The Oxfordshire criminals locked up in May

The courts in Oxfordshire have had a busy month, with a host of criminals facing justice for their crimes. A murderer, sex offender, gangs and multiple drug dealers were among those jailed in May. Another criminal facing justice this month was a 77-year-old sex offender who, until now, had escaped the clutches of law enforcement.

OxfordshireLive reported on the stories of these criminals, and is spotlighting seven cases that have been sealed with a jail sentence. : Police drone keeps tabs on car cruising event in Oxford

Banbury crime gang

Alex Azevedo and Nathasha Washington have been jailed.

A woman was locked in a property before being burned with a cigarette, forced to inhale heroin and diazepam, and eventually raped during a horrific ordeal. The woman went to a property in Banbury at around 1.30am on June 21 last year.

At around midday she was told she by Sonny Weir that she was not allowed to leave. The 20-year-old then barricaded the door with and windows with a lounge chair and utensils. The woman was then subject to a number of assaults throughout the day.

This included having hot and cold water poured over her.

The Oxfordshire criminals locked up in MaySonny Weir (left) and Argest Sallaj were involved in the gang

Azevedo, of Britannia Road, Banbury, was found guilty by unanimous verdict of two counts of rape of a woman over 16 years of age and one count each of false imprisonment, assault causing actual bodily harm and administering a noxious substance with intent, following a trial at Oxford Crown Court. He was jailed for 15 years. Washington, aged 20, of no fixed abode, was found guilty by unanimous jury verdict of one count each of false imprisonment and administering a noxious substance with intent and five counts of assault causing actual bodily harm.

She has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Weir, of Pope Walk, Banbury, pleaded guilty to one count each of false imprisonment and assault causing actual bodily harm prior to the trial. He was found guilty by unanimous jury verdict of two counts each of administering a noxious substance with intent and assault causing actual bodily harm.

He was jailed for nine years. Argest Sallaj, aged 17, of De La Warr Drive, Banbury, was found guilty by unanimous jury verdict of one count each of false imprisonment and assault causing actual bodily harm, and three counts of battery. The judge lifted reporting restrictions on his identity.

He has been jailed for three years. Read the full story here.

Drug dealer turned killer

The Oxfordshire criminals locked up in MayLewis Brown was a drug dealer in Barton

A man has been sentenced to a total of 10 and a half years’ imprisonment for the manslaughter of 39-year-old Lee Butler in Oxford last October. Lewis Brown, aged 20, of Barton Village Road, Oxford, was found not guilty of murder, but was convicted of manslaughter and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place by a unanimous jury verdict last Thursday (April 28) following a trial at Oxford Crown Court.

Brown was a drug dealer in the Barton area of Oxford and had arranged to meet Mr Butler and a friend of his in the park off Bayswater Road in Barton on the evening of October 8, last year, intent on selling him drugs. However, following the deal, an argument ensued between Mr Butler and Brown, and during this argument, Brown stabbed Mr Butler once in the chest. Mr Butler suffered a very serious chest injury and despite the best efforts of medical professionals, he tragically died at the scene of his injuries.

Brown ran from the park and embarked on a bus journey around Oxford to try to evade capture. Read the full story here.

New-build burglar

The Oxfordshire criminals locked up in MayPavel Levinte targeted new-build homes

A burglar who targeted new-build properties across four counties, including Oxfordshire, has been jailed. Police say Pavel Levinte accessed 89 new properties to steal their gas boilers and ovens.

Aylesbury Crown Court heard Levinte’s crimewave began on April 23 last year and ran until June 26. Police say he was part of a conspiracy that targeted properties in Aylesbury, Weston Turville, Bicester, Buckingham and homes in Hampshire and Sussex. Officers say the 36-year-old went into the new-build properties to disconnect the gas ovens and boilers to steal.

He reportedly targeted unoccupied but completed homes. Read the full story here.

Serial child sex offender sentenced to 29 years

The Oxfordshire criminals locked up in MayRichard Passway has been sentenced to nearly 30 years

A man has been jailed after being found guilty of a string of child sex offences. Richard Passway’s crimes in Letcombe Bassett and Faringdon in Oxfordshire, Fairford in Gloucestershire and Swindon in Wiltshire finally caught up with him when he was snared by police officers in 2014.

Now, following a string of trials at Oxford Crown Court, Passway, of Bunce Road, Swindon, has been jailed for 29 years. Previously, the 77-year-old had been found guilty of 14 counts of indecent assault, six counts of rape and two counts of indecency with a child. The offences took place a number of years ago.

Officers have however today welcomed the sentence after Passway’s life of crime finally caught up with him. Read the full story here.

Prison smuggler

A prisoner who was transferred to HMP Bullingdon was caught with a mobile phone and drugs. Simon Maclellan was being taken to the Oxfordshire jail in November 2020 when he was searched by prison officers.

They then found the 40-year-old was in possession of the phone and cannabis. He had both contraband items concealed on him. Maclellan has now pleaded guilty to one count of conveying a list A article (namely drugs) into prison and one count of conveying a list B article (namely a mobile phone) into prison, in a hearing at Oxford Crown Court on Monday.

He was jailed for eight months. Read the full story here.

Drug offences

Tayaub Hussain, aged 28, of Queens Road, Banbury, was sentenced to six years and a month in prison at Oxford Crown Court on May 17. He pleaded guilty to one count each of possession with intent to supply a controlled drug of class A – heroin, possession of a controlled drug of class B – cannabis and possession of criminal property.

At around 3pm on 4 April this year, officers from the Cherwell and West Oxfordshire Tasking Team were on proactive patrols in Banbury when their attention was drawn to a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle subsequently came to a stop on Queens Road and the occupants were detained by officers.

Cash machine gang

Six members of an organised crime group have been sentenced to a total of 74 years in prison after they were convicted of a string of ATM thefts, commercial burglaries and other serious offences across the Thames Valley and the southeast of England. The group, over a period of 12 months, wreaked havoc across several counties, targeting ATMs and often using dangerous and violent tactics, such as the use of explosive gases and flammable liquids.

The group also attacked rural locations and other businesses, stealing plant machinery, 4×4 vehicles and tractors in a year-long series of offences.

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