Gang of six who tortured and killed girl jailed for life

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The Independent Online

The six members of the gang which tortured, raped and murdered 16-year-old Mary-Ann Leneghan were jailed for life.

Adrian Thomas, 20, said to be the ringleader, Michael Johnson, 19, and brothers Jamaile and Joshua Morally, 22 and 23, were told by a judge at Reading Crown Court that they would each serve a minimum of 27 years. The two other members of the gang, Llewellyn Adams, 24, and Indrit Krasniqi, 18, were told they must serve at least 23 years.

Mr Justice Penry-Davey said the gang had treated their victims as "bait" and subjected them to acts of "gratuitous torture" and "gross sexual abuse". He added: "Drugs breed violence. Those who deal drugs show a readiness to use weapons including guns."

Last month, a jury found all six men guilty of Mary-Ann's murder and the attempted killing of a friend, aged 18, who cannot be named for legal reasons, as well as a string of other charges including, kidnap and assault. Some were also convicted of rape.

Thomas, Johnson, Jamaile Morally, all from different parts of London, had been serving community sentences at the time. Krasniqi, an illegal immigrant from Kosovo, will be deported after serving his sentence. The court was told that Mary-Ann, from Reading, and her friend were abducted by the gang near her home in the early hours of 7 May last year.

They were bundled into a car boot and taken to a hotel room in Reading where they were drugged, orally raped and tortured with cigarettes, knives, a metal bar and boiling sugared water for three hours in revenge for an earlier gang attack on Thomas.

They were taken to a nearby park where Mary-Ann was stabbed to death while her friend was forced to look on. The older girl was shot in the head and left for dead, but survived. The spot is marked by a memorial of flowers.