Violent thug who tried to ram his car into rival before assaulting another man with machete in street attack jailed
11 Jun | 15:41

Ringleader David 'Porky' Clark was among the five gang members sentenced for a string of offences following the evening of disorder in Southwick

A violent thug who tried to ram his car into a rival before assaulting another man with a machete has been jailed.

David ‘Porky’ Clark was at the centre of a series of violent offences committed across Southwick on the evening of April 5 last year.

Clark was behind the wheel of a Mercedes as he and a convoy of cars descended on Ridley Street and deliberately tried to run over a man who was in the road.

As the victim tried to get away in a silver hatchback, Clark and the driver of a Volvo rammed the car and smashed into another parked vehicle – to the shock of families living nearby.

Moments later, Clark – aided by accomplices Shaun Hewitt, Shaun McGregor and Leigh Coulson - jumped out of a number of cars on Beaumont Street and disarmed Luke Owen who was in possession of a machete.

Owen was then stabbed with the machete in the middle of the street, leaving him with serious leg injuries and cuts to his face.

Earlier on the same evening, Clark’s girlfriend Coulson threatened an occupant on Ridley Street, claiming he would be “burnt to a crisp” and that a car would be driven through his living room.

A vehicle was reversed into the front door of the address and set on fire later that night by unidentified assailants.

All five gang members admitted a string of offences at Newcastle Crown Court back in February. Today (Friday) they returned to the same court where ringleader Clark was jailed for 44 months,

The other four were also sentenced with two handed custodial terms and two handed suspended sentences.

Detective Inspector Andy Richardson, of Northumbria Police, said: “The violence that we saw on the streets of Southwick that night was appalling and all five defendants should be ashamed of themselves.

“The series of incidents unfolded in a residential area where families watched on in shock – and they will no doubt have been horrified to see this level of offending just yards from their front door.

“Clark was at the centre of the disorder and is somebody who has consistently shown a total disregard for the law. I am pleased that he is now behind bars and the severity of his crimes reflected in his sentence.

“We will not tolerate violence in our communities and hope this outcome offers reassurance to our communities. We are committed to continue tackling serious and organised criminality under the banner of Operation Sentinel.”

Clark, 36, of Gordon Terrace, Sunderland, admitted assault, dangerous driving and violent disorder when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on February 18, as well as to two further unrelated charges of assault.

Today (Friday) he was jailed for 44 months.

Coulson, 33, of Gordon Terrace, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to violent disorder and threats to commit criminal damage by fire. She has been sentenced to 12 months suspended for 12 months.

Hewitt, 29, of Matterdale, Peterlee, McGregor, 32, of Beechwood Crescent, Sunderland, and Owen, 34, of Beatty Avenue, Sunderland, all previously admitted violent disorder in relation to the fight on Beaumont Street.

Owen also pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.

A judge sentenced Hewitt to one year imprisonment, McGregor received a 15-month custodial term and Owen received an 11-month sentence suspended for 12 months.

Any residents in the area who have concerns about criminal activity can speak to neighbourhood officers in the SARA team, based at the Salvation Army building in Austin House on Shakespeare Street.

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