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Four men jailed over gun-plot revenge attack on brothers after attack in Hersden, near Canterbury


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A man who was beaten up so badly he lost his spleen plotted revenge from his hospital bed.

Christian Algar suffered "life-changing" injuries as a result of the attack and was put in an induced coma, a court has heard.

Police body-worn footage of the arrest of Robin Ling and Charlie Anderson

Brothers Luke and Ivan Campbell had turned on Algar after falling out over a woman, Maidstone Crown Court was told on Tuesday. June 22

After being attacked, and not realising the extent of his injuries, Algar tracked the siblings to a Canterbury gym and threatened them.

However, he then became ill and was rushed to hospital and surgeons had to remove his spleen.

It was while on a ward that he and his pals had planned to get a gun and seek retribution on the Campbells.

A judge heard how police probing the incident came across a weapon which was involved in an earlier shooting, when Folkestone pub landlord Joseph Daniels was found dead at the Red Cow.

Eli Smith, left, and Robin Ling, right. Picture: Kent Police
Eli Smith, left, and Robin Ling, right. Picture: Kent Police

Before the court were Algar, 37, of the Avenue, Hersden; Charlie Anderson, 26, of East Street, Canterbury; Robin Ling, 27, of Beach Road, Westgate on Sea; Eli Smith, 26, of Valley Road, Canterbury and Samuel Jameson, 26, of St Albans Road, Hersden.

Algar, Ling and Anderson had admitted conspiring to cause serious harm to the brothers and possessing the gun – although all denied they were planning to shoot the brothers, instead claiming the weapon would have been used to scare them.

Ling, who admitted possessing weapons including a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, illegally having ammunition and drug supplying, was jailed for 10 years and four months.

Black market weapons dealer Smith, who admitted converting blank firing guns into lethal weapons – one of which was said to have been used in the killing of the landlord – was jailed for 10 years and eight months.

Smith was not linked to the plot to get revenge on the brothers.

Anderson received a sentence of five years and four months for the conspiracy to attack the brothers.

Right to left: Samuel Jameson, Christian Algar and Charlie Anderson. Picture: Kent Police
Right to left: Samuel Jameson, Christian Algar and Charlie Anderson. Picture: Kent Police

Algar, who admitted his part in the conspiracy – directing friends from his hospital bed – was jailed for four-and-a-half years and Jameson, who pleaded guilty to transferring the handgun, possessing two tasers and cocaine with intent to supply, received a sentence of seven years and four months.

The attack on Algar happened in April 2019 at his home but despite his serious injury he went to the DW Sports Gym and made threats towards the Campbells.

It was only then that Algar was taken to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital before being transferred to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford where doctors operated.

Prosecutor Simon Taylor QC said: "It was whilst Algar was an inpatient that the revenge attack on the Campbell brothers was organised... which involved the use of a firearm."

Two days later, Algar's pals, Ling and Anderson were travelling in a Fiat Doblo, being followed by police, when a loaded semi-automatic pistol was thrown from the car.

The pistol recovered by officers near Upstreet. Picture: Kent Police
The pistol recovered by officers near Upstreet. Picture: Kent Police

The prosecutor said Ling and Anderson were arrested and officers later returned to the area and retrieved the weapon.

Mr Taylor revealed: "Within 30 minutes of Algar arriving at hospital, Ling was sending messages to associates wherein he was talking about 'being game' and later 'getting boys together to go crack em'. He was also seeking firearms, which he referred to as a 'metal thing'.

"During this period Ling was also referring to 'going Rambo' and making it clear that he was 'gonna sort the lads that done it (sic)'."

The prosecutor added: "The Crown say that what the evidence shows is that when Ling was unable to get hold of his own firearms or get them from his usual contacts, Algar acted as a middle man to arrange for him to meet up with Jameson, who supplied a firearm."

Ling and Smith were also caught up in a murder investigation involving Folkestone publican, Joseph Daniels, whose body was found next to a gun near the Red Cow Public House in Ford Road. He had died from a single gunshot

The prosecutor said: "Both Smith and Ling were arrested on suspicion of the murder at different stages of the investigation as they were forensically linked to both the gun used to kill Mr Daniels and also a second gun and ammunition found hidden within the living quarters of the public house."

He told the court that neither man was ever charged with murder – and the murder remains unsolved.

Smith later told police that he bought blank-firing guns from boot fairs and sold them on.

Mr Taylor said Smith confirmed he bought the weapon in July 2017 from a man at a boot fair in Ashford, for between £30-£40.

Paul Hogben, for Algar, said the brothers had fallen out with him over a "child playground" incident involving a woman.

The attack had left him needing antibiotics for the rest of his life after losing his spleen, added Mr Hogben.

Ben Irwin, defending father-of-two Smith, said his interest in adapting weapons had "snowballed" because of his "naivety and stupidity" and led him into crime.

Senior investigating officer DCI Chris Greenstreet said: "The tragic death of Mr Daniels remains unsolved and our thoughts are with his family, who we have kept updated throughout our enquiries.

"Eli Smith and Robin Ling are no longer being investigated in relation to Mr Daniels' death and have been eliminated from this part of our enquiries.

"However, the investigation into his death led to the seizure of a number of firearms and the jailing of a man who converted pistols to be used by criminals to threaten, injure and terrify victims.

"The separate case of Ling, Anderson and Algar, which was sentenced at the same time, gives an example of three such men who were committed to doing serious harm to others.

"Their eagerness to get hold of a gun and apparent determination to carry out the assault shows this conspiracy would likely have led to a very serious incident had it not prevented by the police."

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