Knife gang locked up over New Year's Day stabbings in Shrewsbury

A group of men have been jailed for a violent New Year’s Day attack that left one victim with 16 stab wounds.

Sentenced: Top, brothers Cain and Errol Kirlew, and bottom, Rommell Holding and Jordan Pearson
Sentenced: Top, brothers Cain and Errol Kirlew, and bottom, Rommell Holding and Jordan Pearson

Two brothers were among the men - all from Birmingham - locked up over the “serious outburst of violence” outside the Buttermarket in Shrewsbury which left four men in hospital.

The aftermath of the late-night brutality was seen by millions of people when it featured on the BBC documentary Ambulance in May

During a sentencing hearing, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how the attackers left the victims with serious psychological and physical damage.

Police outside the Buttermarket in the wake of the New Year's Day stabbings

Cain Kirlew, aged 22, was jailed for eight years after he left Aqueeb Altaf with 16 stab wounds, and also stabbed his friend Umar Shahzad, leaving a trail of blood in the street outside the nightclub.

Then as the violence led to a nearby car park, Cain’s 28-year-old brother Erroll attacked two men, Daniel Collings and Aaron Powell, who had tried to come to the aid of the other victims.

He was jailed for seven and a half years, with Jordan Pearson jailed for five years and three months.

One of the four people injured in the violence

Rommell Holding, 28, was handed a community order for affray, and Dominic Stagg, 27, was given a community order for dangerous and drink driving as he tried to escape with two other defendants.

The court was told he crashed his car and almost hit a police officer in the aftermath of the attack.


Mr Altaf needed surgery on a damaged lung in the wake of the attack and was left with scarring on his back.

In a victim impact statement he said he struggled to trust people, suffered flashbacks, had to take a long time off work as a mechanical technician and suffers with tasks due to hand injuries.

Mr Shahzad also suffered stab wounds to his chest and bicep, and said his life had changed since the attack.

Dominic Stagg was given a community order for dangerous and drink driving

The court heard he too suffers flashbacks and continues to have pain as a result of nerve damage.

Mr Collings, who was helping the other victims, had two teeth knocked out and his jaw fractured.

The judge was told he is now conscious of going out and had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

He also said his relationship with Mr Powell, who suffered cuts to his face, had become strained since the attack, as he felt guilty his friend had suffered injuries.


Andrew Baker, for Cain Kerlew, who received the largest sentence for charges of wounding with intent, alleged that his client had been mocked before the attack.

He said his client suffered brain and spine cancer as a young man and he had a stroke.

Judge Barrie said he gave Kirlew the benefit of the doubt about being mocked, and admitted he had been through a lot but it did not excuse taking a knife out and using it.

The incident featured in hit BBC documentary Ambulance

Delroy Henry, for Erroll Kirlew, said his client was of good character who had previously had a career as a rap artist.

He said he was defending his brother who was vulnerable, but admitted his behaviour was a moment of madness and grossly wrong.

He said he wanted to publicly apologise for what he had done.


Mr Baker, also for Pearson, said his client wrongly thought the blood on the floor outside the club was Cain’s, and went into the car park.

Simon Rippon, for Holding said his client admitted his role, but had served six months in custody and should serve his penalty in the community.

The main Shrewsbury train station car park next to the Buttermarket was sealed off after the attack

Brendan Reedy, for Stagg, said his client had no intention of driving that night, but others told him to and he panicked.

The court also heard how he almost ran over a police officer, before crashing his car in the car park.

Judge Peter Barrie described the attack as a burst of serious violence that led to serious injuries.

He warned the stabbing on Mr Altaf could have been a lot more serious.

He said: “Each of you played a part in this outburst of serious violence that resulted in serious injuries to a number of people.”

Ambulance documentary

The aftermath of the violence was shown on the BBC show Ambulance,

In the 999 call to the emergency services, the caller could be heard repeating “oh my God” when the call is answered.

The call handler asked if the patient was breathing and the caller says: “Yes he’s breathing but he’s got, like blood gushing out of his arm.”

The caller goes on to say there are two people injured and they are both conscious, adding: “There’s a lot of blood.”

The documentary then showed the crew arriving at the Buttermarket nightclub in Howard Street after the two patients who had been injured were taken to hospital.

Full sentences

The sentences handed down at Shrewsbury Crown Court by Judge Peter Barrie were as follows:

  • Cain Kirlew, aged 22, from Fieldhouse Road, Birmingham, was jailed for eight years for two counts of wounding with intent and one charge of affray.

  • Erroll Kirlew, 28, from Fieldhouse Road, Birmingham, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for wounding with intent and GBH.

  • Jordan Pearson, 24, of Culford Drive, Birmingham, was jailed for five years and three months for GBH and wounding with intent.

  • Rommell Holding, 28, of West Boulevard, Birmingham, was also given an 18-month community order, after having served six months in custody, for affray.

  • Dominic Stagg, 27, of Culford Drive, Birmingham, admitted charges of dangerous driving and drink-driving, and received a 12-month community order.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News