County lines gang who murdered victim are jailed for 173 years


A gang who almost hacked off a man’s foot as they stabbed him to death in the street have been jailed for 173 years after they were caught on CCTV boasting about the murder.

Ross Ball was stabbed to death by thugs who had taken over his flat to use as a base for drug dealing.

The 42-year-old jumped out of his window to escape his attackers but was set upon outside where he was stabbed with such force by six men that his ankle was partially severed.

Anthony Daw

Left, Garry Cooper and right, Anthony Daw. Three members of the group were captured on CCTV meeting with Cooper (left), who was not at the scene but ordered the killing

Footage shows the grinning thugs appearing to act out the savage attack, with one doing a stamping motion with his foot. Another then pretends to fall to one side with his head lolling lifelessly as they brag to each other about the murder

Footage shows the grinning thugs appearing to act out the savage attack, with one doing a stamping motion with his foot. Another then pretends to fall to one side with his head lolling lifelessly as they brag to each other about the murder

Cooper and his gang had forced Mr Ball into letting them use his flat to sell drugs, peddling him with crack cocaine, heroin and mamba in exchange.

Cooper and his gang forced Ross Ball (pictured), into letting them use his flat to sell drugs

Cooper and his gang forced Ross Ball (pictured), into letting them use his flat to sell drugs

Users would post cash through the letterbox of the flat in Sutton-in-Ashfield as the drugs were posted back out.

Days before the murder, a rival gang had taken over the flat and Cooper ordered his men to attack Mr Ball in the turf war.

The gang burst into the flat and Mr Ball tried to escape by jumping out the window but was caught and stabbed to death on the street.

The six men fled the scene in two cars but set off automatic number plate recognition cameras along their journey, allowing detectives investigating the murder to build up a picture of their movements. 

Three members of the group were captured on CCTV meeting with Cooper – who was not at the scene but ordered the killing – in Mansfield Town Centre. 

Footage shows the grinning thugs appearing to act out the savage attack, with one doing a stamping motion with his foot.

Another then pretends to fall to one side with his head lolling lifelessly as they brag to each other about the murder.

The CCTV and examinations of their mobile phones linked them to the killing.

Six of them were found guilty of murder while a seventh was convicted of manslaughter.

On Tuesday the gang were jailed for a total of 173 years at Nottingham Crown Court.

Matthew Jones

Jake Honer

Matthew Jones, 23 (left) and Jake Honer, 21 (right), were both jailed for 25 years

The gang meet and appear to be captured on CCTV acting out the murder

Shaun Buckley

John McDonald

Shaun Buckley, 29 (left) was jailed for 25 years while John McDonald, 25, (right) was sentenced to a minimum of 23 years

Ringleader Garry Cooper, 34, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, was jailed for 29 years.

Shaun Buckley, 29, from Solihull, Jake Honer, 21, Anthony Daw, 25, and Matthew Jones, 23, all from Birmingham, were each jailed for 25 years.

John McDonald, 25, also from Birmingham, was sentenced to a minimum of 23 years.

Connor Sharman, 22, of no fixed address, was convicted of manslaughter and conspiracy to supply class A drugs and sentenced to 21 years.

Buckley, Honer, Daw, Jones, Cooper and Sharman had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A Drugs. 

Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Becky Hodgman, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: ‘Ross Ball was a man caught in a cycle of drug use which tragically left him vulnerable to the actions of violent criminals.

‘This is a really sad case and it’s important to remember that it only takes a few hard knocks and wrong turns in life to end up in a similar position.

‘We’ll never know what Ross may have done with the rest of his life, or what kind of future might have been taken away from him by the cruel actions of his killers.’ 

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