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5 teenagers jailed for total of almost 70 years for Peterborough knife attacks

‘How did you lot find us so quickly?’ teenage knife attacker tells police

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Five teenagers were jailed today at Cambridge Crown Court (Wednesday) for a combined total of almost 70 years for vicious knife attacks on two teenage boys in a Peterborough play park. At 5.46pm on 31 May last year, police received two 999 calls reporting stabbings in the park area of Century Square, Millfield.

Police found an 18-year-old man collapsed on the ground receiving first aid by members of the public, and a 17-year-old boy with multiple stab wounds a few hundred metres away in Waterloo Road.

About ten minutes before the 999 calls were made, Rudolf Gregor, 19, and Patrick Tavera, 18, entered a convenience store in Lincoln Road where they bought three kitchen knives.

Footage captured the shop keeper asking the pair why they were buying the knives, to which Gregor claimed to be getting them for his mother who was hosting a barbecue.

As Gregor paid for the knives, Samba Balde, 18, Amadu Djalo, 18, and Milan Pollak, 19, loitered by the entrance.

Tavera placed one of the knives in his jacket pocket and walked off with the group towards the Alma Road area, with Balde carrying the other two knives in a plastic bag.

They split into two groups as they approached Century Square, with Tavera, Balde and Gregor walking ahead, and Djalo and Pollak slightly behind.

At 5.42pm, the group were seen on CCTV to enter the park in Century Square – just over a minute later, they are seen leaving before making a phone call to book a taxi to take them out of the area.

In this minute, Tavera, Balde and Gregor had stabbed two victims multiple times, leaving them with life-threatening injuries.

Jailed: Rudolf Gregor, 19, of Midland Road, West Town – 19 years and six months; Patrick Tavera, 18, of Tyesdale, Bretton – 16 years; Samba Balde, 18, of Bringhurst, Orton Goldhay – 19 years; Amadu Djalo, 18, of Hampton Court, Hampton – seven years and three months; Milan Pollak, 19, of Shakespeare Avenue, New England – seven years.

Jailed: Rudolf Gregor, 19, (top centre) of Midland Road, West Town – 19 years and six months; Patrick Tavera, 18, (bottom left) of Tyesdale, Bretton – 16 years; Samba Balde, 18, (top, right) of Bringhurst, Orton Goldhay – 19 years; Amadu Djalo, 18, (bottom, right) of Hampton Court, Hampton – seven years and three months; Milan Pollak, 19, (top left) of Shakespeare Avenue, New England – seven years.

The 18-year-old suffered multiple puncture wounds to his legs, buttocks and back, severe swelling to his jaw and neck impacting on his airway, and arterial bleeding in his neck.

His condition deteriorated in hospital, requiring emergency surgery after a further stab wound was discovered which had penetrated his internal organs.

The 17-year-old suffered an arterial bleed to his left arm, as well as two puncture wounds to his back, one of which was close to his spinal column, requiring emergency surgery.

Immediate enquiries led officers from the local Neighbourhood Support Team to Gregor’s home in Midland Road, West Town, where they saw a taxi leaving. It was stopped and found to have Djalo, of Hampton Court, Hampton, and two other men inside.

All three were arrested, with Djalo saying “how did you lot find us so quickly? How did you track us down?”

The following day (1 June), Gregor was arrested at his home.

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Balde was arrested at his home in Bringhurst, Orton Goldhay, in the early hours of 2 June after he called police to say he was at home and aware police were looking for him.

The same day, police issued a wanted appeal to locate Pollak, of Shakespeare Avenue, New England. Within a matter of hours, he had contacted police to hand himself in and was arrested.

On 3 June, Tavera was arrested after handing himself in at Thorpe Wood Police Station. His home in Tyesdale, Bretton, was searched where a machete was found in his bedroom.

All five answered “no comment” in interview but were charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of a knife in a public place.

No further action was taken against the two passengers found in the taxi with Djalo.

Following a five-week trial at Cambridge Crown Court earlier this year, Gregor, Tavera and Balde were all found guilty of two counts of attempted murder and possession of a bladed article.

Djalo and Pollak were cleared of those charges but found guilty of two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous harm (GBH).

Jailed: Rudolf Gregor, 19, of Midland Road, West Town – 19 years and six months; Patrick Tavera, 18, of Tyesdale, Bretton – 16 years; Samba Balde, 18, of Bringhurst, Orton Goldhay – 19 years; Amadu Djalo, 18, of Hampton Court, Hampton – seven years and three months; Milan Pollak, 19, of Shakespeare Avenue, New England – seven years.

Jailed: Rudolf Gregor, 19, (top centre) of Midland Road, West Town – 19 years and six months; Patrick Tavera, 18, (bottom left) of Tyesdale, Bretton – 16 years; Samba Balde, 18, (top, right) of Bringhurst, Orton Goldhay – 19 years; Amadu Djalo, 18, (bottom, right) of Hampton Court, Hampton – seven years and three months; Milan Pollak, 19, (top left) of Shakespeare Avenue, New England – seven years.

Today (Wednesday), all five appeared at Cambridge Crown Court where they were sentenced as follows:

  • Rudolf Gregor, 19, of Midland Road, West Town – 19 years and six months
  • Patrick Tavera, 18, of Tyesdale, Bretton – 16 years
  • Samba Balde, 18, of Bringhurst, Orton Goldhay – 19 years
  • Amadu Djalo, 18, of Hampton Court, Hampton – seven years and three months
  • Milan Pollak, 19, of Shakespeare Avenue, New England – seven years

Gregor’s sentence also included two offences of possession with intent to supply class A drugs (cocaine and heroin) after being found with £990 worth of the drugs on him in Broadway, Peterborough city centre, on 5 July 2021.

Detective Constable Lloyd Davis, who investigated, said: “This was an incredibly complex case which was sheer luck that it didn’t end up as a murder investigation.

“A conflict has resulted in two young men being so close to losing their lives, and five now spending their next years in prison.

“We know the impact weapons have on our communities; this case should act as a wake-up call for those on the fringe of criminality – levels of violence involved cannot be understated.

“I would encourage anyone concerned about a young person becoming involved in criminality to speak to police or partner agencies so we can intervene.”

Anyone with information or concerns about someone carrying a weapon can report to police online here, where advice is also available

 

 

Jailed: Rudolf Gregor, 19, of Midland Road, West Town – 19 years and six months; Patrick Tavera, 18, of Tyesdale, Bretton – 16 years; Samba Balde, 18, of Bringhurst, Orton Goldhay – 19 years; Amadu Djalo, 18, of Hampton Court, Hampton – seven years and three months; Milan Pollak, 19, of Shakespeare Avenue, New England – seven years.

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