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A family of Bedford landlords have been jailed for a collective 31 years after committing major acts of violence against their tenants.
They used weapons like a meat cleaver, a metal pole, bolt croppers and baseball bats against tenants they wanted to evict. As a result one man ended up having his leg amputated after it was left hanging at a right angle, while another tenant suffered fractured ribs.
The perpetrators are Brothers Mohammed Shamrez, Mohammed Shakeel and Mohammed Said, who acted as rogue enforcers at their father’s properties in Bedford.
They filmed the attacks on their mobile phones, the footage of which was later used as evidence against them.
Det Con Matthew Jarman said: “These three thugs have operated a brutal enforcement business of violence and intimidation targeting anyone they considered ‘undesirable’ in their properties.
“All of their victims were vulnerable in some way. These men are vile and cowardly bullies who have preyed on vulnerable victims as part of their enforcement racket.
“Some of the video footage we uncovered in our investigation is truly shocking. Their victims have been left understandably terrified by these attacks, and I want to thank all of them for their bravery in coming forward and cooperating with us to put these despicable men behind bars.
“What we have seen here is how violence, exploitation and organised crime are linked. Vulnerable people right here in Bedfordshire are at risk of being groomed, taken advantage of and abused by thugs like this, in the name of all manner of criminal activity.
“We all have a responsibility to be aware of this. This is not some distant problem. This exploitation is happening right here in our communities. If you have concerns about someone or something, please report it to us.”
A disturbing detail was the sadist nature of the attacks.
In one incident Mohammed Shamrez told a victim “do you know who I am? This is my building”, as he broke a tenant’s legs with a metal pole.
In another, a man who had had an argument with one of the defendant’s wives over a parking space was attacked with a baseball bat the next day, while another of the brothers was armed with a meat cleaver.
Judge Blake, sentencing the trio, said they were “motivated by desire to assert power and control over those deemed less important.”
He added: “The videos are deeply disturbing. Your arrogance and relish for violence, the pain and abject fear created is chilling.”
Mohammed Shamrez, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, two counts of attempted GBH and two counts of actual bodily harm (ABH). He was sentenced to 14 years and six months. Mohammed Shakeel, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted GBH, and was jailed for six years. Mohammed Said, 24, leaded guilty to two counts of attempted GBH, one count of causing GBH with intent and one count of ABH. He was jailed for 10 years and nine months.