accomplice and made two attempts to buy a £96 bottle of spirits from a nearby off-licence. But the cards had already been cancelled by the young woman so the attempts were unsuccessful.

He was arrested by Leicestershire Police and later pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, taking a vehicle without consent and two counts of attempted fraud. Rowe, of Ipswich Close, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, already had convictions for 52 previous offences on his record, including robbery.

Rowe was jailed for three years.

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Dempsey Lunn

A driver who was an "absolute menace on the roads of Leicester" has been jailed for a string of offences. Dempsey Lunn sped away from police when they tried to stop him from speeding and drove dangerously along Penman Way in Grove Park and other roads in Enderby, forcing oncoming cars to take evasive action, jumping red lights and driving onto the pavement.

And he did the same thing three weeks later, reaching speeds of up to 70mph in a residential area of Leicester where the limit is 30mph. On that occasion he narrowly missed hitting a pedestrian as he tried to evade Leicestershire Police.

He was jailed for 23 months for the two dangerous driving convictions and some other crimes as well.

Lunn, 31, of Herle Avenue, Braunstone, Leicester, admitted other offences included burgling a student block in Milstone Lane, Leicester city centre in September last year to steal workmen's tools worth about £1,200, and smashing the window of a house in Loughborough in June last year.

As well as being jailed for 23 months, Lunn was banned from driving for five years after the date of his release and will have to take an extended re-test before he can drive again.

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Gerard McDonagh

A driver was jailed after reversing at high speed into a Leicestershire Police car, leaving an officer with serious neck, back and limb injuries. In November 2022 Pc James Yeoman was following a Land Rover Freelander on the M1 that was displaying false number plates.

Pc Yeoman followed the vehicle at a distance and it exited at junction 22 and headed into Markfield. On Old House Lane the Land Rover stopped and the driver, Gerard McDonagh, reversed into the police car and hit it with such force the airbags deployed and McDonagh, 21, of Copt Oak Road, Markfield then drove off.

Pc Yeoman sustained serious leg, back, neck and arm injuries and was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused to the police car.

McDonagh was charged with dangerous driving, criminal damage, and assault on an emergency worker. He was jailed for 10 months and banned from driving for two years and five months.

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Mihai Cocilnau

A drug dealer was caught with 4kg of cannabis in a laundry bag after police noticed he smelled of the drug but didn't seem to have any in his system. A "drug wipe" test was carried out at the roadside on Mihai Cocilnau after he was stopped and the police noticed the distinctive smell coming from him.

The 40-year-old drug dealer, of Daneshill Road, Westcotes, Leicester, had been driving his Vauxhall Combo van along the A43 near Kettering when he was pulled over by Northamptonshire Police at about 2.20pm on Sunday, February 25. He has now been jailed for 19 weeks after admitting possessing a class B drug with intent to supply.

The force said in a summary of the case: "As the officers spoke to Cocilnau they smelt what they believed to be cannabis coming from inside the van, which he tried to pass off as him smoking the Class B drug while in the vehicle.

"However, when a roadside drug wipe test proved negative, he informed the officers that he had cannabis in the van. A search under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act was carried out and a large quantity of the drug was found in a red, blue and white laundry bag.

"In addition to the 4kg of cannabis, which had a retail value of between £12,280 and £16,360, a small amount of the drug, which was inside a washing capsule box, was seized along with two mobile phones and two SIM cards.

"Cocilnau was arrested and subsequently charged with one count of possession with intent to supply a Class B drug".

He pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to 19 weeks in prison and ordered to pay a £154 victim surcharge.

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