A gang of Hells Angels prospects have been found guilty of carrying out a “barbaric” attack on a rival motorcycle club in a village in east Surrey.
Six men were stabbed and badly beaten in an outbuilding behind the Forman Institute in Blindley Heath, which the Hells Angels turned into “a scene of bloody carnage” on November 7, 2018. A seventh man was also assaulted.
The victims all belonged to the Vikings Motorcycle Club or their support group the Wargs Brotherhood, and had only just arrived at the Forman institute for a meeting when a group of masked men burst into the outbuilding brandishing knives, baseball bats and other weapons.
These masked men were “prospects” – prospective members of the Hells Angels’ Slough chapter and their affiliated club the Red Devils, also based in Slough, carrying out the attack as part of a turf war with the Vikings.
In all, 13 men are believed to have carried out the attack at the Forman Institute.
Following a seven-week trial at Kingston Crown Court, seven of them – Przemyslaw Korkus, Jimi Kidd, Bartosz Plesniak, Piotr Zamijewski, Ladislav Szalay, Tamas Tomacsek and David Jacobs – were convicted of multiple offences, including six counts of wounding with intent in connection with their involvement in the violence. All now face lengthy prison sentences.
Towards the end of the trial, prosecutor Richard Hearnden told the jury that the attack stemmed from a need to “deal with” the Vikings so the Hells Angels could set up a new chapter in Surrey.
The turf war
Initially, Mr Hearnden said, they had tried to do this by enticing the Wargs to switch their affiliation from the Vikings to the Hells Angels. On November 1, a week before the attack, 38-year-old Kidd and another Hells Angel met two members of the Wargs at Cobham Services.
Kidd, from Haywards Heath, had been a member of the Vikings for six years before signing up with the Hells Angels, and CCTV of the meeting appeared to show he was still on friendly terms with the Wargs.
However, Mr Hearnden said, it soon became clear that the Vikings would resist any attempt to persuade the Wargs to leave them, so the Hells Angels and the Red Devils “hatched a last minute plan” to attack the Wargs meeting on November 7.
“As prospects they must demonstrate devotion and loyalty to their clubs,” Mr Hearnden said. “What better way for a prospect to show unswerving loyalty to their club than a mission to intimidate a rival club with extreme violence?”
The attack on the Forman Institute
On the evening of November 7, Korkus, Plesniak, Zamijewski, Szalay, Tomacsek and Jacobs met with other, unidentified, Hells Angels and Red Devils at the Hells Angels club house in Slough before driving down to South Godstone station.
Korkus, 40, Plesniak, 34, and Tomacsek, 38, were driving their own cars, their movements tracked by ANPR cameras, while other defendants’ presence at the scene was given away by their mobile phones.
Korkus, a bald, 25-stone giant described by his own barrister Jon Harrison as “more akin to a WWE wrestler”, was also spotted on CCTV at Cobham Services, buying four cans of Red Bull on his way to east Surrey. Mr Hearnden said this indicated there were three other men in the car with him.
Meanwhile, Kidd drove his Nissan Qashqai to Sainsbury’s in Haywards Heath, where he delivered a fishing rod to a woman who had bought it from him on eBay, before himself heading to Blindley Heath. CCTV showed him passing the Forman Institute at least twice and parking at South Godstone station, signalling to the other vehicles there.
His lawyer, Roxanne Morrell, described the former Viking as a “mediator” and a series of character witnesses testified to his “lovable character” and “love and devotion” for his family, but the prosecution said he had been conducting “reconnaissance” at the Forman Institute, seeing whether the Vikings had turned up yet.
“His loyalties had changed, and he had to give everything he could to please his new club,” Mr Hearnden said.
A little after 7pm the Hells Angels left South Godstone station in four cars, heading for Blindley Heath and parking in St John’s Meadow, just north of the Forman Institute. CCTV caught a gang of 13 men walking down towards the social club.
At the same time, seven men were settling in at the Wargs’ clubhouse, known as “the shud”, ahead of their meeting.
The youngest, 21-year-old Reece Hobbs, left briefly to fetch a jacket from a car outside while senior member Glyn Alexander tucked into a kebab – “the last normal thing that happened that night”, Mr Hearnden told the jury.
In the car park, Mr Hobbs was set upon by the Hells Angels and stabbed as he struggled to make it back to the shud, falling through the door followed by the masked bikers.
The lightning-fast violence that followed saw the occupants of the shud badly beaten, several suffering head injuries, and all except one were stabbed. Most were stabbed in the arm or leg, but Mr Hobbs was stabbed in the stomach as well before he collapsed in the corner of the room, his intestines falling out onto the floor.
Finally, the attackers were called off, fleeing back up the road to their parked cars and driving back up to Slough, except Kidd who headed north to his parents’ home.
But they left some evidence behind. A black nitrile glove found near where the bikers had parked was found to have Korkus’s DNA on it, while a length of thick electric cable also found in St John’s Meadow had Zamijewski’s DNA on one end and the blood of one of the victims on the other.
Korkus was arrested first, still wearing the blood-stained clothes he had worn during the attack. ANPR data and his phone records placed him in Blindley Heath at the time of the attack, but throughout the trial he claimed he had driven to the village to help someone move house.
Kidd, Plesniak, Zamijewski and Tomacsek were arrested a week later, on November 14, and all four were charged along with Szalay in January 2019.
Kidd and Plesniak admitted being in the area, Kidd saying he was going for a drink with a friend and Plesniak claiming he was attending a Red Devils meeting that was then cancelled at short notice. The other three claimed they had spent the evening at the Hells Angels clubhouse in Slough, despite Tomacsek’s car being spotted on CCTV cameras near Blindley Heath and phone data tying Szalay to the area.
Jacobs, 28, of Rickmansworth, was arrested and charged in March 2019. He admitted going to Blindley Heath but denied getting out of the car he was a passenger in, claiming he had been drunk and passed out on the back seat.
All seven were charged with violent disorder, six counts of GBH with intent, ABH, possession of a bladed article and possession of an offensive weapon and appeared at Kingston Crown Court on June 11.
Seven weeks later, the guilty verdicts started rolling in.
Korkus, Plesniak, Szalay and Jacobs were convicted of all 10 counts by a unanimous verdict.
Kidd was unanimously acquitted of possessing a bladed article and possessing an offensive weapon, but found guilty of all other charges by a majority of 10 to one.
Zamijewski, 44, from Hayes, was convicted of all counts by a majority of 10 to one. Tomacsek, of Enfield, was convicted on all counts by a majority of nine to one, the jury having lost two members by the time they returned their final verdicts.
They will be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court at a later date.